Please By(Pass) The Butter

Wednesday, 08 Jun 2011 11:50 AM

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They say the proof is in the pudding, but this time it’s in the butter.

US News and World Report recently released its ranking of 20 diets. The unlikely recipient of the title “Best Diet Overall” was the DASH Diet, creating a wake of chatter among dieters.

But let’s not overlook the #2 winner: the better known “Medi Diet.” This diet, currently in vogue with Hollywood mommies, has become intensely popular — so what’s the sudden appeal?

The secret to the Medi (short for Mediterranean) Diet is its preference for olive oil over butter. The Medi Diet — lumping together the eating habits of Italians, Greeks, