Since we’ve been talking about fats lately we thought we’d highlight a great source of fat that we use a lot at Sip Kitchen - Extra Virgin Olive Oil!
EVOO is very good for you. Around 14% of the fatty acids in olive oil is saturated fat, 11% is polyunsaturated fat and the main fatty acid is a monounsaturated fat (check out our post from 2 weeks ago on monounsaturated fat if you’re after more info) called Oleic Acid which makes up 73% of the oil content.
EVOO is extracted from the olives using a machine only (no chemicals) which means that the antioxidants in the fruit are maintained. This is great because it means that EVOO is loaded powerful antioxidants which may lower your risk of developing chronic diseases including heart disease as they fight inflammation and protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation.
The main anti-inflammatory properties of EVOO are mediated by antioxidants. One of these is oleocanthol which works in a similar way to ibuprofen. Oleic acid also has anti-inflammatory effects and can reduce inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP).
EVOO also has antibacterial properties, some studies have found that EVOO fights 8 strains of the bacterium Helicobacter Pylori (a bacteria in your stomach that can cause ulcers and stomach cancer) and 3 of these strains are resistant to antibiotics!
If you’ve heard that extra virgin olive oil is bad to cook with you’re not alone. This was mainly thought due to the relatively low smoke point of olive oil. But there’s lots of information out there explaining why this isn’t necessarily true. Olive oil is made up of 87% heat resistant monounsaturated and saturated fats and this coupled with the high antioxidant and low polyunsaturated fat content prevents oxidation and the release of harmful compounds that is produced by other oils such as canola and grape seed oil. The smoke point of olive oil is around 190-210 degrees Celsius so normal cooking isn’t likely to oxidise or significantly degrade olive oil. It could degrade some of the antioxidants, vitamin E and taste though. We still prefer to cook with coconut oil though.
At Sip Kitchen we use Ceres Organics extra virgin olive oil for dressings, creams, ragu, the Longevity Fasting Diet and for drizzling when plating, never any refined oils like canola oil or grape seed oil. Next time you're purchasing a salad from somewhere ask them what kind of oil they use for their dressing, unfortunately in our experience most places will say some kind of highly refined oil.
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