by Dr. Janet Brill, Registered Dietitian and Cardiovascular Nutritionist
Extra Virgin, Extra Phenols, Extra Health: What Extra Virgin Olive Oil Can Do for You
Hippocrates called olive oil “the great therapeutic.” Homer referred to it as “liquid gold.”
In my book, Prevent a Second Heart Attack: 8 Foods, 8 Weeks to Reverse Heart Disease, I point out that extra virgin olive oil stands apart from all other types of fat for several reasons:
Studies show that people who eat a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil are less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack.
These food groups include leafy greens, figs and other fruits, lentils and other legumes, salmon and other seafood, walnuts and flax seeds, oatmeal and other whole grains, and red wine.
Dark chocolate is a bonus food in this plan. Yeah!
Daily intake of extra virgin olive oil can boost your heart disease defense system by:
One additional advantage of frequent use of extra virgin olive oil in the kitchen is that it is loaded with flavor and encourages the consumption of large amounts of vegetables and legumes — antioxidant and fiber-rich foods that many Americans find difficult to fit into their diet.
Here are a few of the ideas I offer in Prevent a Second Heart Attack:
(Delicious served on a salad, or a fillet of Grilled Swordfish, or Pan-seared Salmon.)
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 shallot, peeled and minced
1 bunch flat-leaf Italian parsley, stalks removed
3 stalks fresh chives, cut into small pieces
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until ingredients are well-combined, scraping down the sides of the container at least once.
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER 2-TABLESPOON SERVING:
Fat: 14 g (0 g EPA, 0 g DHA, < 1g ALA) Saturated Fat: 2 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 18 mg Carbohydrate: 1 g Dietary Fiber: < 1 g Sugars: < 1 g Protein: < 1 g Dr. Janet's Parsley Chive Dressing (above and on page 288), Rachel's Tuna Cannellini Bean Salad (dressed with extra virgin olive oil - found on page 282), Chef Julie Korhumel's Linguine with Fresh Garden Vegetables (page 293), and Chef Keith Blauschild's Herbed Beans and Brown Rice (page 294) are some of the recipes included in Prevent a Second Heart Attack that feature extra virgin olive oil and are sure to please the palate.
Use extra virgin olive oil in cooking to add taste and nutrition to your favorite dishes. You may be surprised at how some foods truly come alive with the addition of this “liquid gold.”
(published April 8, 2014)
Janet Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN, is a leading diet, nutrition, and fitness expert specializing in cardiovascular disease prevention. She is the author of Cholesterol Down: 10 Simple Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol in 4 Weeks – Without Prescription Drugs (Three Rivers Press, 2006), and Prevent a Second Heart Attack: 8 foods, 8 Weeks to Reverse Heart Disease (Three Rivers Press, Feb. 2011). To learn more about Dr. Janet, get delicious heart-healthy recipes, or buy her books, please visit DrJanet.com or PreventaSecondHeartAttack.com.