By Ella Ödman
Independent Micro-nutritionist and Nutri-therapist
Of course, there’s room for more than one healthy oil in the kitchen that brings different flavors, nutrients and health qualities. But there’s none that really beats ‘ZE’ OLIVE OIL. Well, first of all, it’s because it has so many health benefits.
• It benefits heart health. It lowers the bad cholesterol, increases the good, prevents inflammation and protects you from free radicals (all connected with cardiovascular disease).
• It also contains phyto-compounds including squalene, polyphenols tocopherols (related to vitamin E = anti-aging)
• Using about 2 tablespoons a day of this oil to replace a fat or oil high in saturated fat may reduce risk of heart disease.
How to incorporate it easily in your diet.
Make a super-easy homemade salad dressing in minutes. You’ll get a healthy oil and much lower sodium than bottled dressing. This can be as simple as just 3 or 4 parts olive oil to 1 part of some acidic ingredient. The acid is often red wine or balsamic vinegar (or any kind other than distilled white vinegar); or use lemon juice for Greek or Middle Eastern flavor.
When you sauté vegetables in olive oil, you make it easier to absorb to good vitamins and minerals. For vegetables with a stronger flavor, like many of the cruciferous vegetables, sautéing in olive oil mellows the flavor a bit, which may mean hesitant veggie eaters eat more. Extra virgin olive oil also makes a delicious “finishing oil” to drizzle lightly over cooked vegetables, fish, soup or cooked whole grains.
Dipping bread in olive oil provides a better form of fat than butter. What’s more, many people end up using a slightly smaller amount of oil, which means delicious flavor with fewer added calories than when spreading bread with butter.
Hummus, pesto, and of these ‘purée’s’ are amazing tasting with a quality olive oil
*Don’t over-think the smoke point: extra virgin olive oil’s “smoke point” is classified as medium-high. That’s higher than the smoke point of either butter or coconut oil….