For years, the media have been touting the health benefits of Olive Oil. The truth is, surprise, surprise, they haven’t been telling you the entire story! Today, in Body Designs 213: Olive Oil’s Negative Health Effects, I will uncork some myths, pour out some evidence and coat your preconceived notions with some pure facts that I bet you didn’t know.
A Little Background
Last month, my future mother-in-law took Tracy and I to the brand new Greek restaurant Avara to celebrate our engagement. It was a dining experience like no other. And, unless you go with the High-End Beverly Hills Restaurant Maven Gail (Tracy’s mom), you can’t experience it like we did. However, if you go, know that almost everything on the menu is cooked, finished or baked with Olive Oil including their signature dessert – OLIVE OIL CAKE (with Bruleed Figs and Lemon Chantilly [a.k.a. Whipped Cream]). I know most of you are saying, “Great!” Although, for those of you who know me well, Olive Oil on anything is a slippery slope (pun intended). Fortunately, at this amazing restaurant, the servers didn’t bat an eye and cooks acquiesced at our request to hold off on the Extra Virgin “grease” from Greece.
Wait a minute, you’re thinking, “you’re Italian, you should LOVE Olive Oil!” Right? Wrong!!!
I don’t like Olive Oil to dip my bread into.
I don’t like Olive Oil tossed in my salad.
I don’t like Olive Oil drizzled on my veggies.
I don’t like Olive Oil slopped onto my cavatelli (with sausage and broccoli of course).
I don’t like Olive Oil in my frying pan or on my grill when I cook.
I don’t like Olive Oil on my dessert.
I don’t like Olive Oil!
However, one can imagine, as a personal trainer and gym owner, I get the craziest looks from my clients who hear me say those words. But the worst part of it all is what is said next. Can you guess? If you like Olive Oil or use it at all, you’ve probably even said it to me…“Olive Oil is good for you. It is the ‘good fat!’” Well, after reading Body Designs 213: Olive Oil’s Negative Health Effects, you might want to rethink your opinion on the Mediterranean’s version of liquid gold.
Did you know, just two tablespoons of Olive Oil contain 240 Calories? So, do the math. If your goal is to consume 2000 calories a day, that’s 12% of your total daily allowance. Really? News Flash, eating more fat doesn’t help you burn more fat.
Also, did you know, Oil is the MOST calorically dense food on earth? Did you know that at 4,000 calories per pound, Olive Oil is far more calorically dense than pure refined sugar which weighs in at 1,725 calories per pound. Again, do the math. Obviously, adding Olive Oil to any food or meal significantly increases its caloric content!
So in reality, while you thought you were enjoying Olive Oil with your favorite “dietary” dishes to make “boring” food “pop” all that you were accomplishing was negating any progress you were making exercising in the gym or running out on the pavement. Depending on your age and weight, it will take you 30 minutes of running at five miles and hour to burn those two servings of liquid fat. As you can see, Olive Oil is like any other fat…overtime, too much of it will eventually lead to weight gain, which could lead to an increase to insulin resistance, which brings on negative metabolic changes, which then leads to obesity, then to high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides as well as heart disease.
Olive Oil is NOT good for your heart!
A study done by researchers from the University of Crete that was published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2004, found that Crete residents who had heart disease compared to those who didn’t ate a higher-fat diet with “significantly higher daily intakes” of monounsaturated fats (especially from olive oil).
Olive Oil is NOT a healthy choice! A decades long Harvard Medical School study of nearly 90,000 females nurses, “found that those who consumed olive oil were only marginally healthier than those eating a typical high-in-saturated-fat American diet.”
Still Not Convinced?
Ok, I know you are saying there could be some other variables that are accounting for the health differences of the “participants” in the above studies. How about this? How do you think people’s arteries react when the body consumes a meal high in Olive Oil? A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information examining how people’s arteries dilate (expand) to accommodate increase blood flow after a meal emphasizing a different component of the Mediterranean diet, showed the subjects’ arteries ability to dilate were “significantly impaired” after eating an Olive Oil rich meal therefore reducing the arteries’ ability to deliver more blood to the tissues which has shown to contribute to clogged arteries over time; which, of course, can result in a heart attack, stroke or even death.
I know many of you will attempt to provide me with information on the supposed health benefits of Olive Oil. Been there. Done that. I have been saying ALL of this for more than 20 years. The rest is Fake News. If you want to increase your health, remember Body Designs 213: Olive Oil’s Negative Health Effects and do the obvious…eat right by reducing your fat intake, increase your dietary fiber, exercise regularly, stay hydrated and get appropriate amounts of sleep. It is simple. I guarantee you will be healthier than you are right now!
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