Every day we make a plethora of decisions. And when the new year rolls around, we aim to make most of those decisions the healthiest ones we can. We choose water over soda, we pick a salad before fries and maybe even choose fruit over a sweet treat. One choice Dr. Aris Kefalogiannis, the C.E.O of Gaea, feels we should always make is one that may not cross our minds much: opting for olive oil over butter or regular oil. And why is that?
“It has monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, vitamin K, antioxidants such as phenols, oleocanthal and squalene, chlorophyll, and omega 3,” he says, which are all vitamins that improve the health quality our daily lives.
It is completely fair to overlook this swap as a “health” option. For one, not all oil is created equally.
“Some olive oil is further refined after the first pressing,” explains Dr. Kefalogiannis. “These oils can no longer bear the title extra 'virgin,' which is the highest quality olive oil and have less health benefits than the extra virgin olive oils. These three oils can be found in the market under the descriptions of light, refined, pomace and pure or simply olive oil. These should be avoided; instead the consumer should always choose extra Virgin olive oil, the result of the first pressing of fresh olives.”
And for two? Olive oil is high in fat, but that shouldn’t stop you from making the swap.
“Whereas studies have shown that high fat diets may increase the risk of certain diseases such as cancer and diabetes, it appears that it is the type of fat that counts rather than the amount of fat,” he clarifies. “We now know that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants such as the ones found in olive oil actually protect the body from many of these chronic diseases.”
“Good fat” is just one of the health reason you should consider choosing olive oil. Dr. Kefalogiannis explains that this ingredient also can aid in lowering cholesterol, help with digestion and even help your bone health.
To learn more about Dr. Kefalogiannis’ reasons why olive oil should be a part of your health regmin, click through the slideshow!