When someone embarks on a diet—whether for weight control or for health reasons—one of the things that they minimize or try to eliminate completely from their diet is fats. But did you know that there are certain kinds of fats that your health can actually benefit from?
When it comes to fats, there are basically 3 kinds: saturated fats, unsaturated fats and trans fats. Fats that are best avoided are saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats can be found on processed foods as well as animal based oils such as butter, lard and ghee. Trans fats on the other hand is a type of oil that is manufactured to keep its solid phase, and is usually used in potato chips and other packaged foods. When watching out for trans fats, refer to the label and look for the term “partially hydrogenated”. This is an indication of trans fat content.
The other kind of fats is the good fats, and this is unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats can be found in many plant based oils such as olive oil and canola oil. Olive oil is valued the world over because of its taste and culinary flexibility. It is also a staple in the healthy Mediterranean diet and along with its many benefits, olive oil has become to be known as “the good oil”. Here are some of benefits that you can get from olive oil:
- High in nutrients. Olive oil contains high amounts of vitamins E, K and A as well as micronutrients triterpenes, squalene and oleocanthol. It also contains oleic acids or omega 9 fatty acids which helps promote many health benefits.
- Olive oil lowers bad cholesterol while it increased the levels of good cholesterols in the body.
- Olive oil lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases. In Mediterranean countries where they consume large amounts of olive oil in the diet, it has been shown that there are less incidents of cardiovascular diseases despite their high fat consumption.
- Olive oil can help promote good gastric health and prevent ulcers and gastritis.
- Olive oil can help lower blood pressure. This is useful in preventing and managing certain illnesses and chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
- It can help you control you weight. You can be relatively guilt free when you consume olive oils because it has been shown not to cause weight gain in calorie controlled, monounsaturated fats –rich diets.
- Olive oil has an anti-inflammatory effect. This can especially benefit people who are suffering from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, because olive oil promotes the lubrication of joints.
- Olive oil shows promising results in the fight against colon cancer. Olive oil is less likely to produce damaging free radicals in the body which means it can help inhibit cancers such as colon cancer.
- It is great for the skin. It’s no wonder that olive oil has always been used as an ingredient for soaps and other cosmetic materials. Olive oil has high levels of vitamin E which can delay the skin’s aging process.