Drinking Olive Oil...Is It Healthy For You?
A handful of individuals believe oils are unhealthy and fattening, and oil is for cooking not drinking, right? Not quite correct. Olive Oil is among the healthiest oils, and drinking it may actually help improve your health and waistline.
How Is Drinking Olive Oil Healthy?
A variety of health-conscious people avoid fried foods and oil-laden dishes. For years, health advocates believed oil is the enemy and causes obesity and chronic health conditions like heart disease.
The facts are that you should limit most oils and fats in your diet; however, because Olive Oil is a healthy fat, drinking it in moderation may improve your health as well.
Essential Healthy Components of Olive Oil
Olive Oil contains monounsaturated fats (MUFAS), which may help lower cholesterol and aid in reducing the risk of heart disease. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports consuming approximately two tablespoons, or 23 grams, of Olive Oil daily is the minimum amount needed to help reduce your serum total- and LDL-cholesterol.
To get even more health benefits, you can substitute Olive Oil for saturated fats in your diet. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is also the least processed, which makes it the best choice when deciding on an Olive Oil. In addition, Extra Virgin Olive Oil also contains high levels of polyphenols, a potent antioxidant that encourages heart health.
According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Olive Oilpolyphenols reduce LDL plasma concentrations and may decrease cardiovascular risk.
Olive Oil For Digestive Disorders
Castor oil is a well-known health remedy for constipation, used to lubricate the intestinal tract and help promote elimination.
In the same way, Olive Oilis useful for relieving occasional constipation. Additionally, it is often gentler than stool softeners and medications from over-the-counter, which can cause cramping and with continued use, may be habit-forming.
Olive Oil for Weight Loss
Moreover, Olive Oil may help promote weight loss because it makes you feel fuller, but scientific research is unclear. Olive Oil is part of the MUFA diet, also known as the Flat Belly Diet, which claims to help you lose 15 pounds mainly of belly fat in 30 days.
While drinking a small amount of Olive Oil daily can be part of a healthy diet, it's essential to keep track of how much you are actually consuming. Healthy or not, Olive Oil is high in calories and fat, coming in at 119 calories and 14 grams of fat per tablespoon.
If you drink Olive Oil and cook with it, the calories add up and you may inadvertently sabotage your weight loss goals.
Olive Oil Dosage
Drugs.com reports olive oil has been used safely in quantities up to 2.7 tablespoons. It's not advised that pregnant or lactating women use in amounts more than what's typically found in foods.WebMD suggest the following daily olive oil dosages:
- For constipation: 30 mL (about 2 tablespoons)
- For high blood pressure: 30 to 40 grams (2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons) as part of your diet. In other words, if you drink that much olive oil daily, don't add more to your foods.
- For high cholesterol: 23 grams (a little less than 2 tablespoons) in place of other fats in your diet.
- For preventing heart disease and heart attacks: 54 grams (about 4 tablespoons). To avoid weight gain with this amount, make sure other foods you eat are healthy and lower in calories and fats. The risk of side effects may increase when higher doses are consumed.
If you can’t tolerate the taste of olive oil on its own, you can add it to your morning coffee or juice or to a smoothie.
Olive Oil Side Effects and Interactions
According to WebMD, an average of about two tablespoons a day of Olive Oil is "likely safe." Up to a liter per week of olive oil as part of a Mediterranean diet has also been used safely. Pregnant and lactating women should try to avoid consuming Olive Oil in amounts higher than those found in food.
Side effects may include:
- Low blood sugar in diabetics
- Allergic reaction
Olive Oil may interact with anti-diabetes and antihypertensive drugs.
Drink Olive Oil In Moderation
Drinking a tablespoon or two of olive oil daily as part of a healthy diet may reduce your risk of heart disease and help you lose weight. However, to avoid consuming too many calories, it's best to replace other dietary fats with olive oil and not add olive oil to a diet already high in fats.
Before beginning a daily olive oil regimen or using it to treat any medical condition, our olive oil experts suggest that you speak to your doctor to see if it's a healthy choice for you.
- Alexis Barros