Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is Best For The Keto Diet

What Is The Keto Diet?

Whether you want to lose more weight, build muscle, or simply improve your health, the keto diet is perfect for all three. For those that might not know, the ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet (yes, you are allowed to eat bacon). What’s unusual for newcomers, is that this unorthodox approach to dieting seems to contradict everything about our traditional understanding of nutrition. Now, in this exploratory age of health and wellness, we are a little more used to pushing the boundaries of conventional wisdom. But science is on the side of the keto diet, as over 20 studies reveal keto can actually improve health, and boost the body’s metabolism.

Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is The Best!

When following a traditional keto diet, around 75 percent of your total caloric intake will come from fat, 20 percent from protein, and just 5 percent or less will come from carbs. As a result of making fat your main source of calorie intake, you will need to be much more conscious of making sure you are fulfilling your nutritional requirements from other sources.

You should put the \focus on eating high quality and nutrient-rich oils. By cooking with “good” monounsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil, you can add a supplemental boost to your daily intake.

Extra virgin olive oil, because of its low concentration of polyunsaturated fats and being unrefined – has more stability when cooking. When compared to its counterparts; the double-bonded polyunsaturated fats like a nut, fish, and seed oils – extra virgin olive oil- are far more stable. These other cooking fats also much more refined, and chemical processed – making them far less healthy, and less beneficial for the consumer.

The two main factors that should be taken into consideration when predicting an oil’s safety and stability at high heat, are the percentage of polyunsaturated fats (lower = better), and the extent to which the oil has been refined (less = better)

Beneficial Nutrients In Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Just one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil contains:

    • 119 calories
    • 14 grams fat (9.8 grams of which is monounsaturated and high in oleic acid)
    • Zero sugar, carbs or protein
    • 8 micrograms vitamin K
  • 2 milligrams vitamin E

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Contains Anti-inflammatory Properties

The high content of antioxidants is also part of what makes extra virgin olive oil stand out. Oleocanthal and oleuropein are two dominant antioxidants, which are related to the anti-inflammatory properties.

By slowing down the process of oxidation, another element – oleic acid – reduces the number of free radicals that cause damage to your tissue, and can slow down cell death.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Can Help Combat Cardiovascular Disease

Extra virgin olive oil can also help prevent heart disease in numerous ways. The fats found in extra virgin olive oil help raise HDL levels (good cholesterol) in the bloodstream. High-density lipoproteins can help wash away (and clear) arteries, by decreasing the amount of plaque buildup created by bad cholesterols or low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Less arterial plaque means healthier blood flow, and less stroke and heart attacks. With this increased and healthy blood flow through unclogged arteries, a person will be less apt to experience high blood pressure and ultimately reduce their drug and medicine intake.

Knowing the impacting long term health benefits that EVOO can offer, it doesn’t seem coincidental that the most frequent consumers of extra virgin olive oil, are much less susceptible to developing complications associated with heart attacks and strokes.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Feeds Your Brain, Too!

Since olive oil is packed full of phytonutrients and antioxidants such as flavonoids, phenols, anthocyanidins – it is believed to enhance cognitive functions. Many studies have been conducted on the effects olive oil may have on the brain, and conclusively scientists are finding that EVOO has a positive impact on mental health. In fact, people who consume higher amounts of olive oil in their diet – are 30% less likely to develop depression. It is also thought to decreases the risk of developing symptoms of dementia, as well as Alzheimer’s disease.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil In Comparison

Coconut Oil

-Coconut oil does raise good HDL cholesterol – however, this benefit could be negated by the adverse effects of LDL, which can contribute to plaque forming in the arteries.

-The negative impacts that saturated fats (like coconut oil) have on cardiovascular health – is still disputed. However, even if there are no links found between saturated fats and cardiovascular disease, unsaturated fats (like EVOO) are very proactive in protecting the heart.

-Coconut oil is higher in saturated fats, while EVOO is predominately monounsaturated fat – which promotes a healthy heart.

Animal Fats / Grass-Fed Butter

-Butter has a good omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio.

-Grass-fed butter has nutrients, such as Vitamin A, D, E, and K2

-But a recent study concluded that even moderate consumption of butter significantly increases both LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol – especially when compared with EVOO.