The famous “Mediterranean diet” has become a common term in everyday life. Because over time, the use of olive oil is confused between their applications for food and medicine, we have forgotten that the “goodness” of this “food” is that olive oil is a fruit juice which makes it completely different from other oils, which for consumption must be pre-processed. Olive oil can be consumed directly preserving thus its properties.
The role of fats in general
A balanced diet requires adequate daily intake of fat because fats perform an important role in our body. Although its main function is to serve as a depository of energy also perform other essential functions such as: participation in the structures of cell membranes of all tissues and lipoproteins that transport lipids in the blood, act as precursors of certain hormones of great importance for life and also be the only vehicle for transporting certain vitamins are fat soluble such as vitamin a, E, K and D and that we can consume only when associated with fat. In addition, consumption of fats we guarantee the supply of certain fatty acids that are essential to life that must be consumed as they are not synthesized by the human body (the essential fatty acid intake should be between 2 and 6% of total calories in the diet, higher amounts have a counterproductive effect due to peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids). Finally, there is an important factor to be taken into account and the role of fat in the texture of food: fat provides texture to the food it tasty and palatable.
All fats provide the same amount of calories to the body, however, the quality of fat is not the same and must take into account many factors that influence the health. Mainly influences the fatty acid composition, however, there are many minor components also play a role. In the case of virgin olive oil, since it is an olive juice, there is a high percentage of minority components a lot of nutritional importance. However, in the other oils, having to be subjected to refining, the minor components are lost and thus considerably reduces the nutritional quality.
Olive oil in particular
On the basis of the importance of adequate intake of fats in the diet, we must emphasize the role of olive oil over other fats. Today we hear of the importance of certain acids called w6 and w3. Experts advise a relationship between sets dietary Omega 6 and Omega 3 equal to 6:1 – 10:1. This ratio is optimal in the olive oil, however, not true in the other oils.
Do not forget that the popular cholesterol has been given “bad reputation” regardless of which also plays an important and indispensable role in our lives. Thus, the important thing is to have the right balance between good and bad cholesterol. There is ample evidence that olive oil is the only fat that raises the good cholesterol while decreasing the bad.
Also, has also been shown that an imbalance in the balance “polyunsaturated / antioxidant agents” produce adverse health effects such as accelerated aging, carcinogenesis, liver disorders and atherosclerosis. Olive oil is an appropriate balance between polyunsaturated / monounsaturated / saturated and antioxidants.
Olive oil contains vitamin E which acts as a shield against peroxidation.
Today, the lines of research are focusing on the important role of polyphenols, naturally present in high proportion and olive oil. These substances, which are responsible for the bitter taste of olive oil, act as very powerful antioxidants which protect against cancer, arteriosclerosis …
The sterol composition of olive oil is also something to consider, especially because olive oil is rich in Beta-sitosterol, which is involved in intestinal absorption of cholesterol, essential to maintain the proper balance between good cholesterol and wrong.
But these are not the only benefits of olive oil. Thus, one must take into account the content of squalane, which is a precursor substance of steroid hormones, or Beta-carotene is the precursor of vitamin A and which also has antioxidant properties.