Let’s talk oils. There are so many choices- what’s a cook to do?
When cooking with oils, there are really only 3 choices that hold up well to heat and are better for you from a health standpoint. When oils are heated it changes the structure of most of them causing the creation of free radicals. This is why fried food is so unhealthy- it’s the really hot temperature that causes the oil to be unstable and change the chemical makeup. Free radicals are not something your body can use in any form and it is harmful if your body can’t deal with it by detoxifying it out.
Our first star of the show is Olive Oil. This is no surprise to anyone unless you live on a remote island with no type of media. It has to be one of the most talked about food items this century probably thanks to Racheal Ray. Remember the show? EVOO? Olive Oil comes from- yes olives- and the quality of the olives is very important but maybe not as important as the processing of the oil. When shopping you want to look for Extra Virgin First Cold Pressed. Why is it so healthy? The main type of fat found in all kinds of olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).
Why is this so good for us? Here is why:
Reduce Heart Problems: Natural olive oil contains 70% monounsaturated fatty acid. As a result, it lowers cholesterol accumulation in the blood and reduces heart problems. It reduces the LDL, while at the same time increasing the HDL levels.
Blood Cholesterol: LDL cholesterol is the bad type of cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart attacks and pulmonary heart disease. Extra virgin olive oil, which is rich in almost 40 antioxidant chemicals, helps reduce the oxidation effects of LDL cholesterol.
Metabolism: Olive oil boosts the metabolism, the growth of good bone structure, and brain development in children. It is an excellent source of vitamin E, which is very beneficial for older people.
Anti-inflammatory and Antimicrobial Properties: The phenols present in olive oil have anti-inflammatory properties. The antimicrobial characteristics of the oil are a result of its strong aroma.
Aging Process: Rich in antioxidants, olive oil slows the natural aging process of the human body. Used in cosmetic products and natural herbal therapy, it does wonders for the skin, which gets a natural shine and glow from the enriching oil.
Prevention of Gall Stones: This oil is also effective in preventing gall stones.
Healthy Cell Walls: Olive oil contains polyphenol which helps in stronger cell walls. It also increases the elasticity of arterial walls, protecting against various heart conditions.
Digestion: Olive oil is known to aid in the digestive process. It is used as a medicinal oil to clean the digestive tract and to improve bowel movements.
Cancer: Olive oil is said to protect the human body against cancerous growth, especially bowel cancer. Medical research done at the prestigious Oxford University has shown positive signs that the acidic content of this oil can prevent the commencement of rectum and bowel cancer.
The list goes on and on!
Recently there has been a lot of talk about Olive Oil been impure in many cases. Here is how you know: