In our last blog entry we mentioned a recent study indicating that olive oil could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. This week we learned two other benefits that regular consumption of EVOO may bring.
The first benefit has to do with one of the main components of olive oil, oleic acid. This is a monounsaturated fat that has been associated with decreased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and possibly increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. A study done by a group of scientists showed that feeding rats fats with high oleic acid content, such as olive oil, produced in their intestines the hormone Oleylethanolamide, which when administered as a drug provides a sensation of satiety.
It’s important to notice that although all olive oils contain oleic acid (in fact, “oleic” comes from the word olive), some olive varieties provide significantly higher amounts than others. This is worthwhile to know particularly in California where most olive oils are made out of the Arbequina variety, which has one of the lowest oleic acid counts (and polyphenol counts as well). While very nice, friendly, mild olive oils can be made with this cultivar, for nutritional reasons it’s wise to tap into other types such as Mission or Tuscan varieties, or produce olive oils where Arbequina makes up a small part of the blend.
The other beneficial aspect we just learned relates to cooking with olive oil. By reading Marino Uceda’s book “Manual de cata y maridaje” — which we recommend to any Spanish reader interested in olive oil — we got to know that when frying ingredients, olive oil penetrates food much less than other fats, providing for leaner meals. According to a study which took place in Spain at the Estacion de Olivicultura y Elaiotecnia, fat consumption when cooking with olive oil can be from 10% to 40% less than with other cooking fats.
These two studies bring to mind that idea which suggests to stay in good shape, instead of eating less, it’s more important to eat nutritious, real, tasty food.
On behalf of the Pacific Sun Olive Oil team,