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Olive Oil for Better Eating and Healthy Cooking

August 9, 2014       Health & Healing
Olive Oil for a Good Life

An Essential Oil from a Fruit that Heals and
Keeps You Healthy

Olive oil is an amazing food extracted from the fruits of the olive trees ( Olea Europaea ) found mainly in the Mediterranean regions. Olive oil is used not only for cooking Med style cuisine and as a dressing ingredient for various European fresh foods, the fruity oil is also a main component of high quality cosmetic products and healing soaps, and a staple for medicinal treatments. It is also used to an option for traditional gas lamps when kerosene is unavailable in Spain and Med countries.  Whole olives are harvested and pressed like grapes to produce olive oil.

Greece has the highest olive oil consumption among countries in the world. Greeks imbibe the equivalent of 24 liters per-person-per-year, according to the North American Olive Oil Association.   Mostly from a diet of frying and using olive oil as a dressing or dip ingredient for vegetable, pasta, and meat dishes.  In 2010, more than 45% of global olive oil production came from Spain.

Have a Good Life, Cook with Olive Oil

Olive Oil is a staple ingredient for many culinary preparations and even used for medicinal purposes. Medical studies show that olive oil has health and medicinal benefits.  The fruit oil can be used to treat colon and breast cancer, is therapeutic for diabetes, prevents heart disease, protects the liver and pancreas from degeneration, prevents arthritis, reduces cholesterol, helps you lose weight, improves metabolism and digestion, slows aging and prevents cancer. 

The extra virgin olive oil variety contains the highest level of antioxidant polyphenols and oleic acid.  The US Food and Drug Administration recommends 2 tablespoons of olive oil every day to reduce the risk of heart disease and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Extra virgin olive oil, which is rich in almost 40 antioxidant chemicals, helps reduce the oxidation effects of LDL cholesterol, slowing the aging process.  Medical research at Oxford University shows that acidic content of olive oil can prevent the development of rectum and bowel cancer.  As for women, recent research studies reveal that olive oil may prevent breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

Olive oil also boosts the metabolism, the growth of good bone structure, and brain development in children. It is an excellent source of vitamin E, which helps old people enjoy their lives more by slowing the aging process.  The antimicrobial characteristics of the oil produce its strong fruity aroma.  Olive oil aids in the digestive process and is often used as a homeopathic cure to clean the digestive tract and to improve bowel movement and prevent ulcers and gallstones too. 

Oleocanthal is a type of natural phenolic compound found in extra-virgin olive oil that helps transport the abnormal Alzheimer's disease proteins out of the brain when the brain drains its waste fluid when we sleep.  Alzheimer's disease rates are lower in Mediterranean countries.  The scientific study was published in the journal Chemical Neuroscience.

Grades of Olive Oil

What does extra virgin olive oil mean?  Olive oil is graded according to the flavor, aroma, acidic value and color.  The International Olive Oil Council ( IOOC) has released the Trade Standard Applying to Olive Oils and Olive-Pomace Oils.  Here are the official descriptions for IOOC grade Olive Oil.

Virgin Olive Oil: Virgin olive oil is the oil that is prepared from purely mechanical and physical means. There is no alteration to the oil after processing. Edible virgin olive oil has a free acidity of not more than 2 grams per 100 grams. No food additives are permitted in the virgin olive oil.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is a type of edible virgin olive oil, which has a free acidity content of no more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams. No additives are permitted in this oil.

Ordinary Virgin Olive Oil: Ordinary virgin olive oil has a free acidity content of no more than 3.3 grams per 100 grams. This oil does not contain any additives.

Lampnate Virgin Olive Oil: This is virgin olive oil not fit for human consumption. It has a free acidity content of more than 3.3 grams per 100 grams. It is used for refining and technical purposes.

Refined Olive Oil: Refined olive oil is the refined form of virgin olive oil. It has a free acidity content of not more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams.

Olive Oil: This is a blend of refined olive oil and edible virgin olive oil. It has a fatty acid content of not more than 1 gram per 100 grams.


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