Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is the Healthiest Fat
If you're trying to maintain a healthy weight, this tip is worth its weight in oil! It's quite well known that extra virgin olive oil is healthy, but it may in fact be the healthiest fat of all. This is owing to its unique makeup and numerous benefits that help you to live a longer life and maintain your health.
Olive Oil Is High in Unsaturated Fat
While saturated fat isn't inherently bad for you, it does raise total cholesterol, and a diet high in saturated fats can raise your cholesterol past the healthy range. It's ideal to moderate the amount of saturated fats in your diet to reduce your risk of heart disease or stroke in the future.
Unsaturated fats, however, have been shown to lower cholesterol. While polyunsaturated fats are a healthy addition to your diet, monounsaturated fats are potentially the healthiest kinds of fat you can consume. They have the added benefit of raising HDL cholesterol (the good kind) which lowers your risk of illness as a result.
Extra virgin olive oil is very high in monounsaturated fats. This is part of the reason it's such a healthy oil and can play an active role in disease prevention and maintenance of general good health. Consuming olive oil every day helps to re-balance the ratio of good and bad cholesterol in your blood to keep it in a healthy range. In conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise, the effect is even greater.
Extra virgin olive oil also has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. This effect is derived from the particular fatty acid composition and natural antioxidants found in olive oil. It is believed to be as effective as ibuprofen, the popular pharmaceutical painkiller, but with a significantly lower risk of side effects.
Unlike ibuprofen, which can increase your risk of heartburn, ulcers, and even make a heart attack or stroke more likely, olive oil is gentle on the stomach and reduces the risk of cardiovascular events. It is for this reason that it is a great way to ease the inflammation and pain from conditions like arthritis.
Chronic inflammation is also implicated in conditions like heart disease and cancer. It is thought that constant, low-level inflammation damages blood vessels and hinders cellular functions, exacerbating your risk of developing these conditions. Extra virgin olive oil may be able to reduce this risk because of its anti-inflammatory effects.
Decreased Risk of Diseases
Olive oil has powerful health benefits owing to its fatty acid composition, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory effects, but it decreases the risk of various serious diseases in other ways too.
Studies have shown that olive oil consumption increases insulin sensitivity and lowers the risk of developing diabetes later in life. It also appears to support your metabolism positively and protect you from developing liver disease. Collectively, olive oil is a great way to reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, liver disease, and so many other diseases.
Benefits, Complexion and Eyesight
Although the main benefits of extra virgin olive oil are internal, you can also see it working externally since it actively improves the appearance of your skin, fights aging, and maintains healthy eyesight. Extra virgin olive oil contains large amounts of antioxidants that prevent damage to sensitive cells and help them to function more effectively.
Antioxidants in olive oil serve to prevent damage to your cells from highly reactive molecules called free radicals. These are a natural byproduct of your metabolism but can also be produced in excessive amounts due to consumption of heavily processed foods, too much UV exposure, or consumption of cigarettes and alcohol. Many fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants but some foods like olives are particularly rich in these beneficial molecules and offer greater benefits.
Extra virgin olive oil not only improves your health but also reduces the risk of several serious lifestyle diseases. You can gain all these benefits and more by increasing your consumption of this kind of fat and replacing the other fats you use with it.