Olive oil benefits.


I’m in week 2 of my 2015 Tour de France and I can testify: the French are (still) very slim and fit! Even if the number of overweight or obese people is on the rise, it is still half that of the one we have in New Zealand or Australia (35% vs. 65%).

Happy! I've found some fantastic olive oil.

Happy! I’ve found some fantastic olive oil.

The French also live longer healthier lives and enjoy one of the lowest cardiovascular disease rates. Their diet plays an instrumental role in keeping the French healthy.

One food in particular: olive oil – real olive oil. Its highly effective phytonutrients are critical to fight one of the most concerning conditions most of us have (even if we don’t know we have it): chronic inflammation. One important thing though: how you source and how you use it are instrumental in making the most of all olive oil benefits. Or it could be toxic…

You are likely to suffer from chronic inflammation.

I’m not talking about inflammation we can see such as a local redness or swelling. I’m talking about inflammation in our bodies, the inflammation we often can’t see or even feel. It is triggered by our modern lifestyle: pollution, level of stress and in particular what we eat.

This underlying inflammation can dramatically harm our health in particular if we are exposed to it for a long period of time.

The great news is that we can take control if we embrace an anti-inflammatory diet, critical to strengthen our immune system, reclaim our health and finally get rid of these stubborn kilos.

Olive oil benefits.

Olive oil contains high levels of polyphenols, one of the most powerful antioxidants to fight inflammation, slowing down the oxidation process, which attacks our cells. Polyphenols not only protect us from inflammation triggered by our diet but also by exposure to toxins and pollution.

Olive oil happens to be one of the main components of the Mediterranean diet – which is very close to the traditional French diet in the south of France. In one of my previous articles, I talked about how the Mediterranean diet compares to other diets (such as paleo, raw, …. ) and why it is by far the healthiest and quite frankly the most delicious diet.

A diet rich in polyphenols from olive oil has been associated with lower cardiovascular risks, improved digestion, strengthened immune system and sustained healthy weight. The Mediterranean diet (including the traditional French diet) is also extremely rich in other anti-inflammatory foods like sardines (the best fatty fish as covered in this previous article), eggs (click HERE to know what eggs to choose), dark leafy greens, nuts, garlic, onions, tomatoes, berries.

“Extra Virgin Suicide.”

Once again the food industry has jumped on the very lucrative olive oil wagon. Its healthy hallo has boosted olive oil production over the last two decades. Originally from all Mediterranean countries (France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Morocco…), olive oil is now produced all over the world.

However all olive oils aren’t created equal. Many sold in supermarkets are cut with cheaper vegetable oil… even if it’s not mentioned on the label. A lot of investigations are currently conducted in the USA, which is summarized in the title of recent The New York Times  article: “Extra Virgin Suicide.” An independent market research showed that up to 70% of all store-bought extra virgin olive oils they tested are fake. It reports that much of the olive oil sold in your local supermarket is adulterated with cheap soybean and other inferior oils, most of them being genetically modified.

How is this even possible? So misleading, so wrong and so dangerous! These fake olive oils can damage your health, making you sicker and fatter even though you think you do the best for your health.

You must know the source of your olive oil.

From farm to table!

From farm to table. The best way to know where your olive oil comes from!


My advice? Invest in the best quality.

I know, it’s expensive but if you use olive oil every day as I do, the last thing you want is to eat toxic oil. Always buy extra virgin AND cold press AND organic.

I’m very evangelical on this one but if you don’t follow these simple rules, you will end up fuelling the underlying inflammation in your body everyday. You’ll damage your health. You’ll feel sluggish. You won’t be able to lose weight. Simple.

Make the most of olive oil benefits

My favourite: truffle olive oil.

My favourite: truffle olive oil.

Olive oil is better eaten raw: over steamed vegetables, with lemon to season fish and seafood, simply on a piece of whole meal bread, or in dressings: click HERE to get the best waistline-friendly, super easy, super delicious French salad dressing.

Never cook with olive oil at high temperature or it will alter and oxidise the oil, which is not good at all for your health.

Finally enjoy! Olive oil is a perfect example of my motto: Real Food + Pleasure = Health©. So make the most of it! Olive oil has become an art just like wine. There are so many different types, flavours and colours to choose from. Shopping for the best olive oil is so pleasurable. Visit a farm, go to farmers’ markets, email or talk to the producers. They are all so passionate and love what they do.

Just like in France, we are very lucky here: we can find the best olive oil (the REAL one, remember!) in New Zealand and Australia. I have at least 5 different types in my pantry – the truffle one being at the top of my list.

And you, which one is your favourite?

Happy Thursday and talk to you from the Ile de Re next week.


  1. It’s very annoying that manufacturers and distributors play around with our food. Who do we start trusting with our health. I cook mostly from scratch but use olive oil in cooking, so I trust it to be olive oil not infiltrated with other substances. How are we to protect ourselves.

    • Hi Joy, Thanks a lot for your comment. You are so right. The best way is, like you do, to cook from scratch and to try and buy the food directly from the producers. Not always easy.Yves


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