Anna Cane, Scientific and Public Affairs Director of Carapelli Firenze SpA, has recently published an article on how to develop healthy eating habits with the aid of olive oil. You can cook and enjoy delicious meals with Deoleo’s award winning olive oil brands Bertolli, Carapelli or Carbonell.
You are what you eat. This proverb is present for many of us throughout our lives — serving as both friend, and foe. Ultimately, the lesson is that food forms a large part of our overall health, helping balance our bodies, giving us energy, regulating our system and often preventing sickness. This universal culinary lesson also transcends cultures.
The issue is often we think of healthy food as bland and expensive – and equate healthy eating with drastic meal changes. And thus, we sit in a state of paralysis allowing ‘you are what you eat’ to remain an enemy. But it does not need to stay this way.
From a nutritionist’s point of view, olive oil is not only good for health – it’s actually profitable for your health. You can cook and enjoy delicious meals that you love but investing in a beneficial oil can also help support your health at the same time.
The reality is that if we do not eat carefully, exercise regularly and take care of ourselves, the risk of developing NCDs like heart disease is increased. And when that happens, your life and livelihood is instantly limited. On the other hand, if you proactively invest into your health, you can live your life, enjoy traveling, being with your family or doing what you love.
Olive oil has much higher unsaturated fat than many other type of oils, and it also helps reduce your LDL cholesterol or bad fats. So rather than just being an oil to cook with, its added value is being able to additionally assist your health journey.
At the heart of everything, no matter how much money you have, if you are ill already there is no way to buy good health. So, prevention and good diet practices can help you from suffering now and in the future.
How to make healthy eating easy
It’s important to think of healthier eating as small steps that lead to greater change. An effective starting point is the oils that we cook with. Olive oil, the natural oil extracted from olives, is internationally considered one of the healthiest cooking oil options. What makes it great, is its health benefits allow us to continue enjoying our favorite menu items, without radical deviations to lifestyle, or taste. And here is why…
1. Olive oil can help lower cholesterol
Olive oil is naturally cholesterol-free and contains no salt. It is also rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (77% on average), in particular oleic acid which health studies indicate can help maintain normal cholesterol levels by eating this in moderation. And thereby reduce the risk of developing diseases related to high cholesterol.
2. Good source of Antioxidants
Antioxidants work by slowing or even preventing the harmful activity of ‘free radicals’ in our bodies, and Extra Virgin olive oil is a great source of several. One tablespoon of olive oil provides 8% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for Vitamin E, which is linked to lessening our cell’s aging process. Likewise, olive oil contains polyphenols, another class of natural antioxidants not found in any other oil, that has beneficial properties to protect against cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
3. Olive oil can guard against cardiovascular disease
Olive oil has a higher amount of monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) than other vegetable oils. MUFAs are considered a healthy plant-based fat and because of olive oil’s increased levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, they help maintain normal cholesterol levels when replacing saturated fats in the diet. This helpful ingredient can also help strengthen blood vessels, protect against Alzheimer’s, lower your risk of heart disease and provide nutrients to help maintain your body’s cells.
4. Olive oil consumption can lower the risk of diabetes
Diabetes has become a large health issue in the world today, with data from the International Diabetes Federation indicating that 425 million people in the world today are living with diabetes. According to IDF Diabetes Atlas 8th Edition there are an estimated 82 million adults aged 20-79 living in South East Asia region in 2017 which equates to around 8.5% in the region. There were 1.95 million cases of diabetes reported in Taiwan in 2017 alone. And the spread of diabetes continues to grow with new cases reported every day.
The causes of this are varying lifestyle habits in our day to day lives. With olive oil’s abundance of antioxidants, it can help reduce oxidative stress effects that diabetics suffer due to elevated levels of blood sugar. It therefore reduces the risk of diabetes complications, as well as nerve damage caused by diabetes (diabetic neuropathy) and retinal neuropathy. And Oleocanthal, a type of natural phenolic compound found in extra-virgin olive oil, acts as anti-inflammatory agent. Inflammation is another precursor to many diseases, including chronic inflammation caused by diabetes.
The health benefits of replacing your bad fats with olive oil are clear. Olive Oil is also versatile and can be utilized at high temperatures (468 degrees Fahrenheit / 242 degrees Celsius), so you can cook all your favorite dishes, as well as deep fry. Best of all, it provides you the opportunity for healthier living without boredom or huge lifestyle changes.