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Oils and Fats

Anti-inflammatory oils and fats

Olives and olive oil
The olives you buy off the shelf in jars or from the deli and packed in plastic tubs are not fresh but are cured in water or brine to remove their bitterness. One anti-inflammatory effect of olives is thought to be from an anti-histamine effect upon allergic reactions. It works by blocking histamine receptors, which reduce the inflammatory response within the body’s cells. In addition olives contain anti-oxidants and phytonutrients such as oleuropein and oleocanthal that counter inflammation and associated pain, and polypehnols that actively suppress the body’s inbuilt inflammatory responses. Recent studies have revealed that oleocanthal, a compound unique to olives, acts a similar way to non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen by inhibiting the body’s production of pro-inflammatory enzymes.

When we talk about olive oil on this website we mean only cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil with nothing else added. This means it has not been subject to chemical processing and will still contain all the compounds and micronutrients to help maintain your health. And, of course, it will retain all of its peppery taste.

Oils and fats to avoid
The only oil we recommend you use is extra virgin olive oil. Many popular supermarket vegetable cooking oils such as sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil and grape seed oil contain high levels of Omega-6 fats and are best avoided. Remember that in the anti-inflammatory diet we are aiming for high levels of omega-3 fats.
Trans fats are natural liquid fats that have been turned into hard fats by processes which alter their chemical formula, making them hard at room temperature. You’ll find them in many alternatives to butter e.g. margarine and in bakery products. We recommend that you avoid anything with ‘hydrogenated fat or oil‘ in the ingredients.

 

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