By Kevin DiDonato MS, CES–Level 1 Certified Precision Nutrition and Certified Personal Trainer
Yes, olive oil is VERY, VERY good for you.
It contains a heaping amount of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that may keep all the cells in your body healthy and fit.
And, it also contains potent polyphenols and antioxidants that may reduce free radical damage, prevent cancer, and even may prevent heart disease.
But, there are certain things that consumers DON’T know – or understand – in regards to olive oil and health.
1. Olive Oil is High in Calories
For those of you looking to lose weight or are counting calories, be very careful with the amount of olive oil you add to a salad.
Although it is very good for you, ONE tablespoon contains roughly 120 calories.
And, if you’re watching your calories, then drizzling a good amount of olive on your salad may be a bad idea!
Although a lot of the calories come from those beneficial fats, it still can add excess calories and weight gain if you constantly overdo the olive oil.
2. Lite Olive Oil is NOT Really Lite
Those looking for lower calorie versions of products should know one thing: be sure to check the labels.
Just because a product says “lite,” “fat-free,” or “reduced fat,” doesn’t mean it’s better for you.
For example, the label “lite olive oil” may be very deceiving to the average person.
Why? Lite doesn’t mean it’s lite on CALORIES.
In fact, lite olive oil contains the same amount of fat and calories as the non-lite version.
The term “lite,” in this example, refers to the flavor and taste.
Some people don’t like the taste of olives (too strong and overpowering) and they may avoid it. So manufacturers found a way to make the taste and flavor of olive oil a bit milder.
Now, before you buy the lite version of olive oil, make sure you understand the label so you’re not fooled into thinking it’s lower in calories and fat.
3. Regular Olive Oil Is NOT the Best Kind of Oil
Understanding the difference between regular and extra-virgin olive oil will make a big difference in the quality of
You see, most people think all olive oil is the same and that the darker the oil, the better it is.
Unfortunately, this type of thinking is WRONG!
Regular olive oil is more processed and refined, meaning you may be losing out on powerful antioxidants and polyphenols that may keep you healthy and fit.
Extra-virgin olive oil would be the BEST type of oil to get because it’s packed with higher amounts of cancer-fighting and fat-fighting polyphenols and antioxidants.
Next time you’re out shopping, be sure to pick up a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil.
4. The Olive Oil You’re Using May Be FAKE
I know you’re probably skeptical, but there’s a good chance that the olive oil you’re using is fake.
An explosive report showed that most brands of olive oil use either 1) cheap olive oil that is not as healthy as pure, extra-virgin olive oil or 2) it’s cut with canola oil or some cheaper type of oil.
How can you tell?
Check out this article that explains how the experts determine if their olive oil is pure and the trick you can do at home to determine if you’re olive oil is the real deal. Read the article here.
5. Protects Your Heart
I know this may sound cliché (since we have spoken about this repeatedly), but olive oil may be the best oil for improving your heart health.
A landmark study published in the journal Circulation, shows that diets rich in olive oil may actually make your HDL cholesterol (the good kind) work more efficiently.
What did they find? The researchers found that the HDL cholesterol in the olive oil group was better able to extract LDL cholesterol that was already embedded in your wall.
The result: better improvement in your hear health!
Be an Informed Shopper
Although olive oil is EXTREMELY good for your health, there are certain things that you need to know when it comes to olive oil and your health and fat loss goals.
The more refined the oil, the less powerful polyphenols and antioxidants available in the oil.
And, although healthy, olive oil contains a heaping amount of calories, which could lead to excess caloric intake during the day.
This could easily add to your weight, therefore leaving you confused and frustrated.
So, if you’re looking for better health and fat loss, look for extra-virgin olive oil (for the healthy fats, antioxidants, and polyphenols), and use in moderation when cooking or topping your foods and salads.
Be sure to SHARE this message on your favorite social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.