Mediterranean Diet / EVOO Fact
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the main source of dietary fat in the Mediterranean diet. It is literally the juice of the fruit of the olive, it is produced entirely by mechanical means without the use of any solvents (refined chemicals), and under temperatures that will not degrade the oil (less than 86°F, 30°C). This is why you want cold-pressed.
Olive Oil that is not “Extra Virgin” is obtained from the remains of the first, or subsequent, pressing and is extracted with the use of solvents. These Olive Oils (not extra virgin) do not contain Polyphenols, and this is an important distinction to clear when looking for a high quality oil.
About Polyphenols present in EVOO
Polyphenols are an antioxidant. Particularly, hydroxytyrosol is the name of the super powerful polyphenol present in olives and extra virgin olive oil. It is believed to be one of the most powerful antioxidants and one of the strongest free radical-scavenging compounds available.
Beneficial Effects of a Mediterranean Diet
As stated in an article published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “The beneficial effects of a Mediterranean diet on human health and, in particular, on lowering risk of cardiovascular disease, has been mainly attributed to the high content of healthy fat in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).” …
“... current research on beneficial effect of EVOO, and in particular in conjunction with Mediterranean style diets, is being focused on defining its effects on newer cardiovascular risk factors, such as inflammation, oxidative stress, coagulation, platelet aggregation, fibrinolysis, endothelial function or lipids or on the modulation of the conditions which predispose people to cardiovascular events, such as obesity, metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes mellitus.”
About Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional foods that people used to eat in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including France, Spain, Greece, and Italy.
Researchers noted that these people were exceptionally healthy and had a low risk of many chronic conditions (1). Although there are no strict rules or regulations for the diet, it typically encourages fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and heart-healthy fats. Processed foods, added sugar, and refined grains should be restricted. (2)
Numerous studies have now shown that the Mediterranean diet can promote weight loss and help prevent heart attacks, strokes and type 2 diabetes. (3)
For this reason, the Mediterranean diet is often recommended for those looking to improve their health and protect against chronic disease.
This article is written for information only and was compiled using a variety of sources, including:
About Mediterranean Diet.
Healthline.com - https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mediterranean-diet-meal-plan
Beneficial Effects of a Mediterranean Diet.
Yubero-Serrano, E.M., Lopez-Moreno, J., Gomez-Delgado, F. et al. Extra virgin olive oil: More than a healthy fat. Eur J Clin Nutr 72, 8–17 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-018-0304-x