Olive Oil: A Weight Loss Blessing
In Sonoma County each year, there's a festival called the Blessing of the Olives. That's how central olive trees and the foods they yield are to the economy and the eating habits of the region. Olive oil, the most treasured gift of these trees, is just as central to a healthy diet. There's probably no food choice you'll make that does more for your health and weight loss efforts than olive oil.
That's good news for your taste buds, because no other vegetable oil comes close to olive oil's rich, pleasing flavor — no wonder this heart-friendly oil is a huge part of the Mediterranean diet. Research has made clear that a major reason for southern Europeans' low rate of heart disease is their liberal use of olive oil as their main source of dietary fat. By adopting olive oil in the same way, you'll get the same benefits. And because you'll learn to enjoy olive oil in healthy amounts in place of the harmful fats you may be used to, you will lose weight.
— particularly extra-virgin olive oil — is rich in a family of antioxidants known to protect against heart disease, diabetes, and possibly Alzheimer's disease. Many of these antioxidants are also found in other Power Foods on our Top Twelve list. The same phenols that make olive oil taste so good also make up its main category of antioxidants. Olive oil also contains carotenoids (like beta-carotene) and vitamin E. In addition, olive oil reduces two other heart disease risks — high blood pressure an inflammation. To appreciate olive oil as a Power Food, banish from your mind the notion that it's the "least bad" fat. It's a heart-healthy food that's good for you. You need dietary fat to lose weight, but you need the right kind. Olive oil is one of the best. Choose extra-virgin olive oil and you'll also enhance the flavors of your meals. The kind of fat that olive oil is mostly made of (monounsaturated fat) actually lowers your levels of the bad LDL cholesterol and blood fats called triglycerides. The fats you'll be limiting (saturated fat) and avoiding (partially hydrogenated trans fats) raise those levels. The healthy fat alone qualifies olive oil as a Power Food par excellence.