The Mediterranean diet is trending high right now because of its health benefits, so it’s important to take a look at one of its foundational ingredients: olive oil.
Research and studies show that there are positive effects of olive oil, and its growing presence in the world of diet and nutrition can't be ignored. Its health benefits cannot be argued with, but it's important to choose the right olive oil to avoid certain roadblocks that can prevent us from utilizing the Mediterranean ingredient to the best of its ability.
Dimitri and Sophie Karabatsos, health coaches and the brother-and-sister team behind the Mediterranean product line 21Select, are looking to overcome those roadblocks, mainly by informing people that the answer to their health problems isn’t as simple as consuming more olive oil, but is about consuming more of the right kind of it.
"What people don’t realize is that only 22 percent of [olive oil] retailers actually go and source their product," the team told The Daily Meal, and that most pure olive oils are shipped to Italy or Spain, mixed with blended oils, and lose most of their nutritional qualities in the process.
For them to ensure a high-quality olive oil was easy — they simply tapped into their family heritage. Hailing from a unique town in the Southwest Peloponnese region of Greece, the Karabatsos family is in the business of olive oil production — and for more than 200 years, at that. Their goal is simple: to make the high-quality, pure olive oil that their family has been making for generations attainable to all consumers, so that everyone can reap the health benefits. Their intimate knowledge of olive oil production isn’t their only golden ticket, either, because one specific strain of olives known for having the most health properties, the Koroneiki olive, is indigenous to Pylos’ unique soil and climate.
With their extensive knowledge about producing olive oil and how to uphold its integrity, the Karabatsos have created their own line of olive oils that they call Pylos Pressed. The production of Plyos Pressed is monitored from start to finish, from picking the olives in their family’s native and fruitful region of Greece to bottling the oil in a unique Miron violet glass bottle from the Netherlands, ensuring a pure, unadulterated product. The Karabatsos are not only making strides to ensure their olive oil is produced under the highest of standards, but they also work with experts in the field at universities like UC Davis to study the quality and taste of their oils, ensuring the validity of their product and gaining more knowledge to educate their consumers on the benefits of olive oil.
With their Kickstarter campaign behind them and olive oil season drawing near (generally starting in November and lasting through January), the Karabatsos team is working to have Pylos Pressed available at stores everywhere, and most importantly near you. While heart health and good cholesterol are at the top of olive oil’s list of benefits, they were keen to share a handful of other benefits that come from consuming more olive oil. Everything from improving cognitive function to helping diabetics manage their blood sugar levels is obtainable with the consumption of more olive oil — you just have to make sure you’re picking the right one.