Is Olive Oil a Source of Omega 3?

by Jason Chavis

Omega 3 is a type of monounsaturated fat found in many foods including olive oil. As a prime ingredient in certain lifestyle diets, such as the Mediterranean diet, olive oil preserves the properties of the olive fruit along with its taste and aroma. Unlike other vegetable oils, which need to be processed before consumption, olive oil can be eaten immediately.

Features

According to a study by the World Health Organization on the prevention of chronic diseases, olive oil works as a source for the healthy fat of omega 3 that can heal the body. It supports the body's proper regulation of omega 6 and omega 9 fats.

Significance

A study by Dr. W.C. Willett on coronary heart disease showed that using olive oil as a source for omega 3 fats can help prevent heart disease. It controls the “bad” LDL cholesterol and supports the “good” HDL cholesterol.

Benefits

One of the largest benefits of olive oil as a source for omega 3 is the fact that it is digestible by most people. It stimulates the secretion of pancreatic hormones and bile, lowering the incidence of gallstones.

Types

There are four main sources for omega 3 in olive oil. These include extra virgin, virgin, pure and extra light. Each level is a result of further processing.

Considerations

The first pressing of olive oil, known widely as extra virgin olive oil, contains more prevalent levels of omega 3 fatty acids. As a source for omega 3 fatty acids, it contains antioxidants, phenols and vitamin E.

Photo Credits

  • Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of lost in translation) (Gordana Adamovic-Mladenovic

About the Author

Jason Chavis has been a professional freelance writer since 1998. He is the author of four books, two movies and a play as well as numerous articles for "Scientific American," The History Channel, City Pages and "The Onion." In 1996, Chavis won the award for "best science fiction/fantasy" from the River Valley Writer’s Conference.