Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Liquid Gold

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Last week’s blog wrote about the importance of building muscle rather than losing fat. So why just one week later am I espousing the virtues of a pure fat lipid!?

Fat Is an Essential Macronutrient

A message you will hear me continually repeat is one of essential macronutrients. I use this because it’s a trigger to help people understand that fat is not the devil. Of the three macronutrients, only one is non essential, meaning you do not need this to survive in life. And that one is carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are basically forms of sugars or glucose which your body can naturally produce through a process called gluconeogenesis. Very simply, if you are not ingesting carbohydrates, your liver will manufacture the body’s required sugar/glucose by harvesting them from amino acids and fat by-products.

This does not mean you will necessarily thrive without carbohydrates. But you most certainly can survive.

So once you understand that fats are essential to be eaten for survival, that can help flick a brain-switch to stop a fear of fat which seems to propagate many of us who lived through the low-fat revolution message. A message which has now been totally rebuked and disproven.

The Body Fat to Dietary Fat Misunderstanding

The other challenge to overcome is the belief that dietary fat (the fat that you eat), correlates directly to body fat (the fat you store on your body).

This is completely untrue, as body fat storage comes in the form of excessive calories. And those calories can be formed by any macronutrient.

It is factually correct that dietary fat has a higher calorie ratio per gram than protein and carbohydrates. But that does not directly correlate to body fat storage, which can only come from eating an excessive amount of calories from any food source.

Other Highly Processed Oils

In the supermarkets today we see large plastic containers of highly processed oils which come in forms such as canola, corn, vegetable and sunflower to name but a few.

To extract oil from these products, they have to go through a highly complex formula which includes chemical solvent processing and heating. Whereas with EVOO, all you do is squeeze the olive.

I like to talk about the logical brain when it comes to our food choices. So for me, this is a very simple way to understand why one is better than the other. Sure you can dig deeper and learn about the damaged free radicals which swim around these processed oils and enter your body. But I want my messaging to be simple. I want you to think for yourself. 

So just think about a piece of corn. Does that feel like it naturally has a lot of oil in it? Then think about the process that corn must have to go through to extract any oil, let alone the cheap bucket loads of it you see in the supermarket aisles.

The Goodness of EVOO Liquid Gold

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is more of a fruit juice than it is an oil. An olive is naturally 40% oil. So when you squeeze an olive, all you need to do is remove the stone (20%), remove the water content (40%), and you’re left with pure liquid gold in the format of extra virgin olive oil.

EVOO is a monounsaturated fat which is proven to help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol. It is packed with antioxidants and polyphenols which help protect the body and fight off disease.

Recent studies are showing that EVOO helps fight the progress of dementia and other non-communicable brain diseases.

It really is liquid gold medicine in a bottle.

The Myth That You Cannot Cook With EVOO

This has always confused me. When I began researching nutrition and specifically what oils to use for cooking, one thing I would regularly read is that EVOO cannot be used for high heat cooking as it damages the oil and makes it unhealthy. This message was repeated in numerous resources I read.

But I always wondered; “if that’s the case, why is it the only oil used for frying in the Mediterranean for thousands of years without any negative health consequences?” I also wondered why, if that was the case, have these other seed oils not been chemically damaged when going through their processing.

Well it turns out I was right to have those doubts about that message. Because now we know that it is indeed a myth which was promulgated by (have a quick guess before you read who might have benefited from such a message), yes, by the seed oil industry.

In the same way that fat was demonised by the sugar industry. And Kellogg’s made the message that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It was in fact the processed seed oil industry that spread this myth to promote their own product, and make others fearful of the most natural oil in the world.

You can indeed cook with EVOO on high heat. And just to be scientifically clear, yes over a certain very high heat EVOO does become molecularly unstable and different to its non-heated version. But it is still less chemically damaged than the seed oils which have literally gone through a high heating and chemically adding process to make them stable.

Therefore, I would logically prefer to take my chances with an olive fruit juice heated to a high heat, than a mass produced cheap oil which has been highly processed just to get onto the supermarket shelf.

But EVOO is Expensive

Compared to other oils, yes it is expensive. But you have to consider things like, how often do you use oil and what is the cost per serving. And also change your brain to remember that by using EVOO, you are giving yourself natural medicine. You can eat anything cooked in EVOO knowing that it’s good for your brain, your heart and your body. 

It’s an investment in your future self to prevent doctors visits and brain degeneration when you are older.

Are There Other Good Oils?

There most certainly are. Now you have your logical brain switched on about oil, I am sure you can think for yourself what they might be. The best oils are the ones which need no processing. You simply squeeze the fruit, and out comes the oil. Therefore, think about coconuts and avocados which are high in fat content. Then you can consider some nut oils where you know the fat content is also high.

The choice is yours. But the science is clear that the benefits to the brain and body from EVOO outweigh any other form of oil. This fact alone should be the reason why it’s the only oil to have in your home.

Buying Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Just be aware of some clever marketing ploys which some companies use to distract you. Such as “Olive Oil”. If you look at the ingredients on a bottle of “Olive Oil” you will see that EVOO is just one part of the oil which is mixed with other processed oils to make it cheaper.

Therefore, only buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Also remember that EVOO is a fruit juice, so it does have a shelf life of no more than two years. Be aware to check the date of manufacture, or if you’re lucky, the bottle will show the date of harvesting.

Only ever buy oils in a glass bottle because chemicals from plastic bottles can leach into oil. And also try to buy dark bottles, because EVOO can be affected with over exposure to sunlight.

However these are additional details to perfect your EVOO buying experience. If the first step is to replace the processed oils in your kitchen with EVOO, this is going to be a massively beneficial step for your health.

Resources

Here are some additional resources where you can find more detailed information about Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

Genius Life 336 with Nicholas Coleman, Internationally Renowned Olive Oil Master: An EVOO masterclass discussion with Nicolas Coleman, the EVOO sommelier, on how to buy and use EVOO, as well as details on the incredible health benefits of this superfood.

Nicolas Coleman: An Oleologist whos life work is dedicated to the benefits and beauty of this liquid gold

Grove and Vine: Learn more from the experts themselves and try some of the hand selected fresh Extra Virgin Olive Oils of each season. Dip in and enjoy the EVOO experience in the same way a sommelier enjoys wine. Each oil has its own unique flavours and properties. So if you want to experience these different flavour profiles, order from Grove and Vine, and use Max’s promo code Genius23 to get US$20 off any subscriptions.

Genius Foods: A book which everyone who has an interest in improving their longevity should read, with a chapter focused entirely on the benefits and beauty of EVOO. I reviewed the book here.

If you would like to ask any questions about EVOO, or any other matters relating to food or health of any kind, please feel free to reach out to me. I am always here and happy to help.

Live strong, live long. The choice is yours.

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