The Mediterranean Foods Alliance Website

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.

2010 LA County International Olive Oil Competition

The 2010 LA County International Olive Oil Competition just posted the results from their prestigious tasting event. Apollo Olive Oil’s Sierra was the only domestic oil to win a Best of Show medal in the non-flavored category. Overall all three of our oils won Gold Medals at the LA County competition. So far this year we have won 8 golds, a silver, two best of class, and two best of shows. We won best US organic oil in the Biol, Italy competition and world famous food critic, David Rosengarten, chose the Barouni as his favorite oil. So needless to say we are very pleased with our oils this year and we hope you enjoy them.

How the Right Fats Could Actually Reduce Weight

The article below is about a recent study that found eating the right fats could actually help reduce weight. The basic finding is that oleic acid is transformed in the small intestine into a chemical that sends a signal to the brain that you are full. Olive oil is up to 80% oleic acid which is a monounsaturated fat. The article focuses on the prospect on using this finding to create a new class of anti-obesity drugs. But why not just take the natural drug of real extra virgin olive along with all its other anti-oxidant benefits?

USDA Publishes Olive Oil Standard

Below is an excerpt from an email sent from the California Olive Oil Council to its members. This is excellent news because it will greatly reduce the amount of mislabeled olive oil on supermarket shelves in the US.

On Wednesday, April 28, 2010, standards for olive oil were published in the
USDA Federal Register. The standards will take effect October 24, 2010.

This is an historic achievement for the California olive oil industry as
well as consumers and retailers.

The petition, filed by the California Olive Oil Council in August 2005,
sought to set in place standards for grades of olive oil in the United
States, especially extra virgin. Heretofore, the absence of federal
standards allowed some unscrupulous importers to flood the US market with
mislabeled oils and misleading claims.

The standard will:

* Provide legal reference definitions for any government agency that takes
enforcement action against mislabeling

* Provide buyers in commerce with a common language of clearly defined US
grades of olive oil

* Serve notice to unscrupulous importers that the United States will no
longer be a haven for mislabeled low grades of olive oil or other oils
claiming to be olive oil

* Raise public awareness of the differences between extra virgin and other
grades of olive oil

* Inform the consumer by including taste (organoleptic) as well as chemical
testing requirements for olive oil

* Become the foundation on which an infrastructure of grading and testing
can be built

Olive Oil, Heart Health, and Phenol Compounds

The link below is to a Spanish study that indicates that real extra virgin olive oil is good for your heart because of the phenol compounds. This is similar to a previous article in our blog on real extra virgin olive oil and cancer. This is important because, once again, it is not just because olive oil is a mono-unsaturated fat that makes it good for the heart but because real extra virgin olive oil contains phenol compounds. These phenol compounds reduce inflammation which is a major cause of heart disease. And, once again, only real extra virgin olive oil contains phenol compounds.

Read the article

Should you cook with extra virgin olive oil?

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


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.

Read the article.