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Are All Olive Oils Healthy? Not Really! Know Which Is The Healthiest Olive Oil For Cooking

The Kashmir Monitor

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Fats are one of three macronutrients essential for overall health and make up a large part of our bodies. We cannot absorb vitamins A, D, E or K without the fats in our diets. Healthy fats, such as nuts and seeds, cheese and olive oil can keep stress at bay, improve mood swings, decrease mental fatigue and can actually help you manage your weight. It is high time that we stop criticizing and ridiculing fats all the time. While fat in general have a bad reputation and has been linked to weight gain, not all fats are bad. You just have to make the right choices and be careful of the quantities.

No doubt, olive oil is a healthier option and should be replaced with the normal cooking oil. The important question that arises in our mind is that are all olive oils healthy? The answer is no. Olive oil is made from the pressing of olives. Extra virgin olive oil is rich in flavours as it is not diluted and undergoes minimal processing. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, which reduces inflammation and protect scells against oxidization. It has also been shown to help lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The healthy fats in olive oil are a sustained source of energy which contribute to brain health, enhance the mood, promotes hormone development, while also keeping us full longer and the list is endless. You can use olive oil in all in your dishes, top it on your salads, roasting and grilling.

Have a look at health benefits of extra virgin olive oil:

 

1. Antioxidants and healthy fats:

Regular olive oil is refined and in the process all the important nutrients and antioxidants are striped off. In contrast, the natural extraction process used to produce extra virgin olive oil ensures that it retains all the nutrients and antioxidants from the olive fruit. In particular, it is rich in phenolic compounds, which are powerful antioxidants that protect the body against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that cause cell damage and can lead to disease and the aging process. As an added benefit, extra virgin olive oil is primarily made up of monounsaturated fat which helps in maintaining a healthy heart.

2. Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes:

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease and is affecting a lot of people worldwide. This serious condition is characterised by the reduced effectiveness of insulin, the hormone that moves glucose out of the blood and into cells which can further be used as energy. The phenolic compounds present in extra virgin olive oil aids in glucose metabolism and improves the sensitivity and effectiveness of insulin. Incorporating olive oil in your daily diet could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. You can add olive oil into your salads and even replace your cooking oil with this healthier option.

3. Makes food more nutritious:

Extra virgin olive oil makes the food all the more nutritious and delicious. This is because the antioxidants in the extra virgin olive oil are so resistant to high heat that they do not break down and instead end up being absorbed by the cooked food. In addition, it also helps the cooked food to retain some nutrients that are usually lost in the process of cooking.

4. Brain health:

The phenolic components of extra virgin olive oil may help clear the compounds that cause brain degeneration. If your diet is high in extra virgin olive oil it may inhibit the compounds responsible for some brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. As an added benefit, polyphenols, the powerful antioxidants found in extra virgin olive oil, help to combat the oxidative stress and anxiety associated with aging.


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Health

Higher salt intake can cause gastrointestinal bloating, says study

The Kashmir Monitor

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People report more gastrointestinal bloating when they eat a diet high in salt, a study has found.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US re-analysed data from a large clinical trial conducted two decades ago, and found that high sodium intake increased bloating among trial participants.

“Bloating is one of the leading gastrointestinal complaints in the US and can be exacerbated in some people by a high-fiber diet. Our results suggest that they might be able to reduce that bloating, without compromising on healthy fiber, by lowering their sodium intake,” said Noel Mueller, senior author of the study.

 

Bloating is estimated to affect up to a third of US adults overall, and more than 90 per cent of those with irritable bowel syndrome, according to the study.

Bloating features a buildup of excess gas in the gut. The production of gas can be attributed to gas-producing gut bacteria breaking down fiber. There is also some evidence that sodium can stimulate bloating.

The study, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, is the first to examine sodium as a cause of bloating in the context of low- and high-fiber diets.

The study analysed data from the DASH-Sodium trial, conducted at four clinical centres during 1998-99. It tested the DASH diet, a high-fiber diet which is relatively low in fat and high in fruits, nuts, and vegetables, against a low-fiber control diet.

Each of the two diets was tested at three levels of sodium, and the 412 participants all had high blood pressure at the trial start.

The trial was set up chiefly to determine the effect of dietary sodium and other factors on blood pressure, but included data on participants’ reports of bloating — data that Mueller and his colleagues analysed for the new study.

The team found that prior to the trial, 36.7 per cent of the participants reported bloating, which is more or less in line with national surveys of bloating prevalence.

They found too that the high-fiber DASH diet increased the risk of bloating by about 41 percent, compared to the low-fiber control diet — and men were more susceptible to this effect, compared to women.

But the scientists also determined that sodium was a factor in bloating. When they combined data from the DASH and control diets, and compared the highest level of sodium intake to the lowest, they found that the high-sodium versions of those diets collectively increased the risk of bloating by about 27 per cent compared to the low-sodium versions.

The key implication is that reducing sodium can be an effective way to reduce bloating — and in particular may be able to help people maintain a healthy, high-fiber diet.

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Health

Second-hand smoking dangerous:study

The Kashmir Monitor

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A recent study has discovered a link between second-hand smoking and development of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The study, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, found out that exposure to second-hand smoking increases the risk of various diseases and the researchers investigated the link between exposure to second-hand smoking and CKD.

The study included 131,196 never-smokers who participated in the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study from 2001 to 2014. Participants were classified into 3 groups based on the frequency of second-hand smoke exposure as assessed with survey questionnaires: no-exposure, less than 3 days per week of exposure, and 3 or more days per week of exposure.

 

Participants with less than three days per week and those with three or more days per week of exposure had 1.48-times and 1.44-times higher odds of having CKD when compared with participants with no second-hand cigarette exposure

“Second-hand smoke exposure at home or in the workplace is still prevalent despite legislative actions prohibiting public smoking.

This exposure was found to be clearly related with CKD, even with less-frequent amounts of second-hand smoke exposure,” said Jung Tak Park, the lead researcher.

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Health

Vitamin C may lower BP, sugar levels in diabetics

The Kashmir Monitor

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Taking vitamin C supplements can help diabetics by lowering elevated blood sugar levels throughout the day, a study has found.

The research, published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, also found that vitamin C lowered blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes, suggesting benefits for heart health too. According to Glenn Wadley from Deakin University in Australia, the results may help millions currently living with the health condition.

”We found that participants had a significant 36 per cent drop in the blood sugar spike after meals. This also meant that they spent almost three hours less per day living in a state of hyperglycaemia,” Wadley said. “This is extremely positive news as hyperglycaemia is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in people living with type 2 diabetes,” he said.

 

“We also found that the proportion of people with hypertension halved after taking the vitamin C capsules, with both their systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels dropping significantly,” Wadley added. The dose of vitamin C used in the study was about 10 times the normal dietary intake and readily available from most health food stores, researchers said.

“Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties can help counteract the high levels of free radicals found in people with diabetes, and it’s encouraging to see this benefits a number of the disease’s common comorbidities, such as high blood pressure,” he said. “While physical activity, good nutrition and current diabetes medications are standard care and very important for managing type 2 diabetes, some people can find it tough to manage their blood glucose levels even with medication,” he added.

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