Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Olive Oil: A Weight Loss Blessing

Each year in Sonoma County, there's a festival called the Blessing of the Olives. That's how central olive trees and the foods they yield are to the economy and the eating habits of the region. Olive oil, the most treasured gift of these trees, is just as central to The Sonoma Diet. There's probably no food choice you'll make that does more for your health and weight loss efforts than olive oil.

That's good news for your taste buds, because no othervegetable oil comes close to olive oil's rich and pleasing flavor — no wonder this heart-friendly oil is a huge part of theMediterranean diet. Research has made clear that a major reason for southern Europeans' low rate of heart disease is their liberal use of olive oil as their main source of dietary fat. By adopting olive oil in the same way, you'll get the same benefits. And because you'll learn to enjoy olive oil in healthy amounts in place of the harmful fats you may be used to, you will lose weight.

To appreciate olive oil as a power food, banish from your mind the notion that it's the "least bad" fat. It's a heart-healthy food that's good for you. You need dietary fat to lose weight, but you need the right kind. Olive oil is one of the best. Choose extra-virgin olive oil and you'll also enhance the flavors of your food. The kind of fat that olive oil is mostly made of (monounsaturated fat) actually lowers your levels of the bad,LDL cholesterol and blood fats called triglycerides. The fats you'll be avoiding (saturated fat) raise those levels. That alone qualifies olive oil as a power food par excellence.

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