Healthy culinary and dieting tips (I), By Sussanna Ngodoo .E. Jacob


The right oil largely depends on 2 major factors, fatty Acids

Choosing the right oil largely depends on the type of fatty acid missing or is less in your overall diet routine. There are two basic essential fatty acids we derive from nutrition, namely omega-3 and 0mega-6.fatty acids. These fatty acids are said to be essential because they are derived from the food we consume. The source of these fatty acids vary and it is not limited to culinary oils, they can be sourced from other foods such as seeds, nuts, vegetables and even  sea foods such as good quality oily fish.

However, culinary oils should be picked based on the fatty acid that is missing or is less in your overall diet regimen, because we need these fatty acids on a daily basis. According to a dieting principle “the 50 factor” principle, these two fatty acids are a daily requirement In our diet as part of the recommended nutrients in addition to vitamins, minerals amino acids and other healthy lifestyle practices such as good sleep, clean air, dehydration, reasonable exposure to sunlight, exercise, etc.

 Even though we should, Chances are that we may not eat the other foods that contain these fatty acids (nuts, seeds, and oily fish) daily but we cook with oils daily. Since we need these fatty acids daily we must select oils wisely. When you are not sure of the fatty acid missing in your diet it is wiser to choose very healthy oil, oil that contains both fatty acids and other nutrients. The oil extracted from the fruit of olive tree is such oil.

Olive oil nutrient composition summary

  • Saturated fat:13.8%
  • Omega-3:0.7
  • Omega- 9.7
  • Vitamin K:75%
  • Vitamin E:72% of the RDA
  • Monounsaturated fat: 73 %( most of it is the log carbo oleic acid) oleic acid is a fatty acid that occurs natural in various vegetables.   

Extra virgin oil is a store house of amazing antioxidants, which are biological active and are applauded for their unequalled nutritive value such as vitamins K and E. it also contains oleic acid, studies suggest that oleic acid reduces inflammation and may have beneficial effect on genes linked to cancer. According to research inflammation is the root cause of many ailments…

Oleic acid has also been strongly associated with reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. It is also noted to improve mood, delay aging, and prevent cancer. increased levels of oleic acid In the cell membrane reduces the oxidative damage caused by free radical damage; oleic acid is an important block of the brain and nervous system it is required for the formation of myelin (myelin is a lipid-rich substance formed In the nervous system that helps increases speed at which information travels from one nerve cell body to another) and for nerve growth and repair; oleic acid also serves several functions In neurotransmitter regulation and much more!

Oleic acid is otherwise known as omega 9fatty acid. Omega-9 fatty acids are considered to be “conditionally essential,” which means that your body produces them, but they are not produced in meaningful quantities. Consuming omega-9 fatty from foods such as olive oil is essential to gain the above stated benefits! This fatty acid can be found in other oils as well; however olive oil has the most concentration of oleic acid according to research!

Another great feature of olive oil is the antioxidant “oleocathal. Oleocathal has been show to work similarly to ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug. Some scientist estimate that the oleocathal I 3.4 tablespoons (50ml) of extra virgin olive oil as similar effects as 10% of the adult dosage of ibuprofen.

The oil is also gentle on the digestive system and may help in preventing gallstones and soothe ulcers. It may even benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, and therefore potentially lower the risk of heart dieses. However, olive oil nutritional value depends on the press type

Olive oil press types

To get all these benefits from olive oil you must choose the right olive oil amongst the four press types of olive oil.

  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): EVOO comes from the first pressing of the olives. There are very specific standards the oil has to meet to receive the label ”extra virgin” because of the way it’s made it retains the true olive taste. It contains not more than 0.8% acidity, and it is judged to have a superior taste. This is the healthiest of the four presses and it’s great for raw food recipes such as salads, dips, dressings, etc. It typically has a golden-green colour, with a distinct flavour!
  • Virgin olive oil: this type is also unrefined; however, it has a higher acidity (1.4%) than extra virgin olive oil and has less intense flavour. However the making process is very similar to EVOO. This is the  type of olive oil  you can use In light cooking methods
  • Pure olive oil: this is lower-quality refined olive oil. Refined oil is treated to remove flaws from the oil to make it more sellable. This type is all-purpose cooking oil it has more neutral flavour and fairly smoke point than EVOO ad pure olive simply because it is refined.
  • Pomace olive oil: this is solvent extracted olive oil meaning chemicals have been used in the process of extraction. After the food grade oils are taken it is of a very low grade and will be very cheap! It should be used for cleaning products rather than for culinary.

Selection is key!

The major problem with olive oil is that it is not always what it seems… Some lower quality versions can be extracted using chemicals, or even diluted with other cheaper oils. Therefore buying the right type of olive oil is incredibly important!


Excessive heat destroy oils especially oils with low or medium smoke points. According to experts olive oils (extra virgin olive oil) is best consumed without applying to heat. Use olive oils in mostly raw recipes such as salads. If you must cook with it then use the other press variant such as virgin olive oil or pure olive oil they both have slight better tolerance to heat also use in quick cooking style like sautéing, stir-fries, etc.

We all have a responsibility to make wise and informed choices each day about the food we buy and eat. These tips are your ally to safer culinary and dieting so use them generously!

For questions on culinary/ grocery tips, diet-plans please drop me a message.

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