Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Olive Oil: The “Liquid Gold” Standard in Bottled Energy

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Fats are essential nutrients that allow our bodies to function properly and without which we could not live. Along with carbohydrates (complex carbohydrates and simple sugars) and proteins, fats supply one of the three main sources of energy that we require. They enable us to think, move and carry out all of the internal processes that sustain us. Fats also protect our internal organs and support our overall health, but it’s important that we choose them carefully.

In an ongoing effort to manage our weight, many of us are inclined to look for ways to reduce any kind of fat in our diet, believing that consuming even moderate amounts of healthy fats will in fact "makes us fat." It is true that the calorie/energy intake from fat is greater than that which comes from protein and carbohydrates (nine calories per gram versus four calories per gram for proteins and carbohydrates). It is also the case that our bodies metabolize fats slower, as they are used by the body to generate energy reserves. But like almost everything, balance is the key, and making informed choices on how to select healthy fats makes all the difference in maintaining optimal health.

Taking in two tablespoons of olive oil a day is not "fattening" but provides a complete energy source with extraordinary health benefits. According to the FDA, eating two tablespoons of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease.*

A great cardiovascular ally, olive oil belongs to the family of monounsaturated fats, the kind which helps to lower your total cholesterol and reduces levels of low-density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol). Extolled by the ancients as “liquid gold”, olive oil also contains antioxidant properties and is rich in vitamin E and K.

*Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. See nutrition information for saturated fat content.

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