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Both can help promote better overall health and add some life to a variety of dishes
MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new report from the International Olive Council (IOC) cites the benefits of including table olives and olive oil as part of a well-balanced, nutritious diet and the important role they play as the primary sources of dietary fat in the Mediterranean Diet. The first in a series of reports scheduled to be published by the IOC over the next year, “Health Benefits of Olives and Olive Oil” indicates that consumers are increasingly seeking to incorporate foods into their diets that can help boost or maintain health, as well as help prevent some diseases. The full report is available on www.addsomelife.org.
“Health Benefits of Olives and Olive Oil”
These foods include healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Olive oil, the main type of fat found in the Mediterranean Diet, is high in oleic acid, which is a MUFA. The positive impact of MUFAs on certain health conditions, including cardiovascular disease and cancer, has been the subject of considerable study. Olives and olive oil are also a rich source of numerous compounds, including polyphenols, with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.
Small changes add up For this report, the IOC examined current research to collect the latest science related to the health benefits that can come from consuming olives and olive oil. Making small dietary changes can help make a positive difference in health and developing these healthier habits can encourage people to continue making good food decisions long-term. Some examples: cooking with olive oil rather than other fats, satisfying salt cravings with a few olives instead of a bowl of potato chips, or choosing a side salad drizzled with heart-healthy olive oil instead of French fries when dining out.
There are myriad better-for-you options for everything from dips to sides to desserts that use olives, olive oil or both — many of which take 15 minutes or less to prepare. Whether you’re entertaining for a small group or just prepping a quick dinner for two, these dishes will make your heart and your waistline say, “thank you.”
Big dipper, main dish topper Edamame — soybeans harvested prior to hardening — are used extensively in Asian cuisine and provide the foundation for Edamame Hummus. These protein- and fiber-packed beans blend with olive oil, fresh kale or spinach, garlic and lemon juice for a delicious, satisfying dip to use with pita wedges or your favorite crispy vegetables. For a sweet complement to lean meats or fish, try Papaya Salsa. Ripe olives, pineapple, onions, lime and papaya combine to create a flavorful accompaniment to seared fresh tuna, grilled chicken breast or roasted pork tenderloin.
Super side, guilt-free finish Swap mashed potatoes for Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Puree, a lighter, less-calorie-laden alternative that uses olive oil, chicken broth and fresh marjoram to infuse the cauliflower with flavor. And a healthful meal doesn’t need to end when dessert appears. Minted Orange Ricotta with Mango Mélange uses olive oil, a variety of fresh fruits, ricotta cheese and fresh mint to create individual servings of a colorful, light dessert that can be topped with MUFA-rich walnuts or almonds.
For more healthful, quick-to-prepare dishes with olives and olive oil, including Fresh Salmon Salad, Vegetable Breakfast Skillet, Pan-Seared Fillets with Wilted Greens and Chicken with Quinoa, visit www.addsomelife.org.
About the International Olive Council The International Olive Council (IOC) is the worldwide body that sets quality standards for the olive and olive oil industry. Based in Madrid, Spain, the council is an intergovernmental organization created in 1959. It is charged with implementing the 2005 International Agreement on Olive Oil and Table Olives, the purpose of which is to promote trade, consumption and international cooperation in the fields of olive oil and olives.
Twittercue: International Olive Council releases report about how olives and olive oil @AddSomeLife and a dose of good health. Recipes and more at www.addsomelife.org