Healthy move to opt for olive oil
New Zealand’s favourite wellbeing expert answers readers’ questions about their health.
Question: I’ve read conflicting information about what oils are good to use in cooking. I like to use olive oil, is olive oil OK? Thanks, Mary
Olive oil is a fantastic edition to your diet – we have all heard about the health benefits of the traditional Mediterranean diet, still considered one of the healthiest diets in the world. Its emphasis on fruit, fish, nuts, legumes, vegetables and olive oil are thought to provide some of its protective effects.
One of the other important components of this incredibly healthy way of eating is the generous lashings of fresh olive oil they use, which are best used on salads and for low-temperature cooking. The safety of any oil is linked to its smoke point – the temperature at which the structure of the fat alters to be harmful to human health. Olive oil is believed to have a smoke point of about 180 degrees.
Consuming olive oil improves some of the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, it helps improve your blood-cholesterol profile, it also helps reduce the formation of blood clots and, it can assist in blood-glucose control, important in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers are looking at the link between olive oil consumption and lower rates of some cancers. Question: As Christmas approaches I spend a lot more time at work functions, which often don’t have very nutritious options. What are your tips for staying healthy in the festive season? – Courtney
Drink your greens – with the increase in special occasions around Christmas time and the often not-so-nourishing food options, juicing or making smoothies is a wonderful way to amp up your nutrition when you’re in control. Incorporate some organic leafy greens for an extra boost and some good fats such as avocado, nuts or seeds and you have an easy but nourishing snack.
Commit to a morning routine – if your days are getting more and more jam-packed, starting your day with a restorative routine can make all the difference to help your mindset and allow you to start your day with a feeling of spaciousness. It doesn’t change what you need to do, but it can change how you show up – feeling capable as opposed to stressed out. Go for a walk, sit with a cup Email your questions for Dr Libby to email@example.com. Please note, only a selection of questions can be answered.
of tea and watch the sunrise or simply practice some long, slow breaths that move your belly in and out while you wait for the kettle to boil.
Some time to yourself can make all the difference to your energy in what can be a hectic time. Be in touch with gratitude. Stay in touch with what a privilege life is. Remember that all of our basic needs are met, when for too many people in the world, this is still not the case. Be grateful that you have people to celebrate with, money to buy gifts, food to put on the table. The nervous system cannot focus on two things at once so when we feel grateful we cannot be stressed.
Dr Libby is a nutritional biochemist, best-selling author and speaker. The advice contained in this column is not intended to be a substitute for direct, personalised advice from a health professional.
Consuming olive oil has a number of health benefits.