Especially once you consider that it tastes amazing and as much of a treat as many of your favorite foods. So, what's the story?
The Ratio of Essential Fatty Acids is perfect
We've all heard about omegas-3 & 6 and just how essential they are for good health. Just so we're really clear I'm going to list the benefits below.
Omega-3 is crucial for:
lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol
brain function - all from memory to clarity and on top of that there is so much work being done on
the effect regular intake has on dementia that I'll come back to that in another post
avoiding inflammation within the body which, as you probably know, is regarded as the root cause of many diseases such as arthritis and some cancers. It also affects how we age
Stimulates skin and hair development
maintains bone health
maintains the reproductive system
But that's not all you need to understand. The major takeaway is this - while omega-3 and 6 are both essential, it's crucial that people eat them in the ideal ratio because omega 3 is great for managing inflammation in the body, a lot of omega-6 can cause inflammation.
Many experts agree that the ideal ratio is about 1 part omega-3 to 10 parts omega-6 and this, is exactly the ratio offered by extra virgin olive oil. Many foods in the Western diet offer ratios between 20 and 50 into 1. In sunflower oil it's 40 to 1.
The antioxidant connection
Olive oil is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce the negative effects of free radicals, which contribute to the development of inflammation and disease within the body.
Free radicals are found everywhere our bodies produce them once we convert food into energy, they are in the air we breathe, the pesticides added to so many things we consume are packed with them and then some are generated by the sun's action on the skin and eyes. So, long story short, we are exposed to A LOT of free radicals.
Early harvest olive oils - an extra boost in the fight against free radicals
So-called"early harvest" olive oils, which all of Sarah & Olive's oils are, have higher levels of polyphenols than other olive oils, even extra virgin olive oils. Polyphenols are a group of over 500 phytochemicals, which are naturally occurring micronutrients in plants.
As with other antioxidants, polyphenols help prevent cellular damage from free-radicals. Harvesting early means that the olives are greener and so give the oil an even larger antioxidant increase and this is what enhances our risk of many chronic diseases.
Can it make me fat?
The brief answer is no. Various studies have shown that regular consumption of olive oil does not lead to weight gain or obesity. As a very nutrient-rich food, olive oil helps the body to feel sated thereby lessening our requirement to indulge in unhealthy snacks.
Raw or cooked?
While it's a myth that you can't cook with extra virgin olive oil, given the calibre of our oils that I don't think you need to cook with such high grade olive oils especially given the price and the fact that a lot of the amazing flavor is lost in the cooking procedure. What I do suggest is using our range of oils to finish dishes.
So, say you roast some veg or fish, use a regular olive oil for the cooking then drizzle with a few of our beauties before functioning. That way you'll get all the goodness and flavor without breaking the bank.
Many of you have asked about me sourcing a good quality oil for cooking and I talked to our supplier about this when I visited them last week (I will tell you all about it in my next post). I've sourced an amazing oil that's great value for month and perfect for cooking and we are going to be getting some 5L containers soon. I will keep you posted about this on social.
In the meantime, I hope this article serves to make clear just why good quality extra virgin olive oil has to be part of any healthy diet. They're not all the same and it really is worth investing in a great one (or two).