Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest and most important ingredients of the Mediterranean Diet, but drinking it is not the best or the healthiest way to consume it.
Should You Drink Olive Oil? The answer is NO.
Ever since celebrities started sharing with us their latest habit of drinking olive oil first thing in the morning, everyone, including media, olive oil companies, even serious trade associations are touting the so-called benefits of drinking olive oil in the morning or before going to bed. However, scientific evidence shows us that this is not the best nor the healthiest way to consume olive oil.
Mediterranean People Use a lot of Olive Oil but Mostly in Cooking
That is the secret of the traditional Mediterranean diet; people use a lot of olive oil, but mostly in cooking. They used it for all cooking needs, and I mean all, including baking. Occasionally some people drank a bit of olive oil because they believed it helped them not get intoxicated if they drank alcohol, while others believed it was good for the liver. These were mostly “old wives” tales.
Drinking Olive Oil Has No Extra Benefits
If you want to get the benefits of olive oil, you must incorporate it in your cooking and food preparation. We have to understand that the benefits of olive oil do not come in isolation. You also won’t get any extra benefits by drinking olive oil on an empty stomach or before going to bed.
Benefits of Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Food and Cooking
Anyone in the field of nutrition will tell you that the health benefits do not come by one food in isolation, it is an interaction of various foods. In other words, it is your diet as a whole. So, if you are following a westernized diet with many processed foods, a shot of olive oil in the morning will do nothing except add extra calories.
Cooking with Olive Oil Multiplies Nutrient Absorption and Affects Your Health Positively
One of the most important reasons to consume olive oil in food rather than drinking a shot of it is due to the positive interactions it has when you add it to food:
- Olive oil increases the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. When you add olive oil to vegetables you absorb more of the fat-soluble vitamins.
- Olive oil increases the absorption of antioxidants from vegetables when they are cooked together. Antioxidants are substances that protect our body from oxidation which in turn protects us from many chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s.
- Vegetables that are cooked in olive oil absorb antioxidants from the olive oil. This happens even when you are frying with olive oil.
- Olive Oil in a meal can keep blood sugars stable. When consuming a meal made with olive oil, research shows that you have a significantly less increase of blood sugar and bad cholesterol compared to meal made without olive oil.
- Adding olive oil to your vegetables can help you lower your blood pressure. Research showed that when adding extra virgin olive oil to leafy greens or root vegetables you have the formation of nitro fatty acids which can lower blood pressure.
And finally, olive oil imports so much flavor to anything that it is cooked in. It is the reason why you can consume so many vegetables. The numerous cooked vegetable dishes are made with plenty of olive oil and that’s what makes them so filling and delicious!
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