Olive oil is also called liquid gold. Because it is one of the best cooking oils in the world. What are its health benefits? Can we have it daily? What are the olive oil frauds? How to ensure purchasing an authentic brand?
What is olive oil?
Olive oil is the oil extracted from whole olives of olives plant that is commonly grown in the Mediterranean region of the world. It is also called liquid gold due to its multiple health benefits. Besides cooking, this oil also finds its use in cosmetics, soaps, pharmaceutical industry etc.
Extra virgin olive oil extraction process involves three steps of crushing, malaxation, and centrifugation. After the initial wash, the olive fruits are crushed. They are either stone milled, hammered, disc crushed or crushed by means of destoning machines or blades. Later, malaxation is done on them. This is kneading, running or massaging the mixture to a soft pulp. The whole mass is centrifuged to get the oil yield.
Health benefits and uses
Olive oil is the main cooking medium in Mediterranean diet. People consuming this diet are said to live the longest and are the most healthy. Consumption of this oil and the Mediterranean foods predict a longer life span.
The extra virgin olive oil is anti-inflammatory. It protects the body from inflammation and onset of chronic diseases. Also, it lowers the incidence of insulin resistance and hence the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Additionally, this oil decreases blood pressure and lowers the load on the heart. Thus, it is heart friendly. It prolongs life and also has a positive impact on brain function and memory.
Olive oil decreases risk of cardiovascular incidents and Alzheimer’s disease. The all cause mortality and death due to heart attack and strokes are also lower with use of olive oil. Various studies have confirmed this. The oil also protects against certain cancer.
Olive oil has a low smoke point. Hence it is not ideal for deep frying. But it is excellent for salad dressings, sauces such as pesto and in vinaigrettes. But one should be aware of olive oil frauds. Here are tips on how to stay alert on it.
Olive oil frauds
More than half a tbsp of olive oil daily reduces risk of death from various causes. It has vitamins, antioxidants, polyphenols, and monounsaturated fats; all of which benefit health. Though nutritionally healthy, this oil like other good and costly food items runs the risk of being adulterated. This olive oil frauds are real and happening. Hence one should be wary of them.
Thee are estimates that 70% of olive oils are fake ones. The market is rampant with diluted and counterfeit products that claim to be extra virgin olive oil but in fact are not. How to know fake from real? Olive oil has rich depth and flavor. Hence smell it and taste it to differentiate. If it has no taste, it is fake. It in a plastic bottle, it is fake. Ideally, it should taste fresh, have a green color and peppery finish. Then it is real.