Is It Time to Give Up On Olive Oil?
Look, I’m not sorry...
Not sorry that I’ve been advocating a high fat diet for the past few years. I’m not sorry that I keep talking about “keto” this, and “triglycerides” that.
I’m not sorry that I try and get people to buy more oil than Jiffy Lube.
At the end of the day, I believe eating copious amounts of healthy fat is absolutely essential for great health.
And today, I’m going to focus on olive oil, an oil I’ve neglected to talk about recently.
Olive oil is one of the world’s most celebrated foods. It receives mention dozens of times in some of the world’s most sacred religious texts, and it’s a prized culinary possession across the world.
If anyone ever tells you it’s time to give up on olive oil you can ignore them. As far as I’m concerned, olive oil should be a staple in every single person’s life.
That being said, before you buy olive oil (we don’t carry one to sell you on the store by the way) be sure to check out my article talking about fake olive oil. If you’re purchasing olive oil to enhance your health, the last thing you want to do is sink good money on an olive oil that does nothing for you, right?
Olive oil is truly an amazing food. In this article I’m going to show you how a diet rich in this luxurious oil could help prevent a host of diseases.
Ignoring These Health Benefits Of Olive Oil
Could Be A Huge Mistake
I don’t think I’m exaggerating in the least when I say ignoring these health benefits of olive oil could negatively impact your health.
I personally believe the reason the bible mentions olive oil as much as it does alludes to the significant position olive oil should have in the health food pantheon.
If you’re a ketogenic dieter (and even if you’re not) adding a few tablespoons of olive oil to your diet could produce observable improvements in your health.
1 - Olive Oil Can Save Your Brain:
The health benefits of olive oil the majority of people are familiar with are heart-health benefits. What those same people don’t realize is that when olive oil bolsters the cardiovascular system it creates a ripple effect that positively affects the health of your brain.
Not only cognition, but blood flow.
For instance, the Journal Lipids Health and Disease conducted a massive review on data surrounding 841,000 people. Their takeaway from that meta-study was that there’s little doubt that olive oil is the only source of monounsaturated fat that could reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
When olive oil makes your heart healthier it allows more blood and more oxygen to make it to the brain which ultimately can save your brain from age-related damage.
A similar review of a smaller sample set (140,000 people) came to a similar conclusion. Researchers published their findings in the British Journal of Nutrition and concluded, people who consumed olive oil had a much lower risk of stroke than those who skipped out on eating olive oil.
But saving the brain isn’t all olive oil will do. There’s also research proving it can also help to enhance the function of your brain, making you feel and act smarter while improving memory, too.
In 2017, scientists at Temple University showed olive oil helps to preserve parts of the brain that die with Alzheimer’s. A summary of their research read “the consumption of extra-virgin olive oil protects memory and learning ability and reduces the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain -- classic markers of Alzheimer's disease.”
Not to mention, olive oil researchers have shown olive oil helps fight chronic inflammation that makes your brain feel foggy and slow as well as dissolving amyloid plaques that gum up your brain and cause brain cell death.
If you love your brain, and want it to keep working well throughout your entire life, eating olive oil is one of the best things you could ever do.
2 - Olive Oil Can Help Fight Type 2 Diabetes
A key reason to consider eating a ketogenic diet is the research indicating being in ketosis helps with blood sugar regulation.
Now here’s the thing, even if you’re not in ketosis all the time, and even if you don’t eat a largely ketogenic diet, it doesn’t mean olive oil can’t help improve your blood sugar.
Numerous studies support the claim that olive oil could help fight type 2 diabetes.
In one study, researchers discovered that when people eat a diet called the Mediterranean diet (not a ketogenic diet) with a focus on olive oil consumption, it reduced the risk people would develop type 2 diabetes by 40%! That’s right, just eating a diet full of healthy foods and consuming plenty of olive oil produced a dramatic reduction in the risk of developing a disease that 1 in 10 Americans have.
A second study published by the journal Diabetes Care found olive oil in conjunction with a Mediterranean diet was a great instrument for controlling blood sugar issues associated with type 2 diabetes. In fact, their research led them to conclude the two combined could help reduce type 2 diabetes incidences by 52%.
That’s a staggering finding.
What causes olive oil to help adjust type 2 diabetes risk is how olive oil makes people more insulin sensitive. When a person is more insulin sensitive it means they respond better to the blood-controlling hormone insulin and need less of it to regulate blood sugar levels. The more sensitive you are to insulin, the less blood sugar is released into the bloodstream for energetic purposes.
3 - Olive Oil Delivers A Bounty Of Antioxidants:
Antioxidants are one of nature’s most effective compounds for protecting against the dangers of free-radical damage.
Thousands of research papers show antioxidant activity can prevent cancer growth, prolong life, protect eyesight, reduce joint pain and so much more.
Olive oil delivers intense doses of some of the world’s best performing antioxidants.
Olive oil gives you vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), along with carotenoids, phenolic compounds (simple phenols such as hydroxytyrosol and complex phenols such as oleuropein).
Important to note here is the kind and amount of antioxidant power varies from oil to oil as no two olive oils are the same (owing to geography, rainfall, etc). However, there’s enough research to let us safely conclude that as long as you’re ingesting a high-quality olive oil you’re going to be giving your body essential antioxidant support.
Further Notes On Olive Oil Benefits
Olive oil consumption doesn’t just help with brain, heart, and blood sugar health.
There’s research showing it can help to relieve joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis… help with achieving weight loss...and more.
You’d be making a mistake not to include olive oil in your diet.
As to where to get the best, well, that’s a question you can answer based on research.
This list from a few years ago should help make shopping for Olive Oil easy (it’s a purity assessment list). As best I can tell, this is one of the most comprehensive lists for rating some of the best and purest olive oils sold in the US.