Loide’ Oils & Vinegars
Facts about Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar is made from white Trebbiano grapes in the northern Italian region. The grapes have high sugar content and their unfermented juice is used to make the vinegar. The balsamic vinegar is aged for three or more years and has a dark, syrupy consistency with a strong flavor. Some of the balsamics that are available in stores are synthesized and include high amounts of caramel and sugar. However, natural balsamic vinegar is available and offers rewarding health benefits.
Traditional balsamic vinegar is produced from the juice of just harvested grapes. They are boiled down to approximately 30% of the original volume to create a concentrate or must, which is then fermented with a slow aging process which concentrates the flavors. The flavors intensify over the years.
Weight Loss: Balsamic vinegar can be used as a substitute for salad dressing, marinade or sauces. This results in a lower calorie intake. It also works to suppress the body’s appetite and increase the amount of time it takes for the stomach to empty, which can contribute to weight loss by preventing overeating. Balsamic vinegar is a source of calcium, iron, manganese and potassium, which improve the body’s functioning and weight loss abilities.
Antioxidants: These work to repair damage caused by free radicals which are the products produced by oxygen used by our body. Balsamic vinegar contains polyphenols, antioxidants that can protect the body from heart disease and cancer. The grapes that are used also contain antioxidants that fight against cell damage, improve the body’s immune system and make blood platelets more flexible, thus preventing heart or circulation problems.
Digestive System and Diabetes: The digestive system can benefit greatly from balsamic vinegar. The vinegar boosts the activity of pepsin, an enzyme that breaks protein down into smaller amino acids that can be more easily absorbed by the body. Pepsin helps to improve the body’s metabolism as well. Balsamic vinegar can also improve insulin sensitivity for diabetics, allowing for an easier regulation of blood sugar. Balsamic vinegar also is know to improve circulation.
Calorie count for dark balsamic vinegars is 8-10 calories per Tablespoon
Calorie count for white balsamic vinegar is 5-8 calories per Tablespoon
Facts about Seed and Nut Oils
Roasted nut oils are not “refined” therefore have better flavor. They are roasted in cast iron kettles before being expeller-pressed. The oil is lightly filtered and bottles. Roasted nut oils are very flavorful, rich in color and have more antioxidants than refined oils.
Mono and poly-unsaturated fats have health benefits. The bet mono-unsaturated fat is the Oleic acid or Omega 9 found in high levels in olive oil, walnut oil, almond oil, or sesame oil.
The best poly-unsaturated fats are Linoleic and linoleic fatty acids or omega 3 and 6 which are found in Walnut Oil.
A balanced intake of omega 3 and 6 along with a high level of omega 9 significantly aid in reducing the risk of a cardiovascular related disease.
Olive oil is a significant source of omega 9.
Walnut oil is a good source of omega 3, 6 and 9.
- Roasted Walnut Oil: High levels of omega 3, 6 and 9 (smoke point is 400 degrees F)
- Roasted Almond Oil: Very similar to olive oil but more balanced composition between omega 6 and 9 (smoke point is 430 degrees F)
Sesame oil: High levels of omega 9 (smoke point is 410 degrees F)
Calorie count is 120 calories per Tablespoon for all nut and seed oils we carry.
Facts about Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the first pressing of the olives.
Olives that are crushed within 24 hours of picking will generally produce a higher grade of extra virgin olive oil.
There are many grades of olive oil in the market today.
Olive oils are a mono-unsaturated fat (the healthy kind) and contain Vitamins A, E and K
There is no Cholesterol in olive oil, no gluten, no sodium, no trans-fats and no carbohydrates.
Extra Virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols, which is known to be anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-coagulant. Further studies find a lower incidence of cancer and coronary heart disease in cultures that use olive oils.
Polyphenols give the extra virgin olive oil its unique taste and it improves shelf life. The time of harvest, the variety, the method of extraction and the management of the grove will affect the phenol count.
Refined oils like “pure olive oil”, “lite olive oil” and “pomace olive oil” have little or no polyphenols. Therefore they do not have the benefits of an unrefined oil.
Anti-oxidants help to neutralize free radicals and repair damage to cell membranes
Squalene a natural organic compound found in olive oil helps to regulate sebum on the skin and scalp.
Oleic acid or Omega-9 monounsaturated fat is found in varying concentrations in extra virgin olive oil. It is believed to help lower risk of heart attack, arteriosclerosis and cancer.
Extra Virgin olive oils containing higher levels of Oleic acid tend to be more stable and hold up longer.
Oleic acid, the main monounsaturated fatty acid contained in olive oil can cripple a cancer gene that is responsible for 25-30 percent of all breast cancers, according to an article by Northwestern University researchers published in the January 10, 2005 issue ofAnnals of Oncology.
It is known that the Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil provides multitude of health benefits. The diet style includes consumption of monounsaturated fats in the form of olive oil , daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, and low-fat dairy products. Weekly consumption of fish, poultry, legumes and low consumption of red meats were part of this diet.
The use of extra virgin olive oil in your diet can help protect against viruses, helpful in fighting cancer, heart disease and helps decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
A Spanish study recently published in the scientific journal Diabetes Care showed that the Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil reduces the risk of type II diabetes. Olive oil also helps lower lipoproteins while improving blood sugar control and enhances insulin sensitivity.
Rheumatoid Arthritis has been studied and persons with diets high in olive oil are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
Studies in Osteoporosis find that high consumption of olive oil appears to improve bone mineralization and calcification playing an important role in aiding sufferers and help in preventing the onset of Osteoporosis.
In Greece consumption rate is 13 liters of olive oil per person, per year. In Italy, consumption rate of olive oil is 12 liters per person, per year. These areas report the least heart disease, strokes, Alzheimer’s and obesity amoung others. The U.S.A. consumption is .5 liter per person, per year.
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Calorie count for extra virgin olive oil is 120 calories per Tablespoon.
Vocabulary of Olive Oil
Extra Virgin -considered the best, least processed and the first press of the olives
Virgin -oil from the second pressing of the olives
Pure - undergoes some processing like filtering and refining
Extra Light – undergoes considerable processing and only retains a very mild olive flavor
The enemies of olive oil are heat, light and oxygen. Keep your oil in a dark bottle, covered top and away from heat. Oxygen will speed the deterioration of your oil and cause it to go rancid rapidly.
While it is true that all high quality olive oil is extra virgin it is equally true that most olive oils labeled EXTRA VIRGIN are not high quality. There are no established objective standards for extra virgin olive oil in the United States.