Nutrition In Olive Oil: Amazing Olive Oil Nutrition Facts And Health Benefits

Nutrition In Olive Oil: Amazing Olive Oil Nutrition Facts And Health Benefits

Olive oil gained popularity in cuisines across the world when its health benefits were highlighted by epidemiological studies. The oil of olives is extracted by crushing the entire fruit, which grows on trees that are native to the Mediterranean basin. The health benefits of olive oil have always been studied because of the low incidence of degenerative diseases among the population of the Mediterranean basin, which has been attributed to their diet of fresh vegetables, whole grains and fruit, fish and olive oil. Let’s understand fat to understand the benefits of olive oil. Fat is one of the three major macronutrients our body needs on a daily basis. We add fat into our meals from:

1. Invisible fat naturally present in animal and plant food.

2. Visible fat in the form of cooking oil, butter, ghee etc.

3. Hidden fat present in the processed and ready-to-eat foods that we consume.

Fats are made up of fatty acids; saturated fatty acids (SF), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). All these have a specific role to play in our metabolism.

olive oil

Olive oil nutrition: Fats are made up of fatty acids

Olive Oil Nutrition At A Glance:

Per 13.5 g {1 table spoon}
Energy 119Kcal
Fat 13.5g
CHO 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin E 14.35mg
Sat Fats 13.8g
Palmitic acid 11.2g
Mono Unsat Fat 72.96g
Oleic Acid 71.2g
Poly Unsat Fat 10.5g
Cholesterol 0g

Here are some health benefits of olive oil:

1. Good For The Heart: The maximum amount of fats present in olive oil are MUFAs, which are well researched for their beneficial properties in protecting us against lifestyle diseases like blood pressure, stroke, cardiac diseases and diabetes by improving the risk factors for the same. In a published study, it was found that both MUFA and PUFA reduce LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol as compared with carbohydrates. The Nurses’ health study and Health professional follow up determined that replacing 5% of energy from saturated fats with MUFA from plant sources lowers the risk of heart diseases by 15%. MUFA has also been linked with a positive effect on high blood pressure. Extra virgin olive oil is has a large amount of polyphenols, which are associated with a lowering of inflammatory markers in the body that cause atherosclerotic changes.

2. Protects Against Cancer: Olive oil is linked to protection against cancer because of two compounds- squalene and terpenoids. Both the compounds are said to be preventive against cancer. Extra virgin olive oil is especially abundant in squalene.

olive oil

Olive oil nutrition: Olive oil is linked to protection against cancer

3. Promotes Weight Loss: Intake of healthy fats is linked to better insulin control. Insulin is the hormone that controls blood sugar. High insulin levels promote fat deposition, keeping the weight from decreasing, which is why high intake of carbs and very low fat diets don’t really work for weight loss. Adequate intake of good fats along with moderate carbs work better. Diets with fat also provide satiety, which prevents overeating. Olive oil is the near perfect oil for us, so it helps even while being packed with calories.

4. Diabetes Management: Because of its positive effect on insulin function, poly and monounsaturated fats have been found to be beneficial for diabetes control. Olive oil contains compounds like MUFA and biophenols -hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein, which have been seen to prevent inflammation and oxidative damage. They also have been found to show glucose lowering, reducing carbohydrate absorption, and increasing insulin sensitivity. These factors point towards a positive correlation between intake of olive oil and diabetes.

5. General Health: The hormone balancing and anti-inflammatory properties of healthy fats like olive oil also contribute to fight mood disorders and depression. The antioxidants in olive oil contribute to slowing the ageing process by reducing cellular stress.

olive oil

Olive oil nutrition: The hormone balancing and anti-inflammatory properties of healthy fats

Buying And Storing:

To get the maximum antioxidants from your olive oil:

  • Do not keep it beyond 6 months.
  • Store in cool dry space , in opaque bottles.
  • Buy it from a place where the turnover is high so that you know it hasn’t been there for long.
  • It can be refrigerated and will become cloudy and thick, no worries it isn’t spoiled. It will regain its natural colour on reaching room temperature.

Extra virgin olive oil gives you the maximum benefits. Use it in combination with other healthy fats with a diet rich in fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meat, fish and legumes.

[“Source-food.ndtv”]