Is It Healthy to Use Cold-Pressed Olive Oil for Cooking & Why?Martina Crocker
Olive oil is known as a much healthier alternative to traditional cooking condiments like vegetable oil and butter. However, many consumers fail to realize there are different types of olive oils that offer differing levels of nutritional value.
In this article, we will discuss what cold-pressed olive oil is, how it is produced, and the many health benefits it has to offer. Keep reading to learn about how you can incorporate this oil into your own diet!
What is Cold-Pressed Olive Oil?
Cold-pressed olive oil is a type of olive oil made by pressing olives without the use of heat or added chemicals. Compared to traditional methods of production, cold-pressed olive oil retains a much higher level of the original nutritional value of the fruit.
In addition to providing a higher level of nutrients, the cold pressing method is also considered to be more environmentally friendly. Pressing methods that use heat and chemicals can result in a large amount of waste and are generally considered unsustainable. By comparison, cold-pressed olive oil requires much lower energy levels and produces much less waste overall.
4 Key Health Benefits of Cold-Pressed Olive Oil
There are many different health benefits to using cold-pressed olive oil in your cooking recipes – and many different ways to use the oil as well!
With this in mind, let’s take a look at 4 essential benefits of using cold-pressed olive oil for cooking:
1. A Good Source of Healthy Fats
Cold-pressed olive oil is made up almost entirely of healthy fats. One serving of this oil contains approximately 10 grams of monosaturated fats – the type of fat that is found naturally in many foods such as avocados, nuts, and of course, olives.
According to Medline Plus, monosaturated fats help to keep your bad cholesterol – or LDL – levels down, reducing the risk for heart disease and stroke.
2. Packed with Nutrients and Antioxidants
Along with healthy fats, cold-pressed olive oil maintains a much higher level of natural nutrients and antioxidants compared to traditionally produced oils.
There are two main vitamins found within this oil: Vitamin E and Vitamin K.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect cells within your body from damaging free radicals. Additionally, it helps promote better vision, reproductive health, brain function, and skin health.
On the other hand, Vitamin K is necessary for making proteins used for building bones and producing healthy blood clots.
3. Helps Fight and Prevent Inflammation
The high concentration of healthy fats and antioxidants within cold-pressed olive oil is believed to help reduce inflammation in the body.
One compound in particular – oleocanthal – is naturally found within olive oil and contains crucial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. According to a 2014 study, its uses can include reducing the risk of joint-degenerative disease, neuro-degenerative disease, and certain types of cancer.
The study further states that the compound shares characteristics of the anti-inflammatory drug Ibuprofen, offering a more natural alternative to the medicine.
4. Assists in Weight Loss and Blood Sugar Maintenance
The healthy fats and nutrients found within cold-pressed olive oil can greatly assist in keeping your blood sugar levels stable, as well as helping to promote better overall satiety. As a result, the oil is thought to be a good addition to the diets of those working to manage their blood sugar and those striving to lose weight.
According to clinical research published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine:
Data suggests that diet, rich in olive oil and nuts, significantly reduces fasting plasma glucose and HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin). Olive oil has been associated with weight reduction as well as improvements in lipid profile (increase in high density (HDL) and decrease in low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
How to Add Cold-Pressed Olive Oil to Your Diet?
The best way to incorporate cold-pressed olive oil into your diet is to use it as an alternative for less healthy cooking oils. However, the oil can also be used for roasting and sauteing, as well as serving as a substitute for butter, shortening, and lard in baking recipes.
In addition to its cooking uses, cold-pressed olive oil can also be used as a base for homemade salad dressings and marinades.
No matter how you choose to use cold-pressed olive oil, remember that all good things come in moderation. Always pay attention to nutritional information and serving sizes when introducing new products into your diet!
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