If you’re aiming to lose weight, cooking with olive oil can be a good way to start. Formed by the crushing and pressing of olives, olive oil contains monounsaturated fat, which is considered “good” fat because it helps lower blood cholesterol levels. Switching from butter and regular vegetable oils to olive oil is a good first step to beginning a healthier diet that can help you lose weight.
Olive oil is high in vitamins and minerals like A, C, D, E and iron. It can help prevent colon cancer and also contains oleic acid, which promotes healthy skin.
The Food and Drug Administration suggests that eating two tablespoons of olive oil can lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. Researchers have confirmed that Mediterranean-style diets in which olive oil replaces butter lead to lower rates of heart disease and other ailments. Keep this in mind when deciding which meals to cook at home.
Which type is best?
You can find various types in the supermarket. Nutrition experts consider Extra Virgin the healthiest olive oil version because it undergoes the least amount of processing and retains the highest levels of polyphenols, antioxidants that have a beneficial effect on the heart.
Virgin olive oil contains a higher level of acidity and a less-delicate taste, while the Light variety loses even more flavor and nutritional value due to its considerable refining process. The term “light” in this case is a bit misleading, because it does not actually indicate a low-calorie product that can help people lose weight.
Keep the bottle in a dark place and cook with it promptly, as studies have shown that oils exposed to light over time lose some of their nutritional benefits. The same holds true for oil stored for more than 12 months.
Consider the smoke point for cooking and baking
Oils have a smoke point, or the point at which the substance begins to decompose and lose its flavor and nutritional benefits. You would not want to use an olive oil with a smoke point of 250 degrees in a 400-degree oven, for instance.
The smoke point can vary greatly, ranging from around 200 degrees to as much as 468 degrees. Some oils advertise their smoke point while others do not. In general, light olive oil has a smoke point on the higher end of the scale while extra virgin oil has a lower smoke point. If you can’t figure out which type best suits your cooking needs, look for labeling that suggests “good for baking.”
Dietary options that use olive oil to lose weight
Attempting to lose weight requires a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise and a good diet. Cooking with olive oil can be a part of that healthy diet in several ways.
Replace saturated fats like butter and other vegetable oils with olive oil. If your diet currently relies heavily on saturated fats, simply consuming olive oil will not help much. In order to maximize the health benefits, it’s necessary to change your eating habits by replacing the saturated fats and oils in your diet with olive oil. You may wish to stir-fry vegetables in olive oil, for instance. Or leave out the butter and make mashed potatoes with extra virgin olive oil, potatoes, garlic and desired seasonings. Brushing cuts of meat with oil before baking can add a bit of flavor.
Use the product as a topping on both cooked and uncooked foods. The flavor and good fats from a teaspoon of olive oil can enhance rice, pasta dishes and steamed or boiled vegetables. Instead of salad dressing, try olive oil and balsamic vinegar or lemon juice for a healthier option. Consider removing the butter dish and dipping your bread in a plate of oil with pepper or vinegar instead. With these changes, combined with eating a balanced diet overall, olive oil can help you lose weight.