There are many reasons to love olive oil; it is delicious, versatile in the kitchen, readily available, and fairly affordable. Olive oil is a great option whether you are cooking or dressing a salad. It can even be beneficial topically. And while we’ve been fans of olive oil for sometime––it is certainly included on The Kaufmann One and Kaufmann Two Diets––it is good to take inventory of the benefits science says olive oil has to offer.
Olive Oil Is Good For Multiple Facets of Heart Health
It is well-known that olive oil is a heart-healthy food. In fact, olive oil may be among the most beneficial oils for heart health, right up there with omega 3 fatty acids. Two tablespoons of high quality, extra virgin olive oil per day is the minimum amount that is thought to confer benefits.
Olive oil is known to lower total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, while boosting HDL (good) cholesterol, which is the type thought to be cardio-protective. HDL is thought to help prevent the arterial plaques that causes heart disease from accumulating. Olive oil high in polyphenols (i.e., extra-virgin), is thought to assist in this function.
Blood Pressure & Arterial Function
Olive oil is thought to stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which helps keep arteries wide open and flexible. Nitric oxide supports healthy endothelium, which is the lining of the arteries. Along with exercise, olive oil is thought to support the production of nitric oxide and thus healthy endothelium. One of the downstream effects of olive oil’s arterial support is the management of high blood pressure. Olive oil is thought to support healthy blood pressure by keeping arteries open and blood flowing freely.
Prevents Heart Attacks And Strokes
The sum of olive oil’s cardio-protective qualities is that including olive oil regularly in your diet might assist in preventing heart attacks and strokes. Given that heart disease is the number one killer of Americans and people in other developed countries, it seems prudent to encourage something as simple as including a couple tablespoons of healthy olive oil daily into your routine, especially in lieu of other, less healthy fats.
Olive Oil Might Help Prevent Cancer
Some of the plant nutrients inherent in olives and olive oil, along with the oleic acids, might be protective against cancer. This is important to note for those of us on The Kaufmann Diet; while meats and eggs are included and encouraged on the diet, it is important to include a wide array of plant-foods in the diet. While meats are rich in protein and certain nutrients, plants are much richer in a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, many of which confer anti-cancer benefits. Olive oil is among these plant-based foods that are encouraged on The Kaufmann Diet.
Including Olive Oil On The Kaufmann Diet
Olive oil should be one of your go-to oils on the Kaufmann Diet. Particularly in its raw form, olive oil can be great for dressing salads, use in dips and sauces (check out our recipe books), and in marinades. You can certainly cook with olive oil, too; caution should be used against using olive oil in high-temperature situations like grilling, however. This is because olive oil’s smoke point is generally lower than that of avocado oil and other oils. When oils begin to smoke, they can break down into less-healthy compounds, some which might even be carcinogenic.
Look for organic, extra-virgin and cold-pressed varieties. These will be richest in polyphenols and other plant compounds that confer the benefits of olive oil. Hopefully these items will help you to love olive oil more!
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