Drinking extra virgin olive oil: good advice?

Presse Santé

Olive oil, this Mediterranean staple is on the rise. Olive oil is a popular choice for salads, but today some opt for a more generous and straight stream in a glass. In fact, they use it for the health benefits that are said by drinking it properly. But despite the hype, the origins of olive oil power are hard to trace. Some evidence suggests that it was an ancestral practice in the Mediterranean regions. It is said that a glass of olive oil was a breakfast for the Greeks of the island of Crete, who had a long life. Are the benefits worth it (literally) or is this a passing fad?

What are the potential health benefits of consuming olive oil?

Olive oil is a powerful ingredient: It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, according to an article published in Cells in 2020. But scientific data does not suggest that you should take olive oil as a shooter. There is no strong research to suggest that any potential benefits cannot be achieved by adding olive oil to recipes, rather than taking it straight.

Hundreds of studies have looked at the potential benefits of olive oil used in food preparation. However few of them have studied the effects of eating this “liquid gold”, the nickname that the Greek poet Homer would have given to this food base. The only exception to this practice is a brief reference in an article published in Scientific Reports in 2021 which notes that drinking virgin olive oil “is frequent among consumers,” perhaps because of its pungent and bitter taste.

If you already have a balanced diet, you are unlikely to need to add more oil to get the health benefits. If you already use extra virgin olive oil in your cooking, and use it in the right preparations, it has its benefits.

Blessings with far-reaching consequences, to be exact. Including olive oil in the diet has been linked to improving heart health and reducing the risk of certain types of diseases, as well as promoting satiety and health. In a 2018 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, participants had fewer cardiovascular events when they ate a Mediterranean diet that included vegetables, fruits, lean meats, whole grains and , yes, a lot of oil. ‘olive.

Moderate consumption of olive oil as part of the Mediterranean diet may also help reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to a review published January 2022 in Molecules.

Finally, this oil benefits the gut, where it helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D, E, and K) found in other foods. When you add olive oil to your salad, for example, you help your body absorb these fat-soluble vitamins more efficiently. It can also contribute to a healthy gut microbiome. According to an article published in Nutrition Reviews in 2021, consuming 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil daily can increase beneficial microorganisms in the gut microbiome.

A warning: while olive oil has benefits for gut health, claims that it can help reduce bloating are anecdotal. It may work for some people, but not for everyone. That’s because we don’t all have the same eating habits, or the same factors that also affect digestion, such as stress, hormonal changes, medications, food intolerances, and physical activity.

What are the potential side effects of consuming olive oil?

Consuming small amounts of olive oil should not cause harm or cause negative side effects for most people. Some may experience stomach discomfort, as eating too much of any unfamiliar food can cause stomach upset. If you have a medical condition or take a medication that alters the absorption of dietary fat (such as a lipase inhibitor), talk to your doctor before changing your diet.

Caloric intake is another potential issue. Fat sources like olive oil have 40 calories in a teaspoon. So if total calorie intake is something you are concerned about, then high fat foods may be the highest source of calories.

Although nutritionists do not recommend drinking extra virgin olive oil, there are times when it may be appropriate. Olive oil shots can help those who struggle to get enough calories each day. In this case, a shot can be a concentrated source of calories and healthy fats, even when the sensation is low.

How to add olive oil to your diet

The recommended daily consumption of olive oil is one and a half tablespoons.

To increase your olive oil intake, try replacing saturated fats (like butter) with olive oil. Making this swap is a heart-healthy choice, according to a 2020 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Cardiology. The study suggests that replacing 5 grams of saturated fat (such as margarine, butter, mayonnaise, or milk fat) with the same amount of olive oil (about a teaspoon) each day is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. coronary artery disease and cardiovascular disease. .

From there, the cooking possibilities are endless. Salads, stir fries, roasted vegetables, chicken skewers and fish dishes are some easy ways to enjoy olive oil. It is ideal for raw preparations, as well as for pan-frying and stirring, but it will not be ideal for frying or cooking at higher temperatures. »

To remember

Yes, olive oil is better for health. No, you don’t have to be neat. Although there is anecdotal evidence of the benefits of olive oil shots, no formal studies have shown whether drinking olive oil is more beneficial than consuming it with food or using it for cooking. In general, health experts recommend using olive oil in place of saturated fat sources, but remember that it is high in calories. Consult a doctor or nutritionist to find the right amount of olive oil for you, so you don’t accidentally derail your weight loss or weight maintenance efforts. The suggested use for each person will be different, depending on their goals.


Protein neutralizes both the bitterness and oleocanthal-flavor of extra virgin olive oil

Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet Supplemented with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or Fruit

Extra-virgin olive oil and the gastrointestinal tract: effects on gut microbiota, mucosal immunity, and cardiometabolic and cognitive health

Olive Oil Consumption and Cardiovascular Risk in US Adults

* blokus strives to spread health knowledge in a language accessible to all. IN NO EVENT, THE INFORMATION GIVEN CANNOT REPLACE THE OPINION OF A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.
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