When I was a little kid, I thought Cheetos were pretty amazing. I mean, how can anything with a Cheetah as a brand ambassador possibly be bad for you, I reasoned.
As I get a bit older, and I started to learn about junk food, I came to the sad realization that Cheetos were anything but good for me.
It was a tough time to say the least.
The older I’ve gotten, and the more I’ve learned about medicine and the body, the more I’ve grown to realize that many of the things I thought were good for me, aren’t. In many cases, I’m discovering that not only are many of the foods I used to eat not just good for me, they actually harm my body.
At some point, it begins to take an emotional toll.
I’m not joking when I say that the disappointment is real.
It’s real for many of my patients too. It’s not like delivering the news that my patients are allergic to dairy or gluten is a fun thing for me. It pains me to tell people that their favorite foods are harming them.
These emails aren’t a celebration of ending people’s reliances on certain food sources.
I’ve only ever wanted for people to live happy and healthier lives.
Fortunately, I know that what I’m sharing with you is capable of changing your life.
And, every time I share these facts with you, I rest a little easier knowing I’m helping people feel better.
That’s why I wanted to talk to you about olive oil.
What Secrets Does Olive Oil Have?
Olive oil is regarded as one of the healthiest fats to include in your diet.
The reason behind this is olive oil can help reduce inflammation.
Yes, inflammation is the bane of health in the civilized world. Anything you can do to reduce inflammation increases your health profile and will make you richer, more likely to become an astronaut, or even president. Ok, so I lied about the last 3.
Reducing inflammation is how you reduce the chances of succumbing to chronic health issues like cardiovascular disease or arthritis.
For olive oil, the fatty-acids it’s made of are what help to reduce inflammation. There’s evidence olive oil is helpful in reducing inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein.
And, researchers have noted the presence of a substance named oleocanthal is likely responsible for the reduction of inflammation in the body.
According to one study done by the American Chemical Society:
The mystery of exactly how consumption of extra virgin olive oil helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may lie in one component of olive oil that helps shuttle the abnormal AD proteins out of the brain, scientists are reporting in a new study. It appears in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience.
Amal Kaddoumi and colleagues note that AD affects about 30 million people worldwide, but the prevalence is lower in Mediterranean countries. Scientists once attributed it to the high concentration of healthful monounsaturated fats in olive oil — consumed in large amounts in the Mediterranean diet. Newer research suggested that the actual protective agent might be a substance called oleocanthal, which has effects that protect nerve cells from the kind of damage that occurs in AD. Kaddoumi’s team sought evidence on whether oleocanthal helps decrease the accumulation of beta-amyloid (Aβ) in the brain, believed to be the culprit in AD.
They describe tracking the effects of oleocanthal in the brains and cultured brain cells of laboratory mice used as stand-ins for humans in such research. In both instances, oleocanthal showed a consistent pattern in which it boosted production of two proteins and key enzymes believed to be critical in removing Aβ from the brain. “Extra-virgin olive oil-derived oleocanthal associated with the consumption of Mediterranean diet has the potential to reduce the risk of AD or related neurodegenerative dementias,” the report concludes.
Not only this, but olive oil is also helpful in a number of other ways.
Olive oil has also been shown to help with:
- Improving Cholesterol: One of the benefits of Olive oil is it has antioxidant properties. Because of this it can help to protect healthy LDL cholesterol from succumbing to oxidization which will help prevent heart disease.
- Protects Blood Vessels: Olive oil is known to promote endothelial function. It improves the lining of the blood vessels (endothelium) which allows for the improvement of blood flow and promotes cardiovascular health.
- Can Lower Blood Pressure: Another study done by the Archives of Internal Medicine noted the inclusion of olive oil in the diet reduced blood pressure and was influential in helping up to 48% of test subjects kick their blood pressure meds.
- Fights Cancer: Since olive oil is high in antioxidants, and antioxidants are shown to help reduce the chance of cancer, scientists have studied the ability of olive oil to fight cancer. They’ve found that at the molecular level, it really does work, and can help fight the onset of cancer.
Not to mention olive oil can be used as a moisturizer, to help treat dandruff, can help heal nail beds and cuticles, among numerous other uses.
What Aren’t They Telling You About Olive Oil?
Well, the big thing here is most of the olive oil you’re able to buy isn’t nearly as healthy as it seems.
Sometimes the oil is rancid before it’s bottled and sold.
Other times, it’s cut with another inferior oil. Meaning the 100% olive oil you bought is anything but.
Essentially, the industry is being sabotaged by fraud.
It’s so bad, a book has been written on the subject.
According to ABC News:
The evidence on olive oil has been piling up for several years. A 2011 study of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) by the Olive Center at the University of California at Davis found that 73 percent of the five best-selling imported brands failed to meet the standards of taste and smell established for that grade of olive oil set by European regulators.
In a 2012 taste test, Consumer Reports found that only 9 out of 23 extra virgin olive oils tested met the tasting panel’s standards. The two it rated “excellent” both came from the U.S.
That’s pretty shameful.
How do you know if the oil you’re getting is authentic?
At the end of the day, you want to make sure you’re getting pure olive oil, otherwise you miss out on all of the health benefits.
Let me dispel another myth about olive oil.
Cooking with olive oil does not make it less nutritious. The properties of monounsaturated fats in olive oil protect it from heat. I wouldn’t recommend cooking it above 400 degrees, but you can safely cook with it and not be worried you’ll lose its exciting health benefits.
And there you have it.
They’re (the olive oil producers) not telling you about what they’re not including in olive oil.
So do your due diligence, and get an olive oil that is worth your health.