Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVO) is an oil obtained from the first pressing of the drupes, or fruits (olives), of the Olea europea Leccino plant (better known as the olive tree). The extraction processes of extra virgin olive oil are mechanical and the use of chemical means or processes is totally excluded; the various processing phases must NOT affect the quality of the oil which, when finished, must be intact and well preserved.
The nutritional properties, compared to any condiment gas, are absolutely better; starting from the assumption that it is a widely appreciated food thanks to its typical taste and palatability, extra virgin olive oil deserves to be used “raw” with free frequency but in doses proportionate to the real caloric needs of the subject. It is important to remember that extra-virgin olive oil provides vitamins (E, A), antioxidants, phytosterols and monounsaturated fatty acids, so as a substitute for the lipid-saturated portion of animal origin (fats contained in cheese, meat and fatty derivatives) it can provide a significant nutritional advantage.
In terms of monounsaturated fatty acid content, it is not uncommon to hear extra virgin olive oil being compared to other vegetable oils and disparaged for its lower content of Omega 3 essential fatty acids (more abundant in linseed, soybean, walnut etc.). First of all, it is not the best thing to fry or store food in oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids; the result would be a disaster as the presence of double bonds gives the fatty acids considerable instability to heat and oxidation. Secondly, it should be remembered that:
Monounsaturated fatty acids, like many polyunsaturated ones, are also characterised by a positive metabolic impact; they are distinguished by their beneficial effect on the blood lipid picture and contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
I would like to point out that although extra virgin olive oil is characterised by its excellent contribution in functional micro-molecules NOT energy, its excellent lipid profile, its conservation value, the possibility of using it in frying (occasionally) and its excellent taste characteristics, it is a fat for seasoning that provides around 850 kcal per 100g of product. In the context of a balanced diet, the lipid content of EVO (and that of oily fish) should replace as much as possible the saturated fat portion from meat and dairy products, but this does not mean that it can be consumed freely!
Ten grams of extra-virgin olive oil (enough to season, for example, a salad or boiled vegetables) alone provide three times as many calories as the side dish itself; it follows that exaggerating the seasoning of various dishes with extra-virgin olive oil has a major impact on the overall energy intake and distribution of macronutrients (which should include a fat intake of between 15 and 30% of total kcal as a general rule).
Nutritional values per 100 ml/mg of product: Extra virgin olive oil.
|Energy value||824 Kcal||Proteins||0 g|
Of which saturated fatty acids
of which sugars
|Fibers||0 g||Salt||2 mg|
Article by Riccardo Negro.