In the United States, the thought of drinking olive oil every day sounds a bit foreign. And honestly, it is. But in many Mediterranean societies, drinking olive oil is customary, and has been practiced for centuries.
For those in the Keto Zone, extra virgin olive oil is a great choice.
Here are the health benefits in general, and what science says about drinking olive oil every day.
Fortunately for Keto Zoners, olive oil is a “pure fat.” It is a incredibly healthy option to increase fat percentage intake towards 75% of calories from fat.
Olive oil has a composition of 14% saturated fat and 11% polyunsaturated fat. Within the polyunsaturated fats, olive oil boosts omega-3s, omega-6s, and primarily, omega-9s (1).
The omega-9s are the nutrition stars of olive oil. They make up ~73% of the total fat content, and provide most of the benefits of drinking olive oil. In fact, they are know to raise beneficial HDL while lowering potentially harmful LDL. They incorporate into cellular membranes and mitochondria to improve cellular health.
If you’re interested in drinking olive oil every day, there are many benefits of olive oil supported by research. They include:
As shown above, we are confident that olive oil offer many nutrition and health benefits. But is there any extra benefit to using it beyond cooking with it and adding it to other foods? Should you actually start drinking olive oil every day?
What do studies say?
One study of almost 7500 people found that those who drank 1/4 cup of olive oil each day had a 30% lower risk of heart disease compared to those on a low-fat diet (10).
Slow digestion and constipation is an issue for many adults. And often, constipation becomes a bigger problem as we age. In fact, 34% of adults over the age of 60 suffer from it (11). Drinking olive oil every day may help.
In fact, just drinking 1 teaspoon olive oil per day can result in softened stools and constipation relief, as shown in studies (12).
Olive oil is as effective as effective as mineral oil at relieving constipation (13).
Another study of 414 people over the age of 50 found that 97.7% of those with more than 3 bowel movements per week had high intakes of olive oil or drank it straight (14).
A study of overweight women were assigned 2 types of breakfasts for one year. One group ate a breakfast supplemented with soybean oil. The other group drank olive oil with breakfast. Otherwise, the breakfasts were identical. After one year, the olive oil group hah higher HDL cholesterol, lower inflammatory markers, improved blood pressure and lower body weight (15).
When Mediterranean populations, who consume or drink extra-virgin olive oil each day are studied, it’s noted that they have a reduced risk of fractures and osteoporosis (16).
Studies have found that consumption of extra-virgin olive oil reduces the oxidized LDL cholesterol (17 ) and increases HDL. It is believed that the presence of mostly phenols in the oil are responsible for this effect.
To add extra virgin olive oil to you diet each, you have many options. First, start with 100% pure organic extra virgin olive oil that is cold-pressed and unrefined. Look for ones grown in Crete, Greece, and contains very high levels of polyphenol olive oil.
To drink/add 2-4 tablespoons each day:
Drinking olive oil every day offers many health benefits both in theory and in practice. Drink it straight, or add a drizzle to foods. From brain health to digestive health, drinking olive oil every day is great for your body.
And if you want even more Keto Zone recipes, tips, and guidance, join the Keto Zone 21-Day-Challenge today!