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Always Season With Olive Oil

Its daily consumption allows you to gain health, beauty, and longevity; its antioxidant and protective properties help you reduce the concentration of fats in the blood and fight aging. All nutrition experts in the world recognize the Mediterranean Diet as having an excellent role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and more. For many nutritionists, the use of olive oil as the primary source of fat is one of the strengths of this type of diet.

The guidelines for a healthy and correct diet of the SINU (Italian Society of Human Nutrition) indicate, with the new LARN 2014 (Reference Intake Levels of Nutrients), that lipids should provide, on average, 25% of the energy we introduce every day, of which at least half should come from monounsaturated fats. For this reason, we should use non-hydrogenated vegetable oils above all, limiting the use of margarine and (saturated) animal fats, such as butter and lard, to 10% of the total calories introduced with lipids.

In practice, for a 2,000 Kcal daily diet, you should consume on average 500 kcal coming from lipids, of which 200 come from meat and 300 come from vegetables and fish. Therefore, be careful to respect the balance of your diet, the variety and weekly periodicity of foods, and the fats we use for cooking and on the table for seasoning.

Nutritional Characteristics

Olive oil is the only fatty food that comes from fruit; this gives it particular healthy and gastronomic properties. It mainly contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which promote blood fluidity and help reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad one), therefore reducing the risk of diseases such as stroke and heart attack.

Furthermore, olive oil contains large quantities of vitamin E and compounds called polyphenols, which help fight the damage of oxidative stress in the human body due to free radicals that cause premature aging of our cells and diseases such as diabetes and tumors. The nutrients and protective substances present in olive oil perform many vital functions in our body, including:

  • Good digestibility, both raw and cooked.
  • It reduces the secretion of gastric juices, improving the symptoms of some diseases such as gastritis, ulcers, and gastroesophageal reflux.
  • Stimulates the secretion of pancreatic juice, promoting protein digestion.
  • Acts as a hepatoprotector.
  • Promotes the absorption of calcium and the growth of long bones.
  • It is a source of vitamins and intervenes in the assimilation of vitamins contained in other foods.
  • Promotes intestinal regularization.

Correct Consumption

How do we use olive oil correctly to obtain the maximum benefit for our well-being?

  • To get the maximum benefit from its nutrients, it is advisable to consume it raw as a condiment on all preparations. It can also be used for cooking and frying because it has good resistance to high temperatures. In any case, as with all fats in cooking, it is best to use as little as possible with well-known precautions such as the use of non-stick pans, baking paper, etc.
  • Fats, in general, including olive oil, should be used in moderate quantities, especially if you need to lose weight or keep your weight under control. Oil provides more calories (Kcal) than butter, as the latter, in addition to fats, also contains water, sugar (lactose), and proteins. In contrast, oil is made up exclusively of lipids and provides 8.80 Kcal per gram compared to 7.17 of butter. To accurately measure the daily quantity of oil, you should always use the spoon before adding it to the dishes instead of pouring it directly from the bottle; an average-sized cooking spoon contains approximately 10 grams of olive oil, a teaspoon of 5 g. Those who have difficulty moderating their oil consumption because they like to consume well-seasoned and tasty dishes, could use less oil and flavor more with vinegar (including balsamic), lemon, or spices such as pepper, saffron, turmeric, and aromatic herbs such as oregano, parsley, basil, etc. On the contrary, people who have problems with loss of appetite and are underweight should add a lot of olive oil to their dishes. In fact, oil allows you to increase the caloric value of foods without increasing their volume or satiating power. Furthermore, by lubricating the bites, the oil makes foods softer and more accessible to swallow, which is very useful, especially for older people who have problems chewing and swallowing.
  • Olive oil is a food that should not be missing at any stage of life. Mothers should introduce it from the very early stages of weaning, i.e., already around six months, remembering that extra virgin olive oil is an indispensable food in children’s nutrition because it promotes growth, contributing to the formation of the skeleton and the nervous and immune systems, hindering infections.


Olive oil is generally found in packages of various sizes, in liter bottles, or larger quantities in cans. The container in which you buy it does not always favor perfect preservation or prevent it from becoming inedible due to air, light, heat, and time, which can make it go rancid, so be careful:

  • If purchased in a can, the oil should be decanted into glass containers as soon as possible; if it is already in a bottle, prefer those made of dark glass; if it is not, it must be stored in a dark place.
  • The bottles must be filled to the brim and sealed with a cap that prevents air from coming into contact with the oil.
  • If you bring it to the table in the bottle, try to finish the oil and do not tuck it in, but fill it again once it is empty.

Extra virgin olive oil, thanks to its lower acidity (by law in Europe, it cannot be defined as such if the acidity exceeds 0.8%), goes rancid less quickly than other oils and remains intact for longer, despite this. The same conservation methods must be observed, remembering to keep it in a cool place.

Also Read: Is Olive Oil Perfect For You?

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