A Drop of Olive Oil
by Jonathon Hardcastle
One of the most well-known vegetable oils, which is obtained from the fruit of the olive tree that is traditionally found in the Mediterranean Basin, has been used since ancient years in cooking, cosmetics, soaps, or even as a fuel of traditional oil lamps.
Described as the "Mediterranean Miracle" has been regarded one of the most healthful dietary oils due to its high content of monounsaturated fat-mainly Oleic acid-and polyphenols. According to numerous studies has tremendous positive health outcomes when daily included as part of a diet plan. In fact, the life expectancy rates of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea have been found to be greater in comparison to other countries that do not use olive oil as part of their daily diet plan.
Moreover, olive oil's ingredients, act as excellent prevention mechanisms for several life-threatening diseases, as the lower death rates from heart disease and certain cancers illustrate. Interestingly, this is particularly true of the native Greeks from the island of Crete. As a Cretan I can attest that the reputation of native Cretans drinking pure olive oil as a health improving practice is true; although in fact a very small amount is consumed. But apart from Cretans, as the Mediterranean diet has gained immense popularity, people deciding to incorporate olive oil into their daily diet plans have already begun to experience its beneficial results.
Since the fat that is included in the olive oil is in the form of monounsaturated fat, one of the major advantages of this fact is that olive oil can lower blood cholesterol, without reducing the health giving properties of HDL, or what is known as the good-type of cholesterol.
According to a recent study conducted in the Netherlands, researchers concluded that a high-fat olive oil diet was far superior to an ordinary low-fat diet in controlling levels of cholesterol, as their study findings portrayed; the cholesterol levels of the group studied while consuming olive oil was reduced by twenty points, whereas the control group that followed a low-fat diet plan saw an average reduction of seventeen points in cholesterol levels.
In addition, widespread studies have shown that consumption of olive oil can lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Tests have illustrated that, as little as three fluid ounces of olive oil a day can significantly lower blood pressure. In fact, olive oil can even lower the blood pressure of those people eating a high-fat diet - high fat being defined as forty percent of calories coming from fat.
Finally, additional testing has concluded that olive oil can markedly lower blood glucose levels. This is especially crucial for those fighting diabetes, since they are advised to switch from a high carbohydrate and low-fat diet to a high-fat - around fifty percent of calories coming from fat-with most of that fat consumed coming from olive oil. This type of diet has very positive results for diabetics, as they can lower their blood sugar levels to such a degree that they require less insulin intake.
Finally, one should know that olive oil has antioxidant characteristics that help inhibit the process that produces LDL (the bad-type of cholesterol); this actually explains why olive oil is considered a good heart attack prevention ingredient. Furthermore, olive oil's antioxidant capabilities can also inhibit the development of certain types of cancers among many other heath problems.
Many support that it can even slow down the aging process. For these and many more reasons your doctor will be able to describe, the benefits of incorporating olive oil into your daily diet cannot be overstated.
About the Author