Olive Oil: Nutritional Facts and Other Benefits
Olive oil has become a staple in most kitchens these days, and people have accepted it with open arms because of its numerous health benefits. Extra-virgin olive oil is widely regarded as one of the healthiest oils available and is especially loved by fitness freaks.
Are you considering including it in your diet? Let's dive into the nutritional values and benefits of olive oil so that you can make an educated decision.
What is olive oil?
Olive oil is squeezed and extracted from whole olives, the fruit of the olive tree which is the primary crop in the Mediterranean region. The oil is then utilized in the production of a wide range of products, including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, soaps, and, of course, food.
There are many varieties of olive oils. How acidic it is and how much it has been processed determines whether it is termed virgin, extra-virgin, or pure. What sets olive oil apart from other oils is that it is obtained from the fruit itself, rather than from a seed, nut, or grain.
Production of Olive Oil
Olive oil is made by grinding olives and using mechanical or chemical methods to extract the oil. Green olives generate more bitter oil, and overripe olives can produce oil with fermentation flaws. Thus, it's important to make sure the olives are ideally matured for good extra virgin olive oil.
Nutritional value of olive oil
Here are all the olive oil nutrition facts you need to know. You'll find the following components in each tablespoon (tbsp) of extra-virgin olive oil:
- 120 calories
- 0 gm protein (g)
- 14 g fat
- 2 g saturated fat
- 10 g MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids)
- 1.5 g polyunsaturated fat (PUFA)
- 0 g of carbohydrates
- 0 g fiber
- 0 g of sugar
There are 9.86 grams of monounsaturated fat, 1.42 grams of polyunsaturated fat, and 1.86 grams of saturated fat in olive oil. Olive oil has 119 calories per tablespoon, making it a calorie-dense food.
Although it is heavy in fat, olive oil is a healthy type of fat that has been linked to improved physiological health. It also contains a number of essential elements, including vitamin E, vitamin K, and trace levels of potassium.
There are several health benefits of olive oil. High-quality extra virgin olive oil boosts your heart, brain, joints, and more because of its potent antioxidants. However, no matter how healthy, it's still fat and should be taken in moderation. If consumed in excess, it might cause weight gain, which in turn might cause other health issues.
Olive oil might also not be for everyone, and if you're unsure about adding it to your diet, it's better to consult a clinical nutritionist before making a decision.