IT'S THE O.G. OF COOKING OILS AND IS SYNONYMOUS WITH A HEALTHY DIET, BUT WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES OLIVE OIL SO GOOD FOR US?
Olive oil is one of the very few foods which all different diet and lifestyle templates actually agree on being good for us! From Keto and Carnivore to Vegetarian and Vegan, olive oil is a welcome addition to any diet, providing a multitude of nutrients and associated health benefits.
WHAT IS ALL THE HYPE ABOUT OLIVE OIL?
Olive oil is a store cupboard must-have and most people's go-to oil for cooking.
So what makes it stand out from the array of alternative oils on supermarket shelves?
Like avocado oil, olive oil is extracted from the fruit of olives - not the seed. Not only does this mean that it is naturally grain and seed oil free, but it also means that the oil can be extracted without heavy chemical processing.
It can quite literally be squeezed out, for an oil that is as close to nature as possible! That's also great news for anyone who would love to enjoy the benefits of olives but finds whole olives not to their taste! 🫒
IS OLIVE OIL PALEO AND KETO FRIENDLY?
Olive oil is a fat so is naturally sugar and carb-free. It is also packed with monounsaturated fats, making it ideal for Paleo, Keto, Low Carb or Real Food lifestyles.
Just be careful to check the ingredients list of products which are made with olive oil (and not just the macros) as many sauces, dressings and mayo contain added sugar, grains and seed oils.
WHICH NUTRIENTS ARE IN OLIVE OIL?
Olive oil is incredibly nutrient-dense, so it brings a multitude of nutrients to the table in a very small package. That makes it ideal for enjoying within sauces dressings and condiments - when just a spoonful is enough to enjoy olive oil's healthful nutrients.
Here are some of the health optimising nutrients you will find in plentiful amounts in olive oil:
- Monounsaturated fats - including Oleic Acid
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
5 HEALTH BENEFITS OF OLIVE OIL THAT ARE BACKED BY SCIENCE
It is unsurprising that olive oil can have many amazing health benefits when enjoyed often, given all of the wonderful nutrients it contains!
Mediterranean communities have praised olive oil for its healthful benefits for thousands of years, fast forward to the modern day and we have piles of evidence to support their faith in olives!
Here are 5 great health benefits of olive oil that are backed by science:
Olive Oil is Great for Cardiovascular Health ❤️
The unique fatty acid composition of olive oil - high in monounsaturated fats and low in polyunsaturated fats - means that it can help to balance cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure.
This combination of benefits is great for cardiovascular health and has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Olive Oil is Anti-Inflammatory 💪
Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many diseases including Alzheimer's disease and Type 2 Diabetes. Unlike veg and seed oils which promote inflammation in the body, olive oil has been shown to help reduce it.
The anti-inflammatory effect of olive oil is thanks to its high content of antioxidants and oleic acid, as well as polyphenols which help to reduce inflammation in the same effective way as ibuprofen does.
Olive Oil Could Help Brain Health & Mood 🧠
Studies have shown that people who consume olive oil are more likely to have a healthier brain than those who do not. A diet rich in olive oil can help to reduce the impact fo ageing on the brain, prevent cognitive decline and enhance memory.
There is also evidence which has shown the potential impact of olive oil on mood, with initial studies finding that the healthy fats found in olive oil can help to reduce the risk of depression.
Olive Oil is Amazing for Hair, Skin & Nails 💅
Just like coconut and avocado oil, olive oil is high in oleic acid and antioxidants. These help to keep hair and nails strong and healthy, whilst also having a hydrating and anti-aging impact on the skin.
Olive oil has been shown to help improve the health of skin, hair and nails both when applied topically and also from within when enjoyed as part of a health diet!
Olive Oil Could Help Tackle Chronic Disease 🤞
Finally, initial findings have shown that the polyphenols found abundantly in olive oil could help to reduce the risk of chronic disease such as Type 2 Diabetes and chronic neurodegenerative conditions.
The bioactive compounds are believed to slow down and reduce many markers of chronic ill-health, thanks to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.
REMEMBER, NOT ALL OLIVE OILS ARE CREATED EQUAL!
When browsing supermarket shelves or online retailers you may be puzzled by the huge variety and widely differing price tags attached to olive oil! That's because not all olive oil is created equal.
Many olive oils will be made using a blend of oils, with only a certain % coming from actual olives. This opens the doors to harmful veg and seed oils which are added to lower the production cost but are actually bad for our health!
As well as potentially containing a blend of oils and not just olive oil, cheaper olive oils may also be produced using chemical extraction. These production methods alter the fatty acid composition of the oil and can also introduce chemicals and solvents such as hexane to the product.
If you are keen to avoid these (we sure are!) then you should always be sure to check the ingredients on products which are made using olive oil too - such as dressings, sauces, pestos and mayonnaise - as well as the olive oil you use for cooking.
HUNTER & GATHER 100% OLIVE OIL DRESSING & MAYO
Our olives are sourced exclusively form the Córdoba region of southern Spain. Not only do they taste incredible but this also supports the Córdoba farming community, where locals have been expert olive farmers for generations.
We use a physical extraction method to make our light olive oil and we do not use any hexane chemical or solvents. It is also a great vessel to carry all the delicious flavours we squeeze into every jar and bottle, like real food herbs, spices and seasonings!
Adding a dollop or drizzle of our 100% Olive Oil Mayo & Dressings is surely the most delicious and health optimising way to reap all the amazing benefits of olive oil! We also have some great recipes which get creative with our 100% Olive Oil range, so that you can really make a meal out of them!
What's more, we even have our own Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil available.
All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.
It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.
We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.