*The Following is an article we wrote for a local media outlet*
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle or overhauling your entire diet can be daunting, but some small steps towards better health are simple – such as adding superfoods to your diet.
“Good olive oil tastes wonderful, and can make a great addition to many dishes. But its real beauty lies in what it can do for your health.”
Cameron Thomson, owner of Manassas Olive Oil Company, shared some of the many ways that you can benefit from adding more olive oil into your diet.
“Olive oil has been studied extensively- and for good reason. It has bountiful health benefits. So much so that there is even a center at UC Davis dedicated to studying olive oil! ” said Thomson.
Olive oil is the “juice” extracted from olives, and is composed mostly of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). “Fats get a bad rep,” said Thomson. “They are an essential part of a healthy diet and your body needs them for its basic essential functions – and olive oil provides the healthiest variety of fat.”
Studies have shown trans fats and unsaturated fat have harmful effects on the body, such as increasing cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. MUFAs found in olive oil can actually have the opposite effect, as studies have linked their consumption to lower levels of cholesterol and decreased risk of heart disease.
“That’s really just the tip of the iceberg,” Thomson stated. Olive oil’s real power lies within two of its components - oleocanthal and polyphenols.
“Academic research has linked oleocanthal and polyphenols to a myriad of health benefits. They prevent cancer, prevent Alzheimer’s disease, keep the heart healthy, lower blood pressure, fight kidney disease, and even can combat arthritis and osteoporosis.” Thomson explained. Sound too good to be true? “You can find all these studies online pretty easily.”
Won’t the addition of more fat to a diet increase your weight? Studies say no. While olive oil is high in calories, a German study showed that people that consumed olive oil felt fuller and more satisfied faster than those that did not.
But not any olive oil will suffice. “Quality counts,” advises Thomson.
Buying extra virgin may not be enough either. A study from UC Davis in 2010 showed that 69% of olive oils labeled as “extra virgin” were not high enough quality to be considered extra virgin. Oils from the “big box” labels are often stripped of not only their flavor – but of several of their health benefits.
“It pays to shop small,” Thomson explained. “You’re going to immediately notice a difference in taste, but perhaps more importantly, I can also tell you exactly what the antioxidant content of our oils is. Not many things in life that are good for you taste this good!”
Thomson encourages all those interested in trying quality olive oil or in learning how they can add this healthy ingredient to everyday recipes to visit his shop located at 9406 Grant Ave, Manassas VA. You can also visit them online at www.manassasoliveoil.com