Olive oil has been praised by many over the years as a superfood, the key to youthful skin in some cultures, but is it really as good as they say it is?, what are the good and bad points to olive oil and what are these keys points, should we add this to our diets? and if so how much?
So for everyone who loves this food, condiment, or whatever you like to label it, I have put down some key features, some FOOD FACTS to help you out .
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL;
Monounsaturated Fat: Olive Oil is low in saturated fat and is one of the best food sources for mono unsaturated fat, this can help keep cholesterol levels in check and if used correctly help with that extra tyre you carry around the middle.
Don’t cook with it: a short point to make is when you cook and i have seen many people do this, do not use your olive oil, when you cook with olive oil it actually damages the structure and make the fatty chains less stable, causing oxidation which kind of defeats the point of buying unprocessed , extra virgin olive oil in the first place.
Saturated fats are actually the best to cook with If you have to use fat or oil.
Refined oil remember Olive Oil is just pure fat and must be used wisely.
Calories: Olive oil is extremely calorie dense, seeing as it is pure fat adding just two tablespoons can increase your calories by 300 and your fat intake would also dramatically increase.
Now this level of fat increase is not good if you are eating a high meat diet and a lot of other fat sources, as I say before we don’t want to ever go above 15-20% total fat calories.
If you want to lose weight faster and cut your calories , you might want to consider monitoring how ,inch oil you add to your meals. ( yes even cooking oil counts as calories in).
If you are trying to gain weight I have seen many people add olive oil to their smoothies and workout shakes for the extra calories, this does work amazingly, but just remember you are adding refined pure fat, and too much of any fat be it mono, sat, poly is never good.
You might want to try adding it to your post workout shakes for a few months while gaining weight, but then fade it out gradually.
Raw foodists who want to bulk up faster can use this technique but please do not make it permanent , I stress too much fat will shorten your lifespan and make you sluggish.
Vitamin E: Olive Oil is a very important source of vitamin E, this is an antioxidant that can help reduce muscle tissue damage after a intense session, use post workout.
Bottle it up: Olive oil is your delicate friend and can become rancid when exposed to light and heat, so you want to buy it in dark bottles, if its in a clear bottle you will want to store it in a cool, shaded area.
Extra Virgin: No I don’t mean me up until the age of 25 haha, I mean extra Virgin Olive oil, they are called this because they are the least processed, now they not only taste nicer then their acidic siblings ( pure or virgin) but recent studies have shown that they have a extra higher level of polyphenol antioxidants that may actually starve off disease and improve your workout recovery.
Conclusion: at this current time I use Olive oil but in small quantities, one tablespoon in with a shake I make post workout, I use it on my salads in small amounts.
My tip is to test it on you, watch how you body reacts with it, but never go overboard with it, this is something to use on occasions and not a main food staple, remember this.
Stay fit and healthy
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