Fats and oils are nutrients essential for life. And, did you know that the ideal fat for human nutrition is? Olive oil.
But not just any oil: extra virgin olive oil; that is, unrefined and cold pressed to preserve all its properties intact. Pure olive juice.
A very common mistake is to assume that the quality of the oil does not matter if we are going to use it for frying. In reality, the better the quality of the oil with which we fry, the better it will withstand high temperatures without losing its properties, and the healthier our dishes will be.
It is one of the central ingredients of the Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, cereals, nuts, legumes, eggs, fish; lean meat, especially poultry and rabbit; and dairy.
The oil’s versatility makes it possible to accompany these foods with sautées or raw foods, taking advantage of its intense flavour.
In addition to being essential to our cuisine, it is also good for your health, thanks to its oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, and polyphenols, a type of antioxidant key to reducing oxidative stress.
An example? Jeanne Louise Calment, once the oldest person in the world, who died at the age of 122, reported seasoning her meals with olive oil. But if her story doesn’t convince you, here is some information:
Combined with physical exercise, it reduces cardiovascular risk, the incidence of myocardial infarction, and prevents cognitive impairment.
It reduces blood pressure and the risk of diabetes.
And it decreases the incidence of certain types of cancer.
It suffices to consume 3 or 4 tablespoons a day, as seasoning, on toast at breakfast, added to stews, or in fried foods.
In addition to its health benefits, olive oil is a sustainable food, as the olive tree, present since ancient times in the Peninsula, prevents desertification.
As you can see, we have plenty of reasons to enjoy olive oil in our cooking.