In their quest to lead healthier lives, people often make changes to their diet, eating patterns and habits. When it comes to cooking oil, many people prefer olive oil to other kinds of oil. Oily food, in itself, is considered to be unhealthy, especially for those who have underlying health conditions, and are not too physically active, either.
Akshay Modi, the joint managing director of Modi Naturals Ltd, explains that olive oil, part of the Mediterranean diet, has been a dietary staple for some of the world’s healthiest population. “Antioxidants and fatty acids in olive oil offer some powerful health benefits, like reduced risk of heart diseases, improved eyesight and immense anti-ageing skin benefits,” he says.
According to Modi, olive pomace oil is the perfect companion for desi food. “It is a light oil with a neutral taste and flavour. Indian food encompasses a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines and they all vary significantly from each other. Olive pomace oil can be used for all kinds of Indian cooking. It is healthier and tastier than other edible oils, and is stable at high temperatures. The best thing is that since it is absorbed less by food, it is great for healthy cooking and affordable at the same time, as it will be consumed less,” he says.
Modi also explains that extra virgin olive oil is a “cold-pressed olive oil below 0.3 per cent acidity”. The oil has a light aroma, making it suitable for salads, dressings, flavouring or condiments for salads, pastas, rice, vegetables, meat and fish. It needs to be consumed in raw/cold form and is rich in antioxidants. It may not, however, be suitable for Indian high temperature cooking.
“Olive oil is a multipurpose oil and can be used to treat hair and skin problems, and rejuvenate dry flaky skin. It has a high content of polyphenols that help in healing internal cells which, in turn, protects the outer layer of skin from damage. When used on hair, olive oil nourishes the follicles and increases blood flow.
“Monounsaturated fats, which are good fats, are present in olive oil. These control the insulin levels and lower bad cholesterol. It also helps in improving bone and digestive health, as it has vitamin E and K in modest amounts,” he concludes.