With so many different oils on the market, knowing which ones are best to cook with can be a real challenge. Safflower oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, soybean oil, olive oil - the list just keeps going.
The truth of the matter is that some oils are definitely healthier than others. Those who live in Mediterranean areas have long benefited from what olive oil has to offer. Here are 7+ health benefits of extra virgin olive oil that may inspire you to cook with it.
1. Antioxidants. Olive oil is high in antioxidants which, according to Healthline, help fight disease.
2. Heart disease. The Mayo Clinic states that by lowering inflammation and improving the function of the lining of the blood vessels, olive oil helps reduce the risk of heart disease. The oil also protects the body's LDL from oxidizing and helps lower blood pressure.
3. Breast cancer. An oncogne called p21Ras helps encourage tumor cell death and prevents DNA damage, according to Medical News Today.
4. Acute pancreatitis. Medical News Today shares that olive oil may help protect against acute pancreatitis.
5. Blood sugar. For those who suffer from type 2 diabetes, the Mayo Clinic states that olive oil helps control blood sugar levels.
6. Alzheimer's. Although it hasn't been fully studied and proven, Healthline shares that olive oil appears to benefit the brain's function, and may help with fighting against Alzheimer's disease.
7. Inflammation. Olive oil is high in oleic acid which is thought to reduce inflammation. Healthline says that olive oil is 73 percent oleic acid and may help relieve those who suffer from arthritis pain.
8. Depression. Medical News Today reports that studies done in Spain appear to indicate that diets rich in trans fatty acids cause depression to be worse. Diets high in monounsaturated fats, which is what olive oil is, are associated with lower rates of depression.
Finding ways to swap out vegetable oil in your cooking may be a good idea, given all the healthy benefits you get in return.