Mediterranean and Middle Eastern traditional cultures that did manage to (or still are miraculously managing to) avoid processed, mass-industrialized food and Western sugar-laded junk food possessed an innate understanding of health and the nutritious properties of whole foods. Think, for example, of soup broth. Traditional cultures broil animal bones into the broth. They may have no idea what calcium is, but somehow they know that bones are good for you. Eating liver is another example. How would they know it's rich in vitamin A. And why didn't they develop an appetite, for argument's sake, for appendix or gall bladder?
The same goes for olive oil. Does it really matter what about this natural fruit oil (often considered a vegetable oil, but technically, olives are fruits) is responsible for heart health?
To western society, of course it does. It doesn't matter that for thousands of years, cultures have thrived on it; if it's not scientifically validated then it has no merit.
Thus brings us to a recently published study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which finally has shed light on olive oil's properties.
Though the study was conducted on mice, the findings are most likely prevalent with humans. The big scoop: olive oil is healthy because of 'nitro fatty acid'. And where do nitro fatty acids come from? The study concludes that it's from the pairing of healthy fats in olive oil with the naturally-occurring nitrites and nitrates in green leafy veggies like spinach.
Pairing olive oil with nuts and avocado most likely mimics the nitro fatty acid effects, as well, suggests the study.
Blood vessels become relaxed, and thus, blood pressure goes down with the pairing.
The takeaway from the study is that, yes, olive oil is definitely healthy for you. But perhaps more importantly, it's the typical Mediterranean Diet's complementary foods that are often served on the same dish with olive oil, such as nuts, veggies, fish and fruits that create this dynamic compound of nitro fatty acids.
Many medical establishments and figure heads still caution about limiting saturated fat intake, such as that found in red meat. While the Miracle Noodle Team does believe that limiting red meat is healthy, it's the quality of the red meat and every saturated fat that counts.
Even olive oil, when cooked at high temperatures, or left out in sunlight or left sitting out in clear bottles, becomes rancid. The study does not mention this, but luckily for you, the Miracle Noodle Team's got your back.
Buy olive oil in small quantities, even if it's more expensive, and local, too. Think about how far imported oil from Italy or Spain or Greece has to travel, and how hot the storage compartments are when in transit; it's likely affecting the quality of the oil. Try to buy small-batch, locally-produced olive oil in dark bottles and store in a dark, cool pantry.
To your health!