By Dietitian – Nutritionist Eva Tsakou
The nutritional value of olive oil
Olive oil is the main oil we use in Greek cuisine and not
unjustly, as over the past 50 years thousands of studies have examined its role in
health. Rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, olive oil has
correlated with the prevention of cardiovascular disease, with longevity, the
reduction of inflammation and many other, chronic and non-chronic, diseases. In fact, one of them
reasons that the Mediterranean diet has emerged as a valuable health ally are
the olive oil!
What is the nutritional value of olive oil?
Not all olive oils are the same, both in terms of taste and nutrition. The smaller the
processing of olive oil, the richer it is in antioxidants, with the extra
virgin olive oil to be the least processed and the healthiest, with excellent
aroma and taste.
One tablespoon (~ 13.5g) extra virgin olive oil contains 119 calories, from
- 71 71.6% comes from monounsaturated fats (to which is attributed a large percentage of its cardioprotective action)
14 14% from saturated fats and or 6% from polyunsaturated
Vitamins and antioxidants
Olive oil, of course, is much more than just a rich source of monounsaturated fats
fat. It is rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant vitamin, as well as in
Vitamin K, which is associated with the ability of blood to coagulate, heart health
and bone. Its antioxidant activity is enhanced by the phenolic antioxidants it contains,
such as eleuropein and oleander. These substances protect the known LDL
as “bad” cholesterol, from oxidation, thus preventing thrombosis
and cardiovascular diseases.
Its effects on health
The content of extra virgin olive oil in the above ingredients seems to
can lead to:
reduction of cardiovascular risk (through reduction of inflammation, reduction of
oxidation of LDL and lowering of blood pressure)
reduce the chance of developing cancer, especially of the digestive and breast
reducing the risk of dementia and cognitive impairment
So you realize how rich extra virgin olive oil is in precious, for
our health, nutrients and how lucky we are that in our country it is
main oil in consumption! Use it in cooking, raw in salads, but also as substitute other oils or butter in savory and sweet recipes and enjoy its multiple benefits.
1. Monika Gorzynik-Debicka, Paulina Przychodzen, Francesco Cappello, Alicja Kuban-
Jankowska, Antonella Marino Gammazza, Narcyz Knap, Michal Wozniak and Magdalena
Gorska-Ponikowska. Potential Health Benefits of Olive Oil and Plant Polyphenols. Int J
Mol Sci. 2018 Mar; 19 (3): 686. Published online 2018 Feb 28.
2. Julián Lozano-Castellón, Anallely López-Yerena, José Fernando Rinaldi de
Alvarenga, Jaume Romero Del Castillo-Alba, Anna Vallverdú-Queralt, Elvira Escribano-
Ferrer, Rosa M Lamuela-Raventós. Health-promoting properties of oleocanthal and
oleacein: Two secoiridoids from extra-virgin olive oil. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr.
2020; 60 (15): 2532-2548. Epub 2019 Aug 19.
3. Lukas Schwingshackl, Georg Hoffmann. Monounsaturated fatty acids, olive oil and health
status: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. Lipids Health Dis. 2014
Oct 1; 13: 154.
4. Theodora Psaltopoulou, Rena I Kosti, Dimitrios Haidopoulos, Meletios
Dimopoulos, Demosthenes B Panagiotakos. Olive oil intake is inversely related to cancer
prevalence: a systematic review and a meta-analysis of 13,800 patients and 23,340
controls in 19 observational studies. Lipids Health Dis. 2011 Jul 30; 10: 127.
5. Apostolos Safouris, Georgios Tsivgoulis, Theodoros N Sergentanis, Theodora
Psaltopoulou. Mediterranean Diet and Risk of Dementia. Curr Alzheimer Res.
2015; 12 (8): 736-44.
Eva Tsakou studied at the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition
Harokopio University of Athens and in the context of her postgraduate studies
completed the training program Master Practitioner in Eating Disorders and
Obesity, carried out by the Nutrition Information and Treatment Center
Disorders (KEADD), in collaboration with the National Center of Eating Disorders of M.
Homerou 48 N. Smyrni t: 2130102722 | m: 6947370781 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org | w: tsakou.diaitologos.com
It deals with the modification of eating behavior and nutrition coaching
as a method of weight management. Since 2009 he has been working as a Dietitian and since
In October 2016, she started her own legal diet office in Nea Smyrni
48 Homer Street [tsakou.diaitologos.com].
For the nutritional information of the public, she participates as a speaker in workshops and
educational workshops on nutrition and health promotion, has regular
appearance on radio and television shows (Health above all, My Life, Life
my health, Joy etc.), as well as in print and online