What is the best fat for digestive health?
Is it butter? Is it coconut oil? Well, drum roll please …it’s extra virgin olive oil.
Extra virgin oil has a much higher polyphenol content than other fats. Polyphenols are antioxidants. I consider foods that contain polyphenols to be “A” grade foods.
Just make sure you get real extra virgin olive oil. There is a huge market in counterfeit extra virgin olive oil because it is in such high demand. There is so much poor quality olive oil on the market, it’s unbelievable.
I live in a small town that has a village press that will crush olives on the spot to make olive oil. Why would you want to use corn oil or canola oil when you could use something like that? Poor quality fats can have a very detrimental impact on your stomach.
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High-quality lard can also be good for digestion, but olive oil stands out in the crowd. Based on the studies I’ve read from Spain and Greece, olive oil has a very interesting effect on the gut microbiota. In a 2018 Spanish study, the researchers looked at the effects of oils on the gut of rats and mice. Olive oil was significantly better for gut flora than butter. Butter is no longer considered a bad fat, but it still doesn’t have the positive effect on gut flora that olive oil demonstrates.
Olive oil may contribute to the long lifespans in the Mediterranean region. People in those countries consume a ridiculous amount of olive oil – something in the area of 13 liters per year compared to 1 liter per year in the US.
Olive is like wine. There are many different flavors to consider. Some are peppery, and others are sweeter. I’ve got about ten different olive oils in my kitchen. Try several out and find the ones that suit you best.