Nutritional Value Olive Oil

Nutritional Value of Olive Oil

 

The olive oil is energy dense (like all oils) with a tablespoon worthing approximately 120 calories.

One of the features that makes olive oil special is its composition in fat acids. It is very rich in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated (whose high consumption is associated with health problems). Moreover, such a high content of monounsaturated fat (mainly oleic acid representative) allows one to mention it in nutritional characteristics. The third group of fats acids are called polyunsaturated and can be found in small quantities. In this group the omega-6 outweigh the omega-3 fat acids.

Olive oil is also rich in squalene, fat soluble vitamins and phenols (important antioxidants and not only). Two tablespoons of olive oil give 207% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E. Tyrosol, hydroxytyrosol, elaioefropeini, elaiokanthali and elaiasini (perhaps the most potent antioxidant olive oil), are olive oil substances mentioned in numerous scientific studies, the results of which are indeed impressive.

The olive oil phenols, tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol are absorbed and utilized by the human body and possess a wide range of bioactive properties including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and vasodilatory actions. The variety and the maturity of the olives collected, combined with the pressure system with which the olive oil is received, are the most important factors that affect the rate of phenols in olive oil.

Scientific1 data show that elaiokanthali (which generates the characteristic burning in the throat when we consume extra virgin olive oil) seems to have strong anti-inflammatory effects, which can be compared to drug ibuprofen. Furthermore, US researchers2 concluded that elaiokanthali contained in extra virgin olive oil has the potential to reduce the possibility of occurrence of Alzheimer's disease. Generally, Greek olive oil is rich in this substance, which distinguishes it from the competition.

In 2011, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)3, after evaluating a number of scientific investigations, approved a specific health claim for olive oil, allowing for such reference on the product label. Thus, Regulation 432/2012, which was published in the EU Official Journal, reported the health claim: "Olive oil polyphenols contribute to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress" that can be used when the oil contains at least 5mg hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives (eg elaioefropeinis and Tyrosol complex) per 20g. olive oil. To use this argument, it must provide the consumer with the information that the beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 20 grams of olive oil.

 

Sources:

  1. http://magiatis.blogspot.gr
  2. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cn400024q
  3. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:136:0001:0040:en:PDF
Olive Oil