The subject of fat in olive oil is widely discussed in the medical community. Extra virgin olive oil has long been recognized as a healthy food. One important reason is because the fat in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acid, or MUFAs. MUFAs are considered to be a healthy fat in our diet. MUFAs reduce total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDLs), the so-called bad cholesterol. The other primary health benefit of olive oil is the presence of polyphenols, which are proven antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce inflammation in our bodies, which is a cause of cell damage and cardiovascular disease.
The health benefits of polyphenols have been widely researched, and there appears to be little downside to their consumption. Fats, on the other hand, are more controversial and present both pros and cons. Dietary fats are a complex subject. Their consumption is a matter of personal choice. Besides health concerns, taste and culture are factors in the consumption of fats. Fat comes and goes as a component of trends and fads in diets. Keto and low-carb diets all incorporate high fat content, while diets like Pritikin will reduce the amount of fat consumption. In this article we’ll outline some of the facts about fat in olive oil and “good fats” like MUFAs.
First of all, we need fat in our diet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults get 20-35% of our calories from fat. Of course, many of us have a much higher percentage of fat in our diet, for the simple reason that fat tastes good. Second, all fats have roughly the same calorie content, about 9 calories per gram. If weight loss is your primary goal, you need to consider all the facts that pertain to your fat consumption. The difference in fat consumption as it relates to our health, particularly our cardiovascular health, is in the type of fat. Saturated fats, like animal fats, can drive up total cholesterol and LDLs, which can cause blockage in our arteries. There is a large body of evidence that replacing saturated fat with monounsaturated fat, the fat in olive oil, may reduce risk of heart disease. The now-famous Mediterranean Diet was the result of this discovery, in the 1960s, by the Seven Countries Study. This showed that people in Greece, Italy and other Mediterranean countries had lower rates of heart disease than other countries, despite high fat consumption. Of course, their fat consumption comes primarily from olive oil.
It’s difficult to generalize when it comes to the benefits of fat in olive oil. But the overwhelming body of evidence does point to the benefits of monounsaturated fat over saturated fat. So, if you’re going to have fat in your diet, why not make it the fat in olive oil, like our McEvoy Ranch Traditional Blend?