• 10 Health Benefits of Olive Oil

    by Dr. Roopa Chari, M.D.
    on May 22nd, 2015

Scientific studies have shown that high quality, authentic, extra-virgin olive oil can lower “bad” cholesterol and decreases your risk of heart disease and stroke. It also helps protect you against cancer of the breast, prostate, and colon.

In addition, olive oil has also been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of diabetes and even decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease!

To build strong healthy bones and avoid osteoporosis, olive oil is amazing because it helps calcium in your food to be better absorbed into your bones. Olive oil can also decrease both inflammation and joint pain.

Olive oil is also full of some of the most powerful disease-fighting antioxidants and polyphenols known which builds your immune system and helps to protect every organ of your body from disease.

Since olive oil has a high monounsaturated fat content, it can be stored longer than most other oils. However remember that heat, air, and light can create free radicals in the oils and make the oils become rancid which then lowers the nutritional quality of oils.

The best storage containers for olive oil are made of either tinted glass (to help keep out light) or a nonreactive metal, such as stainless steel. Avoid metal containers made of iron or copper because the chemical reactions between the olive oil and those metals create toxic compounds. Avoid plastic too since oil can absorb toxic substances such as polyvinyl chlorides (PVCs) out of the plastic.

Containers also need a tight cap or lid to keep out air. Ideally keep the oils in a dark, cool (or room temperature) cupboard away from the stove or other heat-producing appliances.

An important point about cooking with olive oil (or any oil) is not to heat the oil over its smoke point (also referred to as smoking point). The smoke point is the temperature at which a cooking oil begins to break down and begins to smoke or burn (the smoke point of oils also depends on their quality).

Keep in mind that high quality extra virgin olive oils (with low free fatty acids) have a high smoke point whereas mass produced, low quality olive oils have a much lower smoke point.

At The Olive Oil Source, they believe that extra virgin olive oil smokes roughly between 365-400ºF depending on its free fatty acid content.

Be sure to start cooking with olive oil which has been used for thousands of years and is part of the healthy Mediterranean diet.

We purchase our delicious olive oil from our wonderful local farmers at the Santa Barbara Farmers market!

10 Health Benefits of Olive Oil Summary

Author Dr. Roopa Chari, M.D.

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