Not an ordinary condiment:
the FDA recognized extra-virgin olive oil as a medicine
For Italian grans, it’s nothing new: a spoonful of fresh extra-virgin olive oil is incredibly healthy. Recently, science has started to back up what they have known for a long time.
Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is good for you
Thanks to the presence of oleic acid, vitamin E and polyphenols such as oleocanthal, tyrosol and oleacein, extra-virgin olive oil is a valuable ally in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, cognitive deficit typical of the elderly, type-2 diabetes and breast cancer.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil has now an official health claim
For this reason, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a qualified health claim to recognize its medical effect, allowing producers to clearly state it in their label.
However, to benefit from this positive effect on the health, extra-virgin olive oil must replace saturated fats, which raise the level of the so-called “bad cholesterol” and are linked to a series of health problem.
Using Olive Oil as a substitute for fat acids is also one of the main characteristics of the Mediterranean diet, practiced in Italy and in the Mediterranean countries, and it is no coincidence that it has been acclaimed as one of the best diets in the world, to the point of being recognized by the UNESCO as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
How to Store your EVOO
Lot of people wonder if olive oil goes bad. Actually, it has a long shelf life but the FDA claim explains that, to provides a sufficient amount of oleic acid, vitamin E and polyphenol with a caloric intake of less than 200 kcal, the extra-virgin olive oil have to be taken within 12/18 months of its extraction.
The claim also gives helpful tips in order not to alter the freshness of the product: olive oil must be stored at a temperature of 14-18 degrees, in small opaque containers and shouldn’t come in contact with oxygen.
It certainly needs to be said: a tablespoon a day… keeps the doctor away! Try it on your salad, over a slice of crusty bread or to give the finishing touch to a caprese salad - the typical summertime Italian dish - and get ready for a delicious, fresh and healthy meal.