For decades we have been following the faulty advice to reduce fat intake to a bare minimum when increasing the amount of sugar whatsoever.
Even a well-known brand of packaged macaroni and cheese contains added sugar, leaving us wondering why noodles and cheese may possibly have to get sweetened.
Why fat is important
Fat is a macronutrient with many benefits, one of which is the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. It is also a building block of every cell membrane in the human body. It provides energy, slows the absorption of other nutrients (so you feel full longer after a meal) and is required for healthy liver function. Plus, let's face it, fat makes food taste bette
Also, did you know that the human brain is greater than 50 percent fat? The brain requires fats -- and especially essential fatty acids -- for perfect health. The body doesn't synthesize essential fatty acids so it must obtain them from a healthy diet.
Olive oil is key to the Mediterranean diet
Olive oil is a key part of the Mediterranean diet for health and longevity.
It is no secret that Southern Europeans who eat a more Mediterranean Diet, consisting of vegetables, fruits, lots of fish and a lot of olive oil, have a higher life expectancy with fewer diseases. An average, Italians and Spaniards consume about 13 gallons of olive oil per person per year. While the whole diet does play a significant role in how healthy men and women are, it appears the use of extra virgin olive oil is the major contributing factor to longevity and health.
In a study published in 2013, researchers followed two groups of individuals for five years. 1 group ate a higher fat Mediterranean diet while the other group followed a low-fat diet. The higher fat group had a lower incidence of heart disease, diabetes and much better success with weight loss.
Olive oil to Decrease inflammation
The high-grade extra virgin olive oil contains around 30 polyphenols that act as antioxidants and decrease inflammation in the body. The monounsaturated fatty acids at extra virgin olive oil help increase HDL ("good") cholesterol while decreasing LDL ("bad") cholesterol. ) Additionally, the additional antioxidants have been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease.
Olive oil for Improved skin
Our European neighbors have understood for many centuries of the many benefits of olive oil -- they use it within the body and out! On the skin, they use it as an exfoliant blended into a sugar scrub or as a moisturizer. However, you don't have to smear olive oil all over you; drinking it will provide known anti-aging compounds, like antioxidants and vitamin E.
Olive oil for weight loss
Olive oil can assist with weight loss by keeping you fuller for longer.
From the Mediterranean, many men and women start their day with a quarter cup of olive oil. The oleic acid in olive oil has a satiating effect. As stated above, it also slows the absorption of other nutrients, so you'll feel full longer and won't have to reach for that mid-morning sugary snack. While the calories in olive oil may be elevated, the overall intake of calories through the day will fall when you are just not that hungry.
Olive oil for a healthy gallbladder
Drinking olive oil can help increase the generation of pancreatic juices and bile (which, incidentally, provides poop its brown color). With oil, the risk of gallstones decreases and bile is important for the breakdown of fats so they can be absorbed into the intestinal wall.
Olive oil for colon health
The polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil act as antioxidants to rid the body of free radicals that could otherwise damage cells, or possibly even lead to cancer.
A study found that drinking olive oil inhibited colon cancer at various stages of the disease. So why not use it to fend off cancer to start with? This is not to say that you should skip those advocated colonoscopies after age 50, but go ahead and add olive oil to your daily regimen as a preventative measure.
Olive oil to manage blood sugar levels
A shot of olive oil can help balance blood sugar levels naturally.
Olive oil has the ability to maintain blood sugar levels low. In one study, blood sugar levels stayed lower on those who ate their meal together with olive oil, compared to a bunch of individuals eating a meal made out of corn oil. This makes sense since corn is a starch and has the ability to raise blood sugar levels much more than olives.
How to start your day with olive oil
With all this talk of the great benefits of olive oil, let us talk about how to take it. We know, of course, that it may be a bit difficult to start your day with an entire chance of olive oil on an empty stomach first thing in the afternoon. In fact, if petroleum is absorbed in large amounts, it may actually upset the stomach that is not used to it. Here are a few more ways to go about it.
First, start with a tablespoon and increase the amount over time. Another option is to mix olive oil in a blender with a cup of warm water and the juice of a lemon. It makes it much more palatable and the lemon juice can assist with the easier digestion of the oil.
Additionally, lemon juice has been linked to enhanced liver function. A healthy liver generates bile, which in turn is needed for the proper breakdown of fats (and oils) from the small intestine.