Ever since the proponents of the Mediterranean diet have made themselves heard, olive oil appears to have become another health fad. People are suddenly cooking their meat and veggies in it, using it to top off their salads, and even making kale chips with it. But is it Paleo?
Paleo and Healthy Fats
Absolutely. The vast majority of the fat found in olive oil is healthy monounsaturated fat, which is nothing to be afraid of. After that, the oil is rich in saturated fat, which is also a delicious macronutrient that we now know we don’t have to fear. Olive oil does contain some polyunsaturated fats, but it’s negligible, coming in at only around 10% for most virgin olive oils. Virgin is the way to go, by the way, because it is less processed and eating a Paleo-friendly diet is all about avoiding industrialized foods. As a result of the fact that it’s not as processed, virgin olive oil is also more likely to be higher in healthy fats and phenols.
The Health Benefits of Phenols
Phenols are chemical compounds which plants produce to protect themselves against predators. Ironically, phenols impart a number of health benefits to the humans that consume them, particularly antioxidant properties. This is important because it means that food containing phenols reduces oxidative stress in our bodies, leading to less inflammation and disease. They also prevent the cholesterol in our blood from oxidizing, which is important because evidence suggests that cholesterol (especially LDL) poses the most danger when it is allowed to oxidize in the bloodstream.
Paleo Olive Oil Recommendation
If you’re looking for a quality Olive Oil, we recommend Kasandrinos.