Healthier eating leads to greater change and an effective starting point is the oil that we cook with. Olive oil, the natural oil extracted from olives, is internationally considered one of the healthiest cooking oil options. Its benefits are many.
>> Olive oil can help lower cholesterol
Olive oil is naturally cholesterol-free and contains no salt. It is also rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (77 per cent), in particular oleic acid which health studies indicate can help maintain normal cholesterol levels and thereby reduce the risk of developing diseases related to high cholesterol.
>> Good source of antioxidants
Antioxidants work by slowing or even preventing the harmful activity of “free radicals” in our bodies, and olive oil is a great source of several. One tablespoon of olive oil provides 8 per cent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for Vitamin E, which is linked to lessening the ageing process of cells. Likewise, olive oil contains polyphenol, another natural antioxidant not found in any other oil, that has properties that protect against cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
>> Olive oil can guard against cardiovascular disease
Olive oil has a higher amount of monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) than other vegetable oils. MUFAs are considered healthy plant-based fat, also found in nuts, avocados, and dark chocolate. Because of olive oil’s increased levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, they help maintain normal cholesterol levels when replacing saturated fats in the diet. This helpful ingredient can also help strengthen blood vessels, protect against Alzheimer's, lower risk of heart disease and provide nutrients to the cells.
4. Olive oil consumption can lower the risk of diabetes
Diabetes has become a large health issue in Thailand, with more than four million cases in 2015. But olive oil’s abundance of antioxidants helps reduce oxidative stress effects that diabetics suffer due to high levels of blood sugar. It therefore reduces the risk of diabetes complications, as well as nerve damage caused by diabetes (diabetic neuropathy) and retinal neuropathy. And Oleocanthal, a type of natural phenolic compound found in extra-virgin olive oil, acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.
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