Mediterranean diet

Benefits of olive oil

Tablespoonful (15ml) of olive oil contains 120kcal. This means that olive oil fattens like all other fats. Thus, it is recommended to ingest only 25ml per day. However, it can never be repeated enough that olive oil is the only fat extracted directly from the fruit, without chemical additives. A fat with only 8% saturated fatty acids per 100g. Besides this attribute, olive oil is natural juice, one composed of a fraction, small but significant, of vitamins A and E, natural antioxidants, which make it the most recommended fat for the organism, a further demonstration of the reasons it is a fundamental part of the Mediterranean Diet.

In order to have a clearer idea of the benefits of substituting other fats/oils by olive oil, in a meeting convened by the European Commission in the Italian National Council for Investigations, held in Rome, on 11th April 1997, a considerable group of specialists in nutrition, cardiology, lipidology and public health discussed the importance of the Mediterranean Diet and its principal source of fat, olive oil.

In conclusion, a consensus was reached that the adoption of the Mediterranean Diet as a daily eating practice, is an important resource in the prevention of cardiovascular risk factors, principally dyslipidemia, arterial hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Besides this, a series of researches suggests that the Mediterranean Diet can prevent some types of cancer.

With regard to coronary diseases, innumerable researches demonstrate that diets rich in hydrates of carbon and fibers, allied to fats rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids (extra virgin olive oil ), reduces the levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, without alteration of the levels of HDL cholesterol, consequently, reducing the risks of coronary disease.

Other studies demonstrate that the populations that are practitioners of the Mediterranean Diet are less predisposed to high arterial tension. Other studies suggest that low ingestion of saturated fatty acids may reduce the risks of diabetes, and still others indicate the benefits of olive oil in reducing levels of diabetes mellitus II.

Without any doubt, the practice of the Mediterranean Diet allied to regular physical exercise prevent and reduce obesity and all the detrimental consequences arising from it.

Epidemiological researches prove that where the Mediterranean Diet is practiced, there is a lower incidence of cancer, principally of the colon, the digestive and respiratory organs, besides some other types de cancer in other areas of lesser incidence.

This same team of scientists, among various recommendations, requested governments, authorities and all the participants of the food supply chain, such as agriculturalists, industrialists, traders, supermarket owners, doctors and hospitals to adopt the Mediterranean Diet as the basic dietary recommendation and the parameter for the production and commercialization of food.

Here we are referring to ethics and honesty regarding the production of foods that are healthy, free of transgenic insecticides, free of noxious chemical components. When commercializing within the parameters, it means, above all, selling honest products in an honest manner. Not cheating or trying to cheat the consumer through subterfuges that, by means of ill defined labels, dubious names and adulterated products, may illude him, leading him to buy what he does not know or may harm him.