Did you know that most believe that a healthy diet contains 25%-35% of calories from healthy fats? Healthy fats actually enable us to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D & K which are all important partner nutrients when it comes to making calcium available to our bones.
The “good” fats, monosaturated, polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids, help protect and build bone, where by and large, the “bad” fats, saturated* and trans fats, are detrimental to our bones.
Unfortunately, fat often gets a bad rap, but our bodies, including our bones need healthy fats. One fat source in particular has been positively associated with bone density: Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. And just how is that? EVOO as it is often called, is rich in vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant which helps lessen osteoclast (the that clear out old bone) activation and it has two polyphenols (micronutrients) that promote the proliferation of osteoblasts (the cells that create new bone.)
Extra-virgin olive oil offers something that regular olive oil does not. Extra-virgin olive oil is pressed mechanically from ripe olives and processed without high heat or chemical solvents. This protects chemicals in the oil called phenols. In contrast, regular, highly processed olive oils lose these chemicals.
There has been debate about cooking with olive oil. The USDA has deemed olive oil to be safe to cook with as it has a relatively high “smoke point.” However, others believe that high heat damages the phenols in the oil. As olive oil has a nice flavor, you may wish to be conservative and use is as a dipping oil, or drizzle it over vegetables or as part of a salad dressing. Here’s one of my go to recipes:
Susan’s Fave Salad Dressing Base
- 1/8 cup fresh squeezed citrus juice of your choice
- ¼ cup organic extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh, chopped herbs (optional)
- Fresh, chopped clove of garlic and onion (optional)
Place all into a small glass jar with a lid, shake and enjoy!
*Saturated fat from organically raised, free range chicken & eggs, pastured beef, etc., however can help protect bones