The Benefits Of Olive Oil In Fitness And Weight Loss
Olive oil is one of those super ingredients that the internet claims you must put in every meal. Why? Well, because it has plenty of health benefits. There is, of course, fat in it just like any other oil. However, it’s the good kind of fat that is healthy for your body. It is recommended for fitness enthusiasts and for those who are trying to trim down their weight.
Where Does It Come From?
As the name suggests, olive oil is the product from pressing whole olives. Records show that references to the olive plant has been around as early as 2500 BC. The Olive tree is native to the Mediterranean where the earliest records of it can be found.
Today, the olive oil is processed or refined which removes the flavor, aroma and color. This makes it more sellable, but the highest-grade olive oil you can buy is extra-virgin. An unrefined olive oil has that true olive taste and has less than 1 percent acid. It is also healthier for you as more vitamins and minerals are still not lost to the process of refining it.
Olive Oil Benefits
Olive oil has mostly monounsaturated fat, which is good for the heart unlike the saturated fat found in butter. This is the kind of fat you want in your diet, as it helps lower bad cholesterol level and raises good cholesterol level. This, in turn, helps lower your risks of stroke and heart attack.
It is also packed with vitamins and antioxidants which we need in our body to protect it from free radicals. This significantly improves our health and our appearance. Free radicals also damage skin cells, so antioxidants also help in looking younger and glowing.
Olive Oil Uses
There are a variety of ways the olive oil can be utilized and every day, the internet keeps finding more. Here are the most common olive oil uses:
- Cooking – the refined or light (meaning light flavor not light in calories or fat) variant is better for this purpose as it is less expensive.
- Dressing – olive oil can be drizzled over salad or over any cooked food for added flavor.
- Dip – you can use it as a dip for bread in replacement for butter.
- Dieting – incorporating olive oil into your diet helps you achieve your weight goal faster.
- Beauty product – many people use it for its moisturizing properties. It can be used to remove makeup, as a face or hair mask, as an emergency chapstick and more.
Olive Oil Diet
The olive oil diet calls for participants to drink at least 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil a day and that is if you are planning to lose less than 20 lbs. If you want to lose 20 to 40 lbs, you have to take three tablespoons of olive oil in one, which can be divided into three doses throughout the day. Up the intake by half a tablespoon if you want to shed off more than 40 lbs.
According to a study published in 2010, the group of women with olive oil intake are more likely to lose weight than to those following the National Cancer Institute’s low-fat diet. Further research suggests that the oleic acid may have played a role in their decreasing appetite.
Important Things To Note
While the extra-virgin variant is the healthiest among the olive oils, it also tastes the nastiest. As explained above, it has the most flavor, so the recommended variant for this diet is the refined one. You are going to be drinking this every day, so the bland flavor helps in chugging down a tablespoon of oil down your throat.
You also need to include the calories of the olive oil into your daily calorie intake. A tablespoon has about 120 calories, which is a pretty big deal. With that said, it is not enough to take olive oil every day. It only works if you are also up for the challenge of having a balanced diet and daily exercise.
Furthermore, even though olive oil is as healthy as it gets, it can also cause some nasty effects like diarrhea, which then leads to other conditions. It acts as a laxative, so you also don’t want to drink too much of it.
Olive oil has a lot to give to our bodies, but still, the most important part of any diet is consistency. Healthy foods can only help so much, so it’s best to follow through any regimen you set for yourself.