Dietary Values

Extra Virgin Olive Oil dietary values

The Extra Virgin Olive Oil is suitable for frying and to dip food in it. Compared to any other fat for condiment, Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s dietary values are certainly better. Having a taste for all palates it can be even eaten uncooked considering, in any case, user’s calorie needs. Then, its being rich in vitamins, antioxidants, phytosterols and monounsaturated fatty acids that can replace the saturated lipid portion of animal origin (fats in cheeses, meat and derivatives, eggs etc.) can be considered a great nutritional advantage. 

Focusing on the monounsaturated fatty acids content, it is a common attitude to compare the extra virgin olive oil to other vegetable oils by discrediting the same about its low content of essential ω3 fatty acids (most abundant in linseed oil, soybean, walnut etc.). Actually such comparison has no reason at all to exist. First of all, I would challenge anyone to fry or dip food in oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids; the result would be a disaster because the presence of double bonds in fatty acids confers a considerable instability both to the heat and to the oxidation. Secondly, it must be considered that:

• Even monounsaturated fatty acids, like many polyunsaturated ones, are known about their POSITIVE metabolic impact, they are famous and important for their healthy effects on blood lipid profile and for their contribution in preventing cardiovascular diseases. 

• Polyunsaturated fatty acids belonging to the family of ω3 present in vegetable oils are NOT totally bioavailable; the ω3 content in soybean oil, flax, walnut etc… predominantly contain α-linolenic acid (ALA abbreviations, AAL, LNA or 18:3 - ω3) that, differently from the eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5 ω3  and docosahexaenoic (DHA, 22:6 ω3 ), requires a molecular conversion to accomplish all the concerning metabolic functions. 

Obviously, the same is valid for the extra virgin olive oil... However, if the presence of ω3fatty acids is the only criteria considered in the choice between extra virgin olive oil and other kind of oils for condiment, sincerely there are not enough differences to let someone prefer a kind of whatever oil to the extra virgin one that, in its turn has a great culinary “ductility”.
Finally it must be also said that notwithstanding EVO presents a good balance in its NOT energizing functional micro-molecules and a good lipid profile in terms of shelf life, it’s a condiment that has 899 kcal per 100g of product. In a contest of a balanced diet (or in whatever kind of dismetabolic disease) the EVO lipid content should be substituted as much as possible to the saturated fat portion coming from meat, eggs, milk and derivatives…but this doesn’t mean it can be freely used! 10grams of EVO (the suitable quantity to season a salads or boiled zucchini) produce by their own the triple of calories produced by the side dish itself.  The direct consequence is that an overdose of EVO can have a bearing upon the total energetic contribution and upon the macronutrients’ distribution (that must foresee a lipid contribution between the 25 and the 30% of the total kcal).

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Usage

EVO can be also used in many other different ways from the common and well-known culinary ones. As told before, it has a saponifiable and an unsaponifiable portion that is yellow and liquid (also known as Olea Europeae Oil Unsaponifiables). This last one is made for an 80% of SQUALENE and for a 20% from hydrocarbons, alcohols and aliphatic triterpene, sterols, tocopherols and carotenoids.
Some scientific researches have demonstrated that they have a positive effects on the skin sebum thanks to its moisturizing and sebum-reconstructive properties. In addition, it has been demonstrated also that the unsaponifiable portion can have reconstructive properties upon the derma and epidermis solving any problem of skin tropism. Among the other healing properties we have to remember its light laxative function and the analgesic one thanks to the presence of oleocantale.