Olive oil is pressed (now milled) from olives, the fruit of the olive tree. There are only two oils derived from fruit and NOT seeds or nuts. (and the other is Avocado).
The major problem for consumers is that extra virgin olive oil (only 10% of the world’s production) isn’t always what they think it is. The majority of olive oils (regardless of the “extra virgin” labels) can be extracted by using chemicals, steam heat, or even diluted with other cheaper oils (ie. soybean, canola, safflower etc.)
Read more about it here:
Extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) are extracted (usually milled) by using mechanical means and NO heat! This makes them very much higher in polyphenolic compounds (the antioxidants responsible for many health benefits). Unprocessed extra virgin olive oil contains modest amounts of Vitamin E and K with lots of free fatty acids.
- Oleocanthal (responsible for anti-inflammatory affects)
- Omega 6: 9/7%
- Omega 3: .76%
- Oleic acid alone, the most prominent fatty acid in EVOO, can reduce inflammatory markers such as C-Reactive Proteins.
- Saturated fat: 13 %
- Monounsaturated fat: 74% (in the form of oleic acids)
The ratio of unsaturated fats to monounsaturated fats is almost ideal from a nutritional perspective. Remember that today, with all these fad diets around, nutritionists are stressing that at least 33% of our caloric intake must come from “good fats”, and EVOO is the best of the best! These fats are very important for skin, hair growth, cognitive functions and hormone production.
In closing, let’s talk about putting on weight for a moment…… the real culprits here are sugar and carbohydrates, the same two food groups that are thought to increase the incidence of cardiovascular disease and increase inflammation throughout the body.
So….can extra virgin olive oil make you fat, of course, but it will also keep you young and healthy!