Olive oil & Health

By consuming olive oil the benefits that we can gain are very important and as many researches has indicated the consumption of olive oil can lead to longer live expectancy.

The main type of fat found in all kinds of olive oil is monosaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). MUFAs are actually considered a healthy dietary fat. If your diet emphasizes unsaturated fats, such as MUFAs and polyusaturated fats (PUFAs), instead of saturated fats and trans fats, you may gain certain health benefits.

The consumption of olive oil may help lower your risk of heart disease by improving related risk factors. For instance, MUFAs may lower your total levels of ''bad'' cholesterol  and increase the levels of ''good'' cholesterol. MUFAs may also help normalize blood clotting. Some research also indicated that MUFAs may also benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, which can be especially helpful if you have diabetes.

 Choose MUFA-rich foods such as olive oil instead of other fatty foods — particularly butter and stick margarine — not in addition to them. And remember that you can not make unhealthy foods healthier simply by adding olive oil to them.

Many researchers remark the fact that parents should feed their young children a tablespoon of raw olive oil every day as it improves their digestive system and enrich their immune defence system.

Olive oil can be also used to produce cosmetics in order to moisturize the skin for face and body.

We should be aware though that heat, light and air can affect the taste of olive oil and possibly its health-promoting nutrients. As a result olive oil should be stored in a dark, room-temperature cupboard.

The fats and healthy phytonutrients in olive oil — as well as the taste — can slowly degrade over time, so it's probably best to use it within a year or within six months once opened.

It is better to consume raw olive oil than cooked because we can benefit more from all its useful ingredients.