Tag Archives: olive oil

9 Heart-Healthy Foods You Should be Eating

February is American Heart Month, but that doesn’t mean you should only worry about having a healthy heart for 28 days out of the year. Heart health is incredibly important; if you take care of your heart, you’ll be less likely to suffer from heart disease and stroke, the most common killer in the USA.

The foods that you eat can have a great impact on your heart’s health. Think of your heart as a high performance sports car: if you put super-premium fuel in, you’ll get better results. Here are nine super-premium foods to keep your ticker in tip-top shape:

Oatmeal Oatmeal is good for your heart because it contains omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, potassium, and folate. The fiber in oatmeal is very beneficial for your heart because it can lower levels of your bad cholesterol (LDL), which can clear up your arteries.

Avocados Like oatmeal, avocados will help lower your LDL cholesterol levels; they will also raise the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) in your body. They also make it easier for your body to absorb other nutrients that are good for your heart, such as beta-carotene and lycopene.


Mediterranean Diet Key to Growing Old Gracefully

Following the Mediterranean diet is not only tasty, but has a great benefit on your brain health. Recent research conducted at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago tracked nearly 4,000 adults over the age of 65. Their results confirmed what we’ve heard many times: the so-called Mediterranean Diet, a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and olive oil, helps your brain to age gracefully.

Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, this research proved that those who followed the diet were less likely to struggle with everyday tasks as they grew older. The study also revealed that those on a steady diet of healthy foods performed much better than those who ate lots of red meat, white bread and processed foods, often known as the “American” diet. Researchers found that the best performers consumed lots of fruit, vegetables, fish, olive oil, beans, nuts and moderate amounts of alcohol. The foods have a positive affect on the brain, protecting it by reducing damage caused by oxidative stress.


Salad Dressing May Not Break Your Healthy Diet

Salads are a convenient and tasty way to make sure you’re getting enough vegetables in your diet but sometimes, the addition of salad dressing can add fat and empty calories to your otherwise healthy plate.

Luckily, recent studies show that some salad dressing varieties, like types made with vegetable oils, can actually help your body absorb nutrients.

According to Patricia Groziak, M.S., R.D., the senior nutrition manager for Unilever, the presence of dietary fat is important for the body’s absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A and E.

“A variety of studies have looked at the body’s absorption of these vitamins from common food sources, including raw vegetable salads,” said Groziak. “Research has shown that absorption of carotenoids (vitamin A) and vitamin E is greater when salad vegetables are eaten with full-fat or reduced-fat dressings as compared with a dressing that contained no oil.”


Your Guide to Good and Bad Fats

The American vocabulary uses “fat” as a negative adjective when actually, some fat is beneficial to your health. When it comes to diet, certain types of dietary fat an aid weight loss and help improve bodily functions.

The Harvard School of Public Health says to avoid trans-fats, limit saturated fats and choose healthy fats. What are healthy fats, you may ask? The “good fats” include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which have been said to help lower disease risk.


Power Food Pairings Increase Nutritional Value

Women’s Health has released a list of 9 Power Food Pairings – combinations of food items that give you more nutritional value when eaten together. Even better, they seem like pretty easy combinations to work into your diet. Check out Women’s Health for the full list and read my favorites below.

That time of the month may have you reaching for less nutritious foods, but research shows less pre-menstrual irritability in women who ingest the most calcium and vitamin D. Eggs are an excellent source of vitamin D, and broccoli provides easily-absorbed calcium. I tend to crave a little fat, so a broccoli and cheese omelet sounds ideal to me. (more…)

Simple Steps to Healthy Cholesterol Levels

September is National Cholesterol Awareness Month. And while you should be aware of your cholesterol levels and what affects them every month, it doesn’t hurt to give it a little extra attention now and again.

First, it’s a good idea to know what constitutes healthy and unhealthy cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association has an established range for your daily cholesterol intake:

– Less than 200 mg/dL is considered healthy.

– 200 to 239 mg/dL is borderline high cholesterol.

– 240 mg/dL and above is an unhealthy cholesterol level.

