Olives have long been avoided by dieters because they have a high fat content. While that is true, there are many health benefits to be gained by eating olives.
In Mediterranean countries, such as Greece, Italy, Spain, and many more, they consume olive oils, gourmet olives, black olives, and green olives.
By eating these, they are consuming healthy fats, unlike many of the fats that we consume here in the United States.
The difference between the types of fat consumed can mean the difference between getting diabetes, colon cancer, and even asthma. It also greatly decreases your chances of developing heart disease.
So, why are olives different? Olives have monounsaturated fatty acids. These are fatty acids known to lower your cholesterol, which decreases your chances of having heart and liver problems.
That’s not to say that adding olive oil to an unhealthy food will make you healthy.
Adding delicious olives to a dish packed with fat, calories, and carbohydrates doesn’t make it a healthy meal, either. To get the benefits of all that olives have to offer, you need to replace the other fats with things like olive oil.
The Mediterranean Diet, known as one of the most healthy diets in the world, is known to reduce the risk of heart disease.
The food is delicious, you’re not starving, and you get to enjoy the rich flavors of olives and olive oils in addition to your food. You base your meals on whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, and olive oil.
Mediterranean Diet Olive Oil
The rich Mediterranean flavors are enhanced not by added fat, but by herbs and spices. They accentuate the natural flavors of the food, such as olives, so that you get a mouth full of flavor with every bite without filling yourself up with unhealthy fat laden additives.
Olives are also rich in antioxidants, making them great for your skin and hair as well. The oils found in olives aid in digestion, liver function, and can even cure diarrhea!
Wondering which olives to choose? All olives start out green. They are picked at various stages of ripening, and that is what determines their color and flavor. Black olives are picked when they are fully ripened, and they contain the most of the heart healthy olive oil.
The difference between regular green or black olives and gourmet olives is the way that they are treated and prepared after being harvested.
Most commonly olives are soaked in a brine to make them less bitter.
If you’re looking for a heart healthy fat, olives are the way to go. There are many health benefits packed into a small olive!
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