Heart Health: Olive Oil Health Benefits

olive oil health benefitsIn an NPR article last fall (see “To Get The Benefits Of Olive Oil, Fresh May Be Best“), Mary Flynn, an associate professor of medicine at Brown University, stated the evidence that olive oil is good for your heart has never been more clear.

(This month, Salud de Paloma is offering a 10% off special on our chili pepper infused EVOO! Click here for details.)

“Olive oil is a very healthy food,” said Flynn. “I consider it more medicine than food.”

Earlier in 2013, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study in which researchers in Spain had men and women in their 50s, 60s and 70s who were at risk of heart disease follow one of three diets. They discovered that a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil cut the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 30 percent.

What makes olive oil so healthy is that it’s mostly unsaturated fat. Extra virgin oil, which is the highest grade and least processed form of olive oil, contains a whole range of other beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols.

But Tom Mueller, who has spent the last six years investigating and writing about olive oil, said that more than half of the extra-virgin olive oil imported into the U.S. has been shown to be substandard. If it’s low grade or too old, many of the heart-healthy compounds have degraded.

Mueller says that oils with the highest levels of heart-healthy compounds tend to be pungent and peppery — “If the oil stings the back of your throat a little that tells you the beneficial polyphenols really are there.”

Salud de Paloma is Fresh, Cold-Pressed, and 100% Extra Virgin

Salud de Paloma uses a blend of Texas and California olives to deliver the freshest oils possible. Some of our olives come from California – Texas olive growers are still developing their production capacity. We always seek to source most of our olives from the closest farms possible.

Our extra virgin olive oil is cold pressed, which means that no significant heat was added during the pressing process. By radically raising the temperature of the paste (over 30°C/86°F), the oil extraction yield can be increased, but reduces the quality and damages the healthy components. We choose quality over quantity.

In addition to printing a “best by” date on our bottles, so you can be assured of the freshness of our extra virgin olive oil, we also use green glass to protect the olive oil from light. Once you take it home, it will last longer if it’s stored in a dark place away from excess heat and you don’t use it for high-heat cooking.

Valentine’s Day Special

Through February 16, we are offering a 10% off special our Chili Pepper infused extra virgin olive oil! Ask for it at the HOPE Farmers Market in East Austin on Sundays, or order online and get free shipping in addition to the discount.

olive oil health benefits

Photo Credit: Smabs Sputzer via Compfight cc

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