Olive oil is known to offer many benefits and one of them is weight loss. Although many studies have been conducted on the relationship between olive oil and weight loss but there are two schools of thought that present different opinions. While one states that olive oil does help with fat loss the other states that it does not. Whatever reality may be, one cannot ignore or overlook other tremendously important advantages it has to offer. Let us take a closer look at one of the world’s healthiest oils and see if it really helps with weight loss as well.
Things to consider when buying olive oil
Consider Dark Bottles
Olive oil can prematurely spoil due to exposure to light. When shopping for olive oil, look for the darker glass bottles and overlook the clear ones. This will help you separate the good from the bad ones. A quality manufacturer always makes sure that its packaging does not compromise the quality of its products.
Consider “Extra Virgin”
If you happen to like a bottle that does not explicitly mention “Extra Virgin” steer clear. It means that the oil has not been touched or refined. Typically, refining is only done to remove impurities when using lesser-quality oils. While this process helps remove impurities, it removes any flavor they may have had to begin with.
Look for certifications
A quality manufacturer will proudly display its olive oil certifications. If you cannot find any, skip the oil and look for other alternatives. Furthermore, look for “PDO” or “PGI” certifications as well, which means that the oil has been produced in a specific region using traditional production methods.
Don’t Buy in Bulk
Buying olive oil in bulk might be tempting but you cannot consume all of it within a few days, especially if you do not use it on a daily basis. Make sure that you finish whatever you are buying within 2 months because that is the maximum amount of time a bottle of olive oil is going to remain fresh.
Top Benefits of Olive Oil
Might Help With Weight Loss
Some studies have suggested that olive oil uses help reduce weight. For years, researchers have tried to find out the relation between olive oil and weight loss. They say that it might be due to the satiating power of the fatty acids that are found in olive oil. What this means is that even if you were to consume it in moderate amounts, you will experience a greater feeling of fullness.
This will prevent you from eating irregularly and adding weight. Furthermore, olive oil also contains calories but these are the healthier type of fat and an excellent alternative to butter or refined oils. In a country like Greece, where the consumption of olive oil is the highest has a tradition that includes people drinking half a cup of extra virgin olive oil with lime water to stay slim. However, then again it is yet to be proved and confirmed by researchers.
Source of Antioxidants and Healthy Fats
While regular olive oil is refined and stripped of the important nutrients, the natural extraction process used to produce Extra Virgin Olive Oil ensures that it contains all the necessary antioxidants and nutrients. In particular, olive oil happens to contain 30 various types of phenolic compounds, which are basically very powerful antioxidants. These compounds help protect the body against free radicals.
Furthermore, another major benefit of olive oil is its fat composition as well. It is healthy and contains monounsaturated fats, which is healthy for the heart. Studies have constantly linked the benefits of monounsaturated diets with reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. As a result, those who consume olive oil regularly have fewer blood pressure and cholesterol issues.
Helps Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease happens to be the number one cause of premature death around the world. Interestingly, people living in Mediterranean regions have comparatively low rates of deaths due to heart disease. While there may be several reasons, contributing to this factor but olive oil happens to be a major one. Studies conducted highlight that olive oil features powerful cardio-protective properties that help reduce blood pressure and prevents atherosclerosis. Another giant study conducted on 840,000 subjects found that those who consumed olive oil had a 9% less chance of experiencing heart issues and 11% less likely to die early as compared to those who consumed the least amount of olive oil.
May Protect Against Stroke
Stroke is responsible for the loss of thousands of lives each year across the globe. It is closely linked to heart disease and shares the same risk factors as well such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. A French study conducted found that those who consumed olive oil regularly had 41% less chance of a stroke.
Moreover, several other studies have found the same result as well. These findings hold value due to the fact that people who consume olive oil are likely to replace other less heart-healthy fats. Additionally, if people were to consume extra virgin oil, which contains powerful antioxidants and monounsaturated fat content, the results come out to be even better.
Helps Reduce Type 2 Diabetes
It is said that nearly one million people in Australia suffer from type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a result of the ineffectiveness of insulin, a hormone that is responsible for extracting sugar from the blood and transferring it to the cells for energy. In addition to that, it is said that the phenolic compounds found in Extra Virgin Oil helps with glucose metabolism and improves the effectiveness and sensitivity of insulin.
A large analysis found that the consumption of olive oil on a regular basis reduces the chances of type 2 diabetes by 13%. The results came out to be even more profound when combined with a Mediterranean style diet.
Might Help Improve Bone Health
Olive oils, especially those that are rich in polyphenols such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil might prevent bone loss due to aging as well. Studies conducted on both humans and animals suggest that olive oil can inhibit bone reabsorption and increase the formation of bones as well. This was confirmed by a study conducted on 870 participants. The researchers concluded that those who consumed the highest amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil had a 51% reduced risk of bone fractures.
Might Improve Brain Health
Another impressive benefit of olive oil is that it might help improve brain health and reduce the chances of Alzheimer’s disease in addition to dementia, which normally comes with age. The phenolic compounds found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil found help clear the compounds that cause brain degeneration. One study including an Extra Virgin Oil-Enhanced Mediterranean diet was compared to a standard low-fat diet and found that those consuming Extra Virgin Oil diet suffered comparatively less cognitive decline loss.
At the end of the day, whether olive helps or does not help with weight loss, it certainly helps the body protect against free radicals and other serious heart diseases such as stroke. This alone should motivate everyone to include it in their regular diets. And since the consumption of olive oil does not showcase any side-effects as well, we should use it for cooking, dressings, and finishing as much as we can.