Is olive oil healthy?
"I thought olive oil is good for you. What is your take on it?"
Olive oil, like all oils, gets 100% of its calories from fat. While your body needs fat to be healthy, too much fat can be seriously detrimental to your health, even healthy fat. Because oil is pure fat, all oils should be limited, even healthy oils.
Olive oil specifically is mostly mono-unsaturated fat, but it also contains some saturated fat and some polyunsaturated fats. All oils are actually a mix of fat types. Butter and coconut oil are mostly saturated fat, but not completely. Flax oil is mostly polyunsaturated fats, but not completely.
In the Mediterranean, where olive oil is consumed every day as part of a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle, the olive oil is very fresh. In Italy, people know that olive should be consumed within three months of pressing for best flavor. But it's not just flavor, it's also nutrition and quality.
Oils last a lot longer on the shelf than fresh vegetable juices, but if you think of how vegetable juice spoils over the course of a day on a shelf, oil is doing the same thing, except that it is doing it much more slowly.
Fresh-pressed olive oil from organic olives consumed on top of leafy greens is incredibly good for you. The oil actually helps you absorb much of the nutrition in the greens. To maintain the freshness, olive oil can be stored in the refrigerator when not in use.
Unfortunately, most oils that people consume today have been sitting on the shelf for longer than three months before they are even purchased. Then people go on to keep them in their homes for months, or even years, before consuming them. Worse, people often cook them at very high temperatures, causing the oils to change nature.
Even oils will a high smoke point will begin to partly degrade at lower temperatures. This is due to oils being a mix of different kinds of fats. The polyunsaturated fats in olive oil will spoil and reach their smoke point long before the monounsaturated fats do.
To enjoy oils with cooked foods more healthfully you can boil or steam foods and then add the oil after cooking, ideally directly from your refrigerator. Be sure to choose organic oils, and when possible, choose oils that have been pressed within three months of the time you purchase them.
For truly fresh olive oil, you can look into purchasing "ice-pressed" olive oil.
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