By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
February 4, 2022
I use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in the majority of my meals. Not only does it have great flavor, it’s absolutely THE BEST choice for my health.
Unlike margarine, butter and other saturated fats, EVOO has medicinal properties that can reduce your risk of health issues and early death. I’m talking about things like heart conditions, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and respiratory disease.
As a matter of fact, I recently saw in the American College of Cardiology that replacing just over two teaspoons of margarine, butter, mayonnaise or dairy fat with olive oil each day had up to a 34% lower risk of early death. So EVOO is the hands down winner.
EVOO is also a much better choice than replacing butter and margarine with other vegetable oils
Most vegetable oils contain omega-6 fatty acids that create a pro-inflammatory state. This promotes LDL oxidation, arterial plaque, blood clots and narrowing of arteries. These oils are refined and highly processed. They lack nutrients. Most of them contain pesticide and herbicide residue and come from genetically modified sources.
So they’re bad news all the way around.
EVOO, on the other hand, is a medicinal food. It’s loaded with anti-inflammatory antioxidants called polyphenols. These compounds repress pro-inflammatory genes, which gives olive oil a powerful role in the fight against disease and aging.
Polyphenols can change the expression of genes that influence your risk of heart disease and plaque build-up in the arteries. So unlike other oils found in so many kitchens today, it’s an extremely heart-healthy oil.
And one of the polyphenols in EVOO, oleocanthal, is an incredible antioxidant that boosts production of proteins and enzymes critical in removing beta amyloid from the brain. So it’s great for maintaining mental cognition as you age.
EVOO is particularly good in helping people over the age of 70 to age successfully – but only when it is the exclusive cooking oil used in the kitchen.
To top it off, EVOO isn’t fattening. In fact, diets high in olive oil are associated with reduced weight.
How to get more EVOO in the Foods You Eat
It’s not hard to get more EVOO in your diet. I like blending it with garlic and herbs. Then I use it as a drizzle for my roasted veggies, fish and meats at almost every meal. I use it in salad dressing, dipping sauces, marinades and a whole lot more.
I especially like using it in tomato sauce, because it works with the tomatoes to increase their nutrient power. When I make a sauce with tomatoes, onion, garlic, Italian spices and other ingredients, adding olive oil increases my levels of lycopene by more than 80%. And it happens in as little as five days!
Lycopene is well-known for its ability to protect against prostate cancer. As a man, I’m all for getting as much of it as I can!
So whenever you make a tomato dish – salsa, tomato salad, roasted tomatoes, tomato soup – make sure to toss in some olive oil to boost your lycopene levels.
What to Look for when Buying EVOO
When I first open a bottle of olive oil, the first thing I do is open up two 400 IU capsules of vitamin E oil and put it into the olive oil.
The minute you open the EVOO and it’s exposed to the air, it will start oxidating. Adding vitamin E helps keep that from happening. Still, even if you add vitamin E oil to your EVOO, it will only last about a year before it goes bad. That’s why I stick with smaller bottles or cans when I buy it.
When you make your purchase, check out the label to make sure it’s not a fake olive oil.
Some products labeled as “Italian extra virgin olive oil” or “Product of Italy” or “Packaged in Italy” are not actually from Italy, and might not even be 100% olive oil. The oil could have come from anywhere, and Italy was just where it was packaged.
I also recommend that you never buy your EVOO in a clear or plastic bottle. Exposure to light makes the oil turn bad. So the bottle should be a dark color, and should be made of glass or metal.
It’s also a good idea to find out how old it is. Check for the “best by” date or, even better, the harvest or batch date on the label. This isn’t the same thing as the expiration date, but it will tell you how long it’s been sitting on the shelf. You don’t want anything older than a year.
And don’t forget to always choose “organic extra virgin olive oil” over ones that are labeled “olive oil” or “light olive oil,” or are not organic.
You don’t have to spend a ton of money on your EVOO. Perhaps surprisingly, a couple of the best EVOO’s you can buy are the Whole Foods 365 brand or Kirkland brand from Costco.
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