Olive oil is so important to Italian cooking that it is an ingredient two-thirds of Italians say they would never give up.
A survey by market research firm Nomisma and funded by health insurance company Unisalute revealed 64 per cent said they favoured olive oil to other fats for several reasons, including its flavour and health benefits.
Head of marketing intelligence at Nomisma Silvia Zucconi was reported by Olive Oil Times as saying: “Among the most interesting results of the research is the consciousness and knowledge that Italians seem to show when they are asked about their relationship with food and eating.”
Indeed, one-third of respondents noted that eating nutritious food was how to stay healthy. As a result, more than half (53 per cent) also said seasonal vegetables were essential to an Italian diet, while 40 per cent said they ate fresh fruit several times a day.
The survey showed those who made healthy food choices, such as choosing premium olive oil, were also more likely to exercise regularly, undergo frequent health checks and take doctors’ advice.
One of the big advantages of using olive oil in cooking, as opposed to other types of oils such as sunflower or vegetable, is due to its reported health properties.
It has been known to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, lower inflammation, help with digestive problems, boost the cardiovascular system, and even decrease the risk of developing certain types of cancers.