The FDA (the government agency that regulates food in the US) has confirmed the health benefits of olive oil. The FDA now allows olive oil producers to claim that it may reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. The statement allowed is as follows: Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. One serving of this product [Name of food] contains [x] grams of olive oil.
In other olive oil news, new research claims to explain the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil. The results of a nine-year study of Italians living in Puglia showed that long time residents were statistically less prone to cancer and other ailments. This has been attributed to the high consumption of olive oil throughout their lives.
Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia along with collaborators at the University of Pennsylvania, The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, and Firmenich, Inc. have identified a molecule in extra-virgin olive oil which is similar to ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory agent contained in several over-the-counter painkillers. These scientists believe that the molecule, which they have called “oleocantale”, is the key element in olive oil that provides health benefits.
Olive oil can be used in dips, dressing and marinades as well as in cooking. If you cook with olive oil make sure that you do not get it too hot. The health benefits of olive oil are lost when it is over heated.
Add olive oil to your diet, but remember it is high in calories. You will need to cut back elsewhere to achieve the health benefits of olive oil.