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Oregon Olive Oil
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Extracted from the fatty juices released when pressing and grinding an olive, the oil can be used in dishes both savory and sweet. Of the different grades, the most superior one is what we know as "Extra Virgin Olive Oil" or EVOO. One hundred percent natural and linked with several health benefits, olive oil is comparatively better than most other types of oils. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is technically a healthy fat, containing a host of vitamins and proteins which help reduce health issues like cholesterol, blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.
Drizzling that last bit of olive oil on a dish can mark the completion of the recipe - the finishing touch on a work of art. It delights the senses, from the tingling sound of the gentle sizzle as the oil hits the hot stove to the rich, hearty flavor that coats one's taste buds with a sensation of culinary ecstasy. With its fruity tones, slight bitterness, and silk-like quality, olive oil adds a layer of complex depth and perfection to the otherwise ordinary.
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Olive oil coats, rather than penetrates, so foods fried in olive oil
are less greasy than foods fried in other oil varieties.
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Ancient Greek author Homer called olive oil "Liquid Gold" in The Iliad and The Odyssey. And he wasn't wrong. Coveted by the ancient Mediterranean societies since 6000 BCE, olive oil was important in religious ceremonies and hygienic practices.
But olive oil holds a special place in the realm of great cuisine. Whether we incorporate it into the heart of a dish or used to top it off at the end, olive oil is universal in its use. It can be utilized on everything from sumptuous cakes to savory pasta. But for all of the ways we have used it, we tend to overlook this simple, yet significant ingredient.
How much olive oil should you eat for heart health?
from NORTH AMERICAN OLIVE OIL ASSOCIATION
In 2004 the Food and Drug Administration approved a health claim petition submitted by the North American Olive Oil Association. The FDA confirmed the relationship between the consumption of olive oil and reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
To reap the heart benefits of olive oil, the FDA suggests:
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.
The FDA recommends that the 2 tablespoons of olive oil replace other fats in your diet, such as butter or other saturated fats.
Of note is the fact that the health benefits of olive oil approved by the FDA apply to all olive oils including virgin olive oil, blends of virgin olive oil, and refined olive oil, in addition to extra virgin olive oil.
Dark chocolate and Extra Virgin Olive Oil make the perfect healthy combo
from NORTH AMERICAN OLIVE OIL ASSOCIATION
A new study by the University of Pisa found that eating dark chocolate with extra virgin olive oil improves cardiovascular risk profile.
According to new research presented at European Society of Cardiology, eating dark chocolate infused with olive oil may help endothelial function. Endothelial function is driven by endothelial progenitor cells, which are vital for blood vessel function and repair.
The study took 26 volunteers (14 men, 12 women) with cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, or family history of cardiovascular disease. The group was given 40 grams of dark chocolate daily for 28 days. For 14 consecutive days it contained 10 percent extra virgin olive oil and for 14 consecutive days it contained 2.5 percent Panaia red apples. Dark chocolate, olive oil, and apple all contain polyphenols which are rich in antioxidants.
After being administered the two types of chocolate, the participants' urine and blood samples were analyzed. Circulating endothelial progenitor cells were evaluated while smoking status, body mass index, blood pressure, glycasemia and lipid profile were also monitored.
The results showed that olive oil-infused chocolate was associated with increased levels of high-density lipoprotein (the good cholesterol) and decreased blood pressure compared to baseline. It was also associated with higher levels of endothelial progenitor cells compared to baseline than apple-enriched chocolate. Dr. Di Stefano, the lead author of the study stated, "Our study suggests that extra virgin olive oil might be a good food additive to help preserve our 'repairing cells,' the endothelial progenitor cells."
Now you can combine two best foods to make the perfect combination of healthy goodness and not feel guilty. Read our posts about how to make Nutella better and how to make chocolate olive oil glaze to make olive-oil healthy snacks at home!
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