Three Health Benefits of Olive Oil

 In Eye Care

The Mediterranean Diet has long been associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer. Recent research has focused on the beneficial contribution of olives and olive oil, which are included daily in a typical Mediterranean diet.

Three ways that olive oil can improve your health

Cancer Protection

Olives provide an abundance of antioxidant protection through plant based phenolic compounds that are also well absorbed in humans. Obtaining antioxidants from your diet protects your body from damage caused by free radicals. Many experts believe free radical damage is a major contributing factor in the development of cancer and other diseases.

Heart Healthy

Dietary fats have received negative attention for the past few decades. The main type of fat found in olive oil is monounsaturated (MUFA) which is actually considered to be a healthy form of dietary fat. MUFAs have been found to lower your total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.

Eye Health

Retinas contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids so it makes sense that they would be helpful to your vision. According to a University of Melbourne study, people who ate the most olive oil were half as likely to develop age related macular degeneration. Those with the best outcomes consumed about seven tablespoons per week.

How to Select Quality Olive Oil

Olive oil can become rancid from exposure to light, air or heat so be sure to look for a product that is packaged in a tinted glass bottle. Store olive oil in a cool area away from direct or indirect heat. The cabinet over the stove is not a good place to store olive oil. Unless you can use a big bottle in 30-60 days, avoid purchasing large bottles because the oil will begin to oxidize with each exposure to air.

Not all olive oil products are created equally. Purchase a quality cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil from organically grown olives. Don’t be fooled by the “light” versions. The caloric and fat content is typically the same but the difference is more processing which impacts the flavor and reduces the phytonutrients that make it so healthy in the first place.

Cooking with Olive Oil

Avoid heating olive oil for stir fry recipes. Instead, sauté your vegetables in broth. Once vegetables are cooked to al dente, toss them with olive oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt.

Omega 3 Supplements

Most people find it helpful to supplement their dietary sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acid but picking a quality supplement is critical.  A poor quality fish oil may be doing more harm than good. How do you select a quality product?

  • Quality supplement companies will provide access to Certificates of Analysis from a third party verification that checks for purity and freshness.
  • If you have ever experienced a fishy taste after taking fish oil, you may have a poor quality supplement. Fishy taste means it could be oxidized which is not healthy and should not be consumed.

For your convenience, Piedmont EyeCare offers high quality supplements that you can trust. Check out supplements on our website or ask our staff for more details.

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