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Olive Oil 101

How Extra Virgin Olive Oil Can Help You Keep Your Resolutions

If you’re like the rest of the world, you probably made a resolution to eat healthier in 2019. Every New Year, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to change. Resolution mindset has a tendency to make us feel like we need to change everything about ourselves in order to improve. We hit the gym hard in January, and then burn out. Or, unable to keep to too-strict a diet, we let healthy habits fall totally by the wayside come February.

But, a renewed commitment to health doesn’t have to be difficult. Making 2019 about what you can eat instead of what you can’t eat can make the difference between sticking to your guns and giving up. The good news is that there’s something in your pantry that can help you keep your resolution to be healthier – this year, and every year after that. Extra virgin olive oil is jam-packed with health benefits and best of all, it’s satisfying, so you won’t feel the fear of missing out (FOMO) that’s often the downfall of a good New Year’s resolution.  

Read on to learn how Texas Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil can play a role in creating a healthier you.

A Gift from the Gods

According to Greek mythology, olives are a gift from the gods. Or goddess, to be exact. In a contest for the right to become the protector of a new city, Poseidon and Athena had to present its citizens with the best gift. Athena produced an olive tree, delighting the citizens, and the city was named Athens.

It’s no coincidence Athena was the Goddess of Wisdom. Every time you eat an olive, you should think of it as giving your body a gift; you’re treating your body to the nutrition it needs.

When olive oil is simply pressed, like at Texas Olive Ranch, it retains all of its abundant antioxidants and vitamins. Olives, and therefore olive oil, have no carbs, no cholesterol, and have been proven to help reduce the likelihood of the following health problems: heart disease, strokes, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

Extra virgin olive oil contains monounsaturated fats like oleic acid and palmitoleic acid, as well as omega-6 and omega-3s, two other important polyunsaturated fats.

I know what you’re thinking – we’ve been taught that fat is bad for us. But the fats found in olive oil are actually good for you.

The Good Kind of Fat

The main type of fat in olive oil, monounsaturated fatty acids, are healthy fats also found in nuts and avocados. They have anti-inflammatory properties and help reduce high blood pressure. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration recommends consuming at least 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil every day to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Monounsaturated fats have been found to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) while not diminishing good cholesterol (HDL). Extra virgin olive oil has a higher percentage of health boosters than any other oil.

Olive Oil For Weight Loss

Monounsaturated fats may be good for you, but being overweight is not. If your 2019 resolution is not just to be healthy, but to lose some weight, extra virgin olive oil can be a helpful tool. In fact, two of the most popular and effective diets today highlight the health power of extra virgin olive oil.

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is the one diet that every health professional agrees upon as the healthiest, and the only way of eating that we have long term data on. It’s also not quite a diet, but more of a lifestyle, or general guideline.

People from the Mediterranean live longer and have less incidence of cancer and heart disease. Turns out it’s because of how they eat: diets low in red meat, sugar, and saturated fat, and high in monounsaturated fat, plant-based foods, and whole grains.

Olive oil is the main source of dietary fat in the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil, plus fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, legumes are your daily focus, fish and seafood a couple of times a week, poultry eggs cheese and yogurt in moderation, and sweets and red meat for special occasions. This way of eating even encourages moderate consumption of red wine.

The Keto Diet

The Keto Diet is all the rage right now, but it’s not just a fad. Developed in order to treat epilepsy, there has been a lot of research done on the ketogenic diet. To anyone who hasn’t read up on it, it may sound crazy because it goes contrary to everything we were taught in school (remember the Food Pyramid?). People following the ketogenic diet consume 90% fat, 6% protein, and only 4% carbohydrates. The idea is that eating that low-carb causes your body to go into “ketosis,” meaning that deprived of sugars from carbs to burn, your body turns to your stored fat as a fuel source, producing ketones – hence the name – in your liver and sending them out to your bloodstream.

Extra virgin olive oil is a staple of this diet. You can drizzle it on salads, asparagus, poach salmon in it, fry your eggs in it… the possibilities are endless.

Make The Healthy Choice in 2019

Extra virgin olive oil is a superfood you should be taking advantage of, and part of a healthy diet.

If you’re ready to commit to incorporating more extra virgin olive oil in your diet, here are some easy and delicious Texas Olive Ranch vegetable recipes and some simple Mediterranean Diet recipes to kick your year off right.