Many foods can contribute to an increase in your unhealthy cholesterol levels, but what you may not know is that some foods actually have the opposite effect. Yes, instead of medications and supplements, sometimes actual natural nourishment is the solution. (more…)

Health Benefits and Recipes for Olive Oil

By day, Maris Callahan is a publicist in New York City. In her spare time, she is a freelance writer and food blogger at In Good Taste, a blog about cooking and eating good healthy food when you’re busy or on-the-go (with a few indulgences, because everyone needs those!) When she isn’t cooking or writing she enjoys running, knitting, photography and a good latte. olive-oil

Anyone who has been on a diet has probably heard the golden rule of weight reduction: burn more calories than you eat. Though there are a variety of diets that suit different lifestyles, taste buds and appetites, many health professionals would agree that a low-calorie diet combined with exercise is a reliable way to shed pounds.

So then why do they tell us to eat olive oil? By reading the nutrition label, one might think that olive oil should be considered an occasional indulgence and used sparingly. The good news is that dieters don’t need to pass on the heart-healthy antioxidant source in order to maintain or lose weight. (more…)

Bob Greene’s Super Foods

Any healthy diet should include a rich variety of foods from all groups to ensure you’re giving your body all of the nutrients it needs. Bob Greene, creator of the Best Life Diet, recommends these five Super Foods. He says while all foods provide vitamins and minerals, these little gems should appear on your plate as often as possible.


1. Olive Oil
Ditch your old cooking oil and switch to Olive Oil. It can raise the good cholesterol and lower the bad cholesterol, has a light and delicious flavor and can be used to cook nearly every meal you make. Request your food be cooked in olive oil at restaurants.

2. Soy
Countries like the U.S. who eat an animal-fat rich diet are more likely to have cancer. Soy is an ideal source of protein, is easy to prepare and can take on the flavor of anything you want. Best of all, it can decrease your chance of heart disease or cancer.

3. Mushrooms
Grill them, bake them, put them in a soup, pasta, salad or kabob- any way you slice them, mushrooms are good to eat and good for you. They are packed with antioxidants, potassium and Vitamin B.

4. Walnuts, almonds and nut butters

While the calorie count might be high in nuts, they offer healthy fats, protein and fiber. Eat a handful of nuts as a snack or enjoy an almond butter sandwich for lunch. You’ll be amazed at all the nutrients such a small food can provide.

5. Eggs

The egg is one of the most versatile foods and has been one of the most controversial. No longer is the egg our enemy. Eggs promote eye health, contain 6g protein, 9 amino acids and 5g of “good fat”, actually work to prevent stroke and heart disease and provide Vitamin D.

Learn more about Super Foods from the original Super Foods list from Dr. Steven Pratt.

And you thought your egg white omelette was fat-free?

You may have heard about the latest news that came out this past week regarding the fat content of our favorite non-stick cooking sprays. These sprays are made of oil, often vegetable oil, so they most certainly contain fat. In fact, one can of your favoring spray can contain more than 800 calories! The longer you spray, the more fat and calories you’re adding to your scrambled eggs or stir-fry. If this item is a dietary kitchen essential of yours, spray once and get your finger off the trigger quickly.

New varieties, made of olive and canola oils, are more frequently available at the grocery store.

Take a Trip to the Mediterranean

According to new research, a Mediterranean diet may help Alzheimer’s patients live longer. For those of us on the younger side, it’s also great for your heart health.

So what’s all the fuss about the food eaten in this beautiful region of the world?

The Mediterranean diet is loaded with fruits, vegetables, grains and olive oil, and more fish than red meat. That’s not totally alien to what the rest of us think of as a healthy diet.

But wait!

Another staple to the diet is moderate consumption of red wine, which is probably largely responsible for its trendiness.

Regardless of what your motivation may be, here is a rundown as to why it can be such a healthy diet choice:

The core to the healthfulness of the diet is how low it is in saturated fats. There is plenty of fat, but usually in the form of olive oil, nuts and fish, which has the much-touted omega-3 fatty acids.

Now to the wine… having a glass with your dinner has been shown to have health benefits. Red wine contains antioxidants, which can help fight heart disease. A glass (or up to two for men) can also lower cholesterol. New information is coming out that it may even be good for reducing your risk for diabetes.

Of course, this isn’t the only way to eat your way to great health. But if the idea of olive oil, moderate amounts of bread and pasta, with a little wine and lots of fruits and veggies sounds tantalizing to you, then you should explore your options further.