People of the Mediterranean are heralded as the world’s longest-living culture and this is largely attributed to their diet. With olive oil as a vital ingredient for so many Mediterranean recipes, this ingredient can be seen to play a large part in this. This delicious ingredient has been linked to lowering cholesterol amongst other health benefits. If you’re interested in the health benefits of olive oil and making this a more prominent feature of your diet then read on.
How much fat in olive oil?
A common misconception about olive oil is that it contains fats that are bad for us. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat and before this leaves you running for the door, this type of fat is actually good for us. It is an unsaturated fat and, as part of a healthy diet, it is essential to consume a moderate amount of ‘good’ fats. The fats which can lead to an unhealthy diet are saturated fats and trans fat, there is no trans fat in olive oil and just a small amount of saturated fat (a whole lot less than there is in other ingredients such as butter). Olive oil is also naturally free from salt, sugar, and gluten.
What are the health benefits of olive oil?
If you’ve been wondering ‘how much cholesterol is in olive oil?’ the answer is zero. In fact, thanks to the presence of monounsaturated fat, olive oil can actually help lower cholesterol. Olive oil is also filled with antioxidants which lower risks of certain diseases.
There are a host of other health benefits that have been linked to olive oil including the possibility that it can help to prevent strokes, protect against heart disease, and potentially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
How much is olive oil?
The price of olive oil depends on the quality that you buy. It is possible to pick up a 250 ml bottle for around $5, however, this won’t be of the highest quality. You will find that the price of extra-virgin olive oil is more as this is made purely from cold-pressed olives, whereas olive oil is a mix of cold-pressed olives and processed oils. For ultimate flavor and to the reap the health benefits of olives then extra-virgin olive oil is your best bet.
How to get olive oil in your diet
Now you know how good olive oil is for you let’s take a look at some great ways to get olive oil in your diet. If you love to eat butter on your toast in the morning think about adding a drizzle of olive oil instead – this is super delicious and helps to increase your olive oil intake. Another great way of using olive oil is over a salad – there are lots of different salad dressings you can make using olive oil and a classic combo is with balsamic vinegar. Olive oil can also be substituted for other oils when cooking (such as sunflower oil, vegetable oil).
We have some great ideas on how to prepare a healthy dinner for your family and friends which include some delicious recipes using olive oil. You can find them all here.