Olive oil does not hold random so important place in the Mediterranean diet. The nutritional value was the one that demonstrated the importance in our daily lives and talking about its nutritional value we refer to the content of 'good' - unsaturated fat in fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin E) and antioxidants such as polyphenols.
The beneficial value of olive oil in the Mediterranean diet pattern is mainly due to the content of monounsaturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated fats in the diet have been linked to maintaining the health of the cardiovascular system.
Studies have shown that when the saturated fat diet replaced by polyunsaturated and monounsaturated (so-called "good" fat), then it appears to improve the lipid profile.
That is why international organizations such as the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association, recommend replacing saturated fats (animal fats) than monounsaturated (olive oil) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (soft margarines, nuts, fish).
But precisely because fat is high in calories is important to emphasize the amount of oil we consume!
Reducing the incidence of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases have been associated with the consumption of foods rich in antioxidants. The reason: Antioxidants protect against damage molecules and cell membranes.
The polyphenols, antioxidants that we know them as a component of wine, red fruits and coffee, are a key component of olive oil. When using olive oil as our main source of dietary fat manage to cover a significant percentage of our daily requirement of antioxidants.
Furthermore, the phenolic compounds of olive oil appears to be correlated with the health of the heart, acting against oxidative stress, and protect the quality of the oil as affecting the aroma and taste of the oil and simultaneously act against the oxidation of the same oil.
Olive oil is an excellent source of vitamin E, a fat soluble vitamin which shows strong antioxidant activity. Vitamin E oil is a further component which is connected to maintain the health of the heart in combination with polyphenols and monounsaturated fatty acids.
The antioxidant activity of vitamin E oil has been associated, however, and the prevention of premature aging, as seems adequate intake has been associated with protection against degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's Alzheimer.