Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is The Best Olive Oil For Health
If you’re looking for a hard-working plant oil, Canola Oil has become a very popular choice of late, but, for health benefits and purity of flavour, the best olive oil you can find is healthier than canola – and versatile too. The main reason behind this is the abundance of antioxidants and other plant compounds in olive oil – especially extra virgin olive oil – which help to neutralise free radicals which can cause harm to our health.
Refined Oils Such As Canola Contain Less Nutrients Than Extra Virgin Olive Oil
To understand the composition of Canola Oil compared to a high-quality extra virgin olive oil like Morocco Gold, it’s important to know where it came from. A recent article in The Beet summarised the origins of Canola very well:
The canola plant was derived from a variety of rapeseed plants, and was created through crossbreeding in order to remove components of the orignal plant to make it heartier and healthier. Although they are both in the mustard or cabbage family, the canola plant doesn’t have glucosinolates and erucic acid like the rapeseed plant. While glucosinolates are compounds that can bring along health benefits, erucic acid is believed to cause adverse health effects.Centre for Food Safety
How Does Olive Oil Compare With Canola Oil For Disease Risk?
According to a Healthline article comparing olive oil and canola oil, olive oil came out top for health – especially extra virgin olive oil.
The report sited various studies showing that people who regularly use olive oil have reduced heart disease risk factors, improved blood sugar levels and a lower risk of death. This includes analysis of 33 studies revealing that people with the highest olive oil intake had a 16% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those with the lowest intake. Significant consumption of olive oil is also linked to a lower risk of stroke and a reduction in heart disease risk factors, including LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Although Canola is often associated with promoting heart health, existing research is at best contradictory. As reported by Healthline, some studies suggest that Canola is beneficial to the heart but others indicated the opposite.
In fact, a study of 2,071 overweight or obese adults noted that regular use of canola oil was linked to increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome than those who rarely or never used this oil.
Have We Convinced You That Olive Oil Is Good For You?
Whether or not we have convinced you that picking the best olive oil you can buy is the ideal choice for your health, we would encourage you to do your research on fats. There is a wealth of information out there, including on our own website to give you the rundown on different types of fat, helping you to make an educated choice.
According to sports dietitians Kelly Jones, M.S., R.D. and Lori Nedescu, M.S., R.D.N. olive oil is one of the healthiest oils because of its heart-healthy fats.
Fat is a nutrient with important functions. It is a rich source of energy, providing more than double that of either carbohydrate or protein. It is a carrier for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. It provides the essential fatty acids, linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid, which are polyunsaturated.
To remain healthy, we need moderate amounts of the right type of fats eaten as part of a good, balanced diet. However, a high fat intake and in particular, a high intake of saturated fats is associated with raised blood cholesterol and coronary heart disease.
Not all Fats are the Same
Fats are made up of fatty acids and glycerol. A fatty acid consists of a chain of carbon atoms, where each carbon atom in the chain is attached to hydrogen atoms. The number of hydrogen atoms per carbon atom determines whether the fatty acid is saturated or unsaturated.
For further information on types of fat and how the fat content of extra virgin olive oil compares with other fats, please see here.