I have come across so many articles about how great Olive Oil is and its many benefits. So, I thought this necessitates a blog entry this Saturday evening as I was confused about some terms like virgin, extra-virgin and cold pressing.
What is it?
Olive Oil is a natural juice(fat) of the Olive fruit that preserves the nutrients, taste and other aspects of the this fruit of this traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean basin. Olive oil is a core component of the Mediterranean diet (more on that in the future) and allowed in SCD(slow carb diet). This extract is rich in beneficial monounsaturated fats and its anti-oxidant substances. If confused about anti-oxidants read my blog post about another important anti-oxidant here.
How is it produced? Different types of Olive Oil? (I was confused about the following part the most)
Olive Oil can be extracted from the Olive fruit by chemical or mechanical means. Mechanical means are the best and involve less processing. These terms do not guarantee the quality or standard of Olive Oil, however, a good health food store will generally carry the top 2 varieties. The following is a list in descending quality and nutritional benefit :-
- Extra virgin – extracted of the first processing of just ripe olives, it is the least processed and it is certainly the most nutrient rich. Involves no chemical treatment at all and has less than 1% acidity.
- Virgin – extracted from the second processing of olives whose ripeness may be more. Its acidity is around 1.5% or less.
- Pure – has some filtering and refining and it usually lacks strong flavor. This processed, blended variety has higher acidity than 1.5%
- Extra light, Refined Olive Oil and Olive oil – have varying degrees of processing involved and maybe considerably less beneficial than the top 2 in this list. Variable levels of acidity which may be high sometimes and not good for us.
Like I said before Olive oil in a heath food store should really be in the top 3 types(really 2) only. Since there are not many standards and governance around the above mentioned terms, take them with a grain of salt and experiment and really examine the contents to make sure the olive oil will be what the label says.
What is cold-pressing?
Olive oil is produced by extracting the juice from the Olive fruit by mashing them. Olive presses were used and traditionally operated by hand. This first pressing produced very little oil and was called “cold pressing”. All extra virgin Olive Oil should be cold pressed to preserve its nutritional benefits.
What are its benefits?
- IMHO, Olive oil is rich in beneficial anti-oxidants and may be an important cancer fighter.
- May be an important blood pressure(BP) regulator.
- May even help lower LDL (low density lipo-protein) cholestrol – the bad kind.
- May help with obesity as well.
- Supposed to help against osteoporosis.
- Also, maybe effective against stones in kidney and bladder.
As part of the slow carb diet that I am on, I am consuming enough olive oil everyday – definitely more than 2 tablespoons of extra virgin cold pressed. Coming up next Macadamia Oil. Happy Weekend!
– Gary Saggu
I have come across the term Glycemic Index so many times and its about time this term gets explained. In simple words, this is a measure of how quickly the blood sugar level rises after eating any type of food – ranging from meats to fruits. The Glycemic Index or the GI of a food is a great comparative measure of what impact do different foods have on the blood sugar level. The index is relative to the GI of Glucose which sits at a 100.
Therefore, a food with a low GI will release glucose more slowly in a prolonged manner compared to a hi GI food which causes a rapid almost abrupt rise in blood glucose levels. Much research indicates that high GI foods may cause obesity. I am personally experimenting with consuming low GI foods and willl update this blog with results. I am in my third week of the slow carb diet.
Note that the GI does not measure the amount of carbs consumed and has no reference to it. Also, GI of a food having one value in many charts is misleading as its ripeness, types of same food, cooking methods, processing of the food, length of storage etc. changes its value.
More about the GI soon…Good Night!
– Gary Saggu
1. First meal of the day needs to be slow carb diet conforming. This is not a cheat meal. Today mine was a mix of mung bean and green lentils with ghee and some spices. This was accompanied by a little guacamole and an egg white omelet with an organic egg. The omlet was mixed with some onions.
2. About 2 hours later, I had some sliced grapefruit. Grapefruit juice is ideal but I could not find it (without added hi-fructose sugar) so that became my source of Naringin.
3. PAGG is taken to reduce glucose sensitivity but I am not on PAGG. I would love to hear if how PAGG or AGG is working for people on cheat day.
4. Lots of citrus juices during or lemon juice with water. I had a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice – heavenly.
5. Lots of going to the toilet. I had the honor of going about 4 times already and it is only tea time.
6. Regarding the contractions in between meals, I have not been good with those. I did walk briskly all day today. I think I might go to the gym to make up for no air squats or other stuff before my meal. But my first binge was a healthy soy burger(with muenster cheese) with some greens. Hardly a binge but I am trying to wait for an Opera pastry waiting for me in the fridge.
More thoughts on cheat day from the mind of Gary Saggu later as time progresses…now high tea (with scones and clotted cream, not! – I feel full already!)
– Gary Saggu
Interesting thing happened to me at my local Whole Foods. I wanted to add some variety to my breakfast and innocently opted for smoked trout for protein early this week. The trout was yummy and all natural etc. Last night I was at whole foods again loading up on lentils and other slow carb foods recommended for the SCD (in the 4 hour body). This time I checked the ingredients of my smoked trout and turned out that it did have “all natural” cane sugar. So I checked all the smoked trouts from different vendors and they all had some form of sugar in it. Hidden sugar in apparently safe foods that one can eat while on the SCD is a big reason why this diet may not be providing the results expected.
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