Italians are known for their love of savoury and mouth-watering foods. With many of their appealing creamy pasta sauces filled with oh so delicious butter and cream, pizzas loaded with lip-smacking carbohydrates and rich cheeses and scrumptious desserts, it can be hard to imagine anything about Italian restaurants might be good for you. In reality, though, many Italian dishes are actually loaded with superfoods that can actually have amazing health benefits. Think tomatoes, spicy peppers and, of course, olive oil.
Olive oil is one of the staple foods that Italian restaurants rely on in almost all of their dishes. Local Ottawa restaurants use it not only as an ingredient in sauces, like pestos and dressings, but they also drizzle oil over their dishes as a final touch, which adds a luxurious silky texture. Essentially, good extra virgin olive oil is to the Ottawa Italian restaurant scene what butter is to the southern states. In a few words: everything is better with olive oil.
For years, olive oil and other oils have acquired a bad rap in the media, where they were portrayed as fat-encouragers and waist-expanders. While that’s true of some oils out there, olive oil can have amazing qualities in regards to health when used in moderation.
Here are some of those benefits that many Italian restaurants in Ottawa have been enjoying for decades:
Getting fat the good way
Olive oil has long been recognized for its unusual incorporation of fats. It is chockfull of monosaturated fat – a good fat your body needs to function at its optimal level. It contains zero trans fats, which is good because your body doesn’t quite know how to process those, and it is lower in saturated fat than butter.
In short, olive oil has all of the good fats and very little of the bad fats, which might be why Italian restaurants are so fond of it.
One of the best things about monosaturated fat (the good type of fat that olive oil is a great source of) is that it can help to reduce cholesterol. Eating a salad with olive oil dressing or a soup with oil drizzled on the top at your local Ottawa Italian restaurant can help get rid of extra cholesterol in your blood stream, which can reduce your risk of heart disease later in life.
Olive oil has also been thought reduce the risk cancer, Alzheimer’s and many more ailments, in addition to its many other health benefits. Whether or not the Italian restaurants knew this or not when they started using copious amounts of the stuff, it worked out for them in the long run. Head to your local Ottawa restaurant soon to take advantage of their love of olive oil.