Olive oil for cooking has always been the cooking medium for people in the Mediterranean region. It has also been statistically proved that people of this region rarely fall sick and are extremely healthy otherwise. The primary reason for the same has been attributed to the use of olive oil for cooking.
Today people across the world are still not aware of all the ways and means by which people using olive oil as a cooking medium are benefitted. Some of the well-known health benefits include:
- Its ability to kill cancerous cells at the molecular level.
- Its positive role in the prevention of heart diseases by:
- Lowering LDL cholesterol,
- Preventing fatty-patch formation and
- Facilitating the elimination of harmful low density lipoproteins.
- It helps to keep the blood pressure under control by bringing about a reduction in both the systolic and diastolic pressures.
- It facilitates better control over blood sugar levels and also increases sensitivity of the body to insulin.
- It helps to combat obesity and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Prevention of osteoporosis by improving bone calcification and mineralisation and enabling calcium absorption.
This proves beyond doubt that it is the best cooking oil for health and contains many essential nutrients which are required by the body for its proper working. The important nutrients present in olive oil are:
- Good fats: These are also known as monounsaturated fats or MUFA which help to lower the presence of the bad cholesterol in the blood and also help to normalise instances of blood clotting. Reduction of this bad cholesterol prevents the clogging of the blood vessels thereby reducing instances of heart attacks.
- Antioxidants: The presence of phenolic compounds, vitamin E and carotenoids in olive cooking oils, all of which are powerful antioxidants, help in the reduced formation of free radicals thereby preventing them from causing long lasting effects.
- Essential fatty acids: This is generally used to refer to Omega 3 which is present in olive oil and along with MUFA helps to lower the blood pressure of a person. Since it is an extremely important requirement of the human body and cannot be produced within it, consumption of olive oil helps to fulfil this need.
- Oleocanthal: The presence of this chemical in naturally occurring olive oil delays the onset of several neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia etc.
Olive oil for cooking is preferred to the use of other vegetable cooking oils because it has a much higher content of bioactive compounds in comparison to other vegetable oils. It is a super food which has an array of recognised and unrecognised nutritional qualities. It is also convenient to use for almost all types of cooking processes used like deep frying or pan frying, boiling and of course roasting etc.
The use of olive oil for cooking benefits also helps to reduce cooking time and also adds a variety of flavours to the food being cooked. This addition ranges from the sweet to the caustic, from bitter to being slightly peppery and even fruity at times. This powerful flavour which it adds to the food being cooked is a definite measure of the quality of the olive oil used with oils of the best quality imparting the strongest flavours to the food and enhancing its taste.