Substituting Polyunsaturated Fat May Reduce Heart Health Risk More Than Cutting Bad Fat

Below is a link to a recent study done at Harvard University that found replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats may reduce your risk of heart disease by 20 percent more than just reducing fat intake. This is significant because it implies the low-fat craze is not the healthiest approach. Our body needs fats so why not consume healthy fats. Extra virgin olive oil has both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and is one of the healthiest fats around. One fun way of replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats is to replace butter with real extra virgin olive oil in desserts. We have a wonderful carrot cake recipe on our site that does exactly this and it is yummy. You can find the recipe here.

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Archive for the ‘Food and Recipes’ Category

The link below contains an excellent article about a new UC Davis olive oil consumer study. Essentially the study showed that consumers do not prefer the oil that olive oil experts rate as the highest quality. The main challenge for consumers is acquiring the taste for the bitter and pungent qualities of real extra virgin olive oil. Acquiring this taste is similar to acquiring the taste for the strong and bitter flavors found in coffee and beer. However, when the consumers learned that the strong flavors found in real extra virgin olive oil is evidence of a high concentration of antioxidants they began to be more receptive. The consumers often actually preferred rancid oil which tastes flat and greasy and has no spark of pungency and therefore almost no antioxidants. The reason for this preference is the US market is being flooded with rancid oil that is still labeled as extra virgin.

Most of the world’s great foods require a little education to appreciate. Drizzling real extra virgin olive oil over food that has been cooked, like a condiment or sauce, uses the pungency as an enhancement to food like pepper. Learning the old world traditions of great food not only improves our enjoyment of food but it also improves our health.

http://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-basics/quality-olive-oil-and-consumers/12465

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Below is a link to an article stating researchers have found evidence that the Mediterranean diet may help prevent skin cancer. The basic idea is that the diet is based on eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and olive oil which are rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants build resistance to the harmful rays of the sun. In the US many of us have greatly reduced our consumption of fresh foods over the years, instead opting for fast and processed foods to accommodate our fast life styles. Thankfully more chefs and foodies are teaching ways to eat fast, fresh, and healthy. Something as simple as eating fresh fruit for snacks instead of candy bars is a good example of changing simple habits to increase our intake of healthy and fresh antioxidants.

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/2010/08/23/why-following-mediterranean-diet-is-good-for-your-health-and-protect-your-skin-86908-22508004/

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May was Mediterranean food month and the Mediterranean Foods Alliance website had a recipe contest and has posted the winners on their website. We have mentioned this website before because it is one of the best sites if not the best site for learning about the Mediterranean diet. They have an educational introduction for the beginner, extensive resources for the experienced, lots of wonderful recipes, practical tips for introducing the Mediterranean diet into your diet and much more. This is all presented in a beautifully designed website, well worth the visit.

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Here is an Italian classic that illustrates all the typical qualities of country Italian cooking – simple, fresh ingredients, and great olive oil.

2 cups cannellini beans
14 cups of water
1 cup Apollo Sierra olive oil
12 slices (1/2 inch wide) of bread
Crushed garlic
Salt

To garnish:
Chopped parsley (1/2 bunch)
¼ cup Apollo Sierra olive oil

Bring beans to boil, reduce heat to low and add ½ cup of Apollo Sierra olive oil , cook for more or less two hours. During this time keep adding small amounts of Apollo Sierra olive oil. When fully cooked add salt to taste.

Toast the slices of bread in the oven until they get golden brown, when ready, spread them with the crushed garlic.

To serve, put two slices of the toasted bread in the plate and cover with the soup, garnish with Apollo Sierra olive oil and a little chopped parsley.

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Below is the best article I have read on cooking with extra virgin olive oil. In essence, the phenolitic compounds found in high quality extra virgin olive oil protect the oil during the cooking process so it does not break down into harmful substances. Low quality olive oils do not have these compounds so it is actually more harmful, not less harmful, to cook with them. There are many other factors that make high quality extra virgin olive oil the best choice for cooking. I highly recommend reading the entire article.

The scientific truth on cooking with extra virgin olive oil

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Below is a fun article on making flatbread with olive oil from the New York Times. It is amazing how versatile olive oil can be. I keep learning new ways to use it which encourages me to also conduct my own experiments. If you have time, tell us about your own discoveries with olive oil.

Olive Oil Helps Produce a Classic Flatbread

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Below is a link to a recent study done at Harvard University that found replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats may reduce your risk of heart disease by 20 percent more than just reducing fat intake. This is significant because it implies the low-fat craze is not the healthiest approach. Our body needs fats so why not consume healthy fats. Extra virgin olive oil has both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and is one of the healthiest fats around. One fun way of replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats is to replace butter with real extra virgin olive oil in desserts. We have a wonderful carrot cake recipe on our site that does exactly this and it is yummy. You can find the recipe here.

Read the article.

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