The first time I was served a small cup of extra virgin olive oil (evoo) at the end of my meal at a hummusiya in Israel I wasn't sure what to do with it.
I always teach not to drink your calories and why would anyone choose to actually drink oil!?
While I always recommend variety in your diet, EVOO is my number 1 recommended oil to use in the kitchen. EVOO is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants and can reduce inflammation making it a powerful superfood.
EVOO is one of the good fats, comprised mostly of monounsaturated fats and is even a source of omega-3 fats, it can reduce your risk of cancer and lower your risk of heart disease.
Why drink EVOO?
Truthfully, I'm not really sure why they sip EVOO after a bowl of filling hummus and pita, someone told me it was healthy, but I couldn't take more than a tiny sip, so I researched and here is what I found.
There are some who believe drinking EVOO can actually help you lose weight, see Seth Robert's The Shangri-La Diet, but the evidence is weak.
Good fat will help make you feel full and satisfied and less likely to snack on processed or sugary foods, so it's possible.
Apparently, Cretan fishermen from the 1960s reportedly had a glass of olive oil for breakfast before a hard long day of work and they lived long healthy lives.
There is also some evidence that drinking EVOO before a meal helps with digestion, increases metabolism, and helps control blood sugar levels.
I'm not sold on the benefit or need to drink EVOO, but studies have shown that people who consume more EVOO in their diet compared to those on a low-fat diet actually lost more weight. Plus, using EVOO to cook or flavor your vegetables also helps your body absorb the vitamins. So I'm all about replacing the unhealthy foods with more EVOO especially in salads, vegetable sides, and vegetable soups.
Check out these 8 vegetable recipes that will help you reap all the health benefits of EVOO.