Monthly Archives: May 2012

“Upgrade” Your Diet With Olive Oil

Upgrade’ Your Diet with Olive Oil
By Elena Paravantes
Olive Oil Times Health Editor | Reporting from Athens

Olive oil is known as a healthy fat because it is an excellent source of the “good” fats, the monounsaturated fatty acids that have been shown to lower harmful LDL cholesterol levels in the blood and protect from heart disease. But it’s more than just healthy fats.

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Olive oil contains specific fatty acids as well as polyphenols, compounds with antioxidant activity. These components of olive oil interact with other nutrients and increase the nutritional value of a meal.
We know that the presence of fat increases the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, but what about antioxidants?

A number of studies for example, have shown that consumption of tomatoes that have been cooked with olive oil improves their antioxidant activity. This was not observed using other types of oil.

Other research shows that combining olive oil with fatty fish may be beneficial for your arteries. Norwegian researchers observed that when omega-3 rich fish oil such as the type you find in sardines, anchovies or salmon was combined with extra virgin olive oil it prevented the hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis) to a greater extent than each of these foods alone.

It is important therefore, to view olive oil not only as an individual ingredient but also as a component of the diet that enhances the nutritional value of other foods.

Fraudulent Olive Oil

Spanish Police Say Palm, Avocado, Sunflower Was Passed Off as Olive Oil

By Julie Butler
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona

Details of an alleged international olive oil scam – in which palm, avocado, sunflower and other cheaper oils were passed off as olive oil – were released today by Spanish police.

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Follow us on Twitter to be notified when articles post.They said the oils were blended in an industrial biodiesel plant and adulterated in a way to hide markers that would have revealed their true nature. The oils were not toxic, however, and posed no health risk, according to a statement by the Guardia Civil.
As previously reported in Olive Oil Times, 19 people were arrested last week following the year-long joint probe by the police and Spanish tax authorities, part of what they call Operation Lucerna.

Fifteen of of those arrested are Spanish, two are Ecuadorian, one is Colombian and another Italian.

Police said today the alleged fraud involved a complex network of 30 companies and ‘straw men’ from Spain, Italy and Portugal, and an estimated €3 million ($4 million) or more IVA (Spanish VAT) fraud.

The investigation focused on locations in Jaén and Córdoba, however, and police seized documents after searching four business premises in the former.

They believe that false documents and holding companies were used to sell the adulterated oil for human consumption via two main methods: bulk sales to unwitting third party businesses and sales of bottles labeled as olive oil.

“This illegal practice causes very serious unfair competition in the sector given that, by not paying VAT and using inferior or other vegetable oils, the organization was able to price the product well below the market rate,” the police statement said.


Guardia Civil (in Spanish)
Olive Oil Times

Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive and Polyphenols

The Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory Power Of Olive Oil Polyphenols
Olive oil polyphenols are important antioxidents(natural anti-inflammatories) found in highest concentrations in extra virgin olive oil.

They are essential to an anti-inflammatory diet.

One of the most important components of olive oil is hydroxytyrosol, an extremely rare, highly potent polyphenol. Hydroxytyrosol can actually slow the aging process in the skin by stabilizing the part of the cell known as the cell plasma membrane.

Researchers worldwide find that diets rich in olive oil polyphenols are associated with healthier breast tissue, colon function, and cardiovascular function, and offer significant extra protection from secondary smoke and sun-related skin damage.

Extra virgin olive oil is unique when it comes to foods that have a direct impact on beautiful skin.

A few of the benefits of a diet rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidant extra virgin olive oil include:

• Increases the skins ability to maintain moisture;
• decreases “bad cholesterol”;
• increases “good cholesterol”;
• helps intestinal absorption;
• helps gall bladder activity;
• lowers probability of gallstones;
• lowers blood pressure;
• decreases gastric acid secretion in ulcers;
• stimulates pancreas secretion;
• aids developing bone in children;
• prevents osteoporosis;
• lowers glucose levels in diabetics;
• reduces risk of prostate cancer; and
• reduces the risk of breast cancer

Olive oil polyphenols offer additional benefits when incorporated into topical formulations, including the following:

• The delivery of the polyphenol anti-oxidant benefits directly to the skin
• Provides an all-natural approach to the prevention of free-radical damage
• Minimizes the appearance of lines and wrinkles while it brightens and evens skin tone.
• Extremely gentle and non-irritating; safe for even the most sensitive skin
• Guards against signs of premature aging