Big Business in FAKE Olive Oil!
Were you aware that there may be an imposter in your pantry? Fake olive oil is disguising itself and may be damaging your health. Back in the 90’s I was extremely health conscious and believed I was doing all the right things. I shunned butter and saturated fat and loaded up with olive oil. My diet was mostly low fat because that was the conventional wisdom at that time, and not many people questioned it. I happily followed along. I probably drank my weight in olive oil annually. The known benefits of olive oil back then were so numerous and still are today.
According to Olive Oil Times, at http://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-health-benefits there is a phytonutrient called “oleocanthal” that appears to mimic the effects of ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory. Squalene and lignans are two other substances that show a positive effect on cancer. We have heard that it lowers total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and increases HDL cholesterol termed “the good” cholesterol. Acutally, HDL and LDL are not really cholesterols at all. They are “lipoproteins.” Carriers of cholesterol. But regardless of what they do, just understand that when HDL is high it’s a good thing. LDL that is TOO high is not always a good thing, but LDL by itself is not the devil. Olive oil also has appreciable amounts of vitamin E.
Why Olive Oil is Beneficial
Olive oil also has monosaturated fat that does not oxidize in the body. Other polyunsaturated oils such as soybean, corn, canola, and safflower, do oxidize. We now know that when oil or cholesterol “oxidizes”, it causes inflammation in the arteries that supply blood to our tissues and organs. This process is similar to when the paint on cars turns that milky white opaque color. Oxidation of fats is one of the MAIN causes of inflammation in the arteries that supply blood to our tissues and organs. We now know that it is inflammation that is the culprit in heart disease and strokes, and not just your cholesterol numbers. Oxidation produces free radicals. No oxidation, no free radical production. We can easily see then why it has such numerous benefits.
Beautiful, glorious olive oil! So here is the bad news:
You may not be getting the health benefits of olive oil because your olive oil might be a fake! Yes, I said a fake!
An imposter may be in YOUR pantry. You can read the whole article here> The Great Extra Virgin Olive Oil Hoax, but I will give you the in a nutshell version. It seems that olive oil is such big business, and the profits are so great that certain companies “adulterated” the olive oil they were selling. They contain hazelnut, soy or sunflower oils (oils that oxidize) that are much cheaper and do not have the same health benefits. The other hidden truth is that once the olives are harvested and pressed, it can be stored in warehouses for extended periods of time. Upon exposure to the elements it oxidizes. After extended storage periods, it can then be sent anywhere in the world and what happens after that is a huge unknown. Tainting can then occur. I was using Bertolli. Guess what? Yep, not real.
The size and density of your LDL are more important. Industrial seed oils cause small dense LDL and need to be avoided like bubonic plague
Effects of Industrial Seed Oils on Cholesterol Levels
Imagine my shock, horror,and anger when I found out my olive oil was a fake! 70% of all olive oil sold is fake or adulterated with added scents and coloring. It sits in warehouses for months. I thought I was doing the right thing, but it showed in my blood work at my annual physical. Sure, my total cholesterol was 160, my HDL was 80 which is fabulous and my triglycerides were in the 70’s. LDL was about 80. My doctor then explained that I showed signs of arterial blockage. I was shocked! I did everything I knew of NOT to have this happen. The problem was that no other doctor had ever tested anythiing other the basic cholesterol tests.
Unfortunately the standard LDL, HDL and triglyceride testing does not indicate heart disease and stroke risk. No testing was ever done to determine the “SIZE or DENSITY ” of my LDL. This is the true way to assess your risk. If that testing had been done previously I would have began my research into what causes small dense LDL and probably would not be in this position now. Demand this test from your doc. If he refuses, find a doctor who will do them. They should be standard.
You see, contrary to what you have been told, there is a growing body of evidence that saturated fats and cholesterol are not the culprits of heart disease that they have been made out to be. Inflammation is the true cause of most diseases and this is true for heart disease and stroke as well. Oils that oxidize cause inflammation. This is why I feel that it is very necessary to let this cat out of the bag for those of you who missed the memo.
Who would ever think my olive oil could be the culprit for the “small dense LDL” I was seeing on my lab tests. Olive oil adulteration is such big business, and the profits are so great that certain companies “tainted” the olive oil they were selling. They contain hazelnut, soy or sunflower oils (oils that oxidize) that are much cheaper and do not have the same health benefits. The other hidden truth is that once the olives are harvested and pressed, it can be stored in warehouses for extended periods of time. Upon exposure to the elements it oxidizes. After extended storage periods, it can then be sent anywhere in the world and what happens after that is a huge unknown. Tainting can then occur. It’s a prime example of the old “bait and switch.”
The size and density of your LDL are more important. Industrial seed oils cause small dense LDL and need to be avoided like bubonic plague.
We now know the size and density of the LDL particles is a better predictor of arterial health. I might as well have been eating fried foods all those years. I quickly researched the brands that were real and unadulterated, and I chose “California Olive Ranch .” My local grocery store carried it. International Olive Council (IOC) sets standards, and only certain companies’ measure up. Get more information and a list of brands participating in the seal program for 2015 here:
I get my oil at my local Publix but if your nearest store does not carry it you can get it here: California Olive Ranch Brand
Storage and Usage
At home, store your oil in a cool and dark place. Quality olive oil will come in a dark bottle and not a clear bottle. Most quality olive oils also come in glass bottles and not plastic. Keep the cap closed when not in use and avoid storing near heat sources or windows. Although it is preferable to store this oil in the refrigerator, it will solidify and get cloudy to some degree. This is actually a good sign. Most poor quality oils are still liquid when refrigerated. Olive oil will tend to begin to solidify if it is real. Once you break the initial seal, try to use it within a few months. Well, there is the ugly truth. Now that you know it is time to speak loud and clear with your dollars by purchasing only 100% cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil.
For good cardiovascular health severely reduce or eliminate refined nut and seed oils that are GMO and grown with a multitude of chemicals from pesticides and fungicides.
Be aware that the beneficial properties of oil are fragile and it should never be heated or cooked with.
Use after the food is cooked or in salad dressing. For cooking, use other oils such as avocado or coconut. Both of these oils can withstand much higher temperatures. Avocado is the most heat tolerant of all even surpassing coconut oil. Avocado oil withstand temperatures close to 600 degrees. So, now you will no longer be duped. Tell the imposter in your pantry that it has been found out and now you know the difference. Bon’ Appetit.
To learn more you can also purchase the book:
Extra Virginity The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil.