Saturday, January 26, 2013

Oil: which one to avoid & which one to use...

Those who decided to embark on a journey towards increased nutritional awareness understands how many and what pitfalls can be hiding behind packaged food and the industrial production, often with sugar, fat and too rich in salt, so much so to drive certain governments towards the proposal to tax such foods considered to be particularly detrimental to health...

Here is an omnipresent ingredient in many packaged foods, both sweet and savory.

source: google images

Palm oil, unless specifically indicated as such, Palm oil, could still be hiding behind cryptic words on labels as "vegetable oil" or "plant oils". It is urgent to protect consumers in this sense, with the circulation of more clear information in the lists of ingredients on food packages. Palm oil is considered detrimental to the health in way of its high content of saturated fat.

To avoid palm oil one would need to check the ingredient lists carefully, be wary of snacks, prepared meals and industrial cream based spreads. I recommend using a more balanced oil such as cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil.

The term "extra virgin" implies that the oil has been extracted from the olives by gentle pressing instead of heat or chemical extraction (this tends to damage healthy olive plants chemicals and oxidizes fat – oxidized fats are very unhealthy!).

French researchers say that people who use extra virgin olive oil to cook with and to drizzle on foods have a 73 percent lower risk of stroke than those who don't use much olive oil. These health benefits only existed in the group of people who basically drizzle it on with a heavy hand! The more, the merrier, apparently when it comes to reducing your stroke risk.

I adore to drizzle my olive oil on crispy bread 
instead of using mayo or butter..."

Studies have also shown that Extra Virgin Olive oil consumption may have a protective role on breast, colon, lung, ovarian and skin cancer development. A number of other studies have also shown that Extra Virgin Olive oil may have additional beneficial effects on blood pressure, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis and immune function.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil combines two characteristics that any food-interested person prizes: great taste and positive health benefits. To prolong the life of olive oil store it in a cool, dark place as light can contribute to the degradation of the olive oil.

Try to taste the extra virgin olive oil in the typical recipe of Tuscan cuisine: The Bruschetta!