Even though it is a fat, olive oil is an essential part of a healthy diet. The top-rated diet for heart health and longevity, the Mediterranean diet, features olive oil as a main source of fat. The secret to olive oil’s healthy benefits are the substances it contains, including fat molecules and nutrients.
The majority of the fat in olive oil is oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid. This healthy fat can have a variety of proven benefits.
Saturated Fats in a Supporting Role
Olive oil contains a small amount of saturated fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Studies show these fats may also have health benefits, such as:
Olive oil also contains small amounts of Vitamin E, an antioxidant, and Vitamin K. These nutrients can also help with healthy cholesterol levels and inflammation response throughout your body. Inflammation in the body is increasingly being linked to a higher risk of serious diseases. Healthy inflammation response can also support healthy joints and digestive system, though more research is needed in these areas.
Extra virgin olive oil is the only type that contains all of the nutrients and healthy fatty acids listed above. Choose a high-quality oil that is freshly harvested; the more recently, the better, as olive oil can go rancid. You may want to choose U.S. olive oils to ensure freshness.
Though it has many health benefits, olive oil is still high in calories and can cause weight gain when used too much. It’s good, though, to use it in place of butter, margarine or other oils to reap the great benefits of its monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.
Enzyme products, such as Enzymedica’s Lypo Gold™, can help support healthy digestion of all fats, saturated and unsaturated alike. This supplement provides additional digestive support, so you can enjoy foods you love.
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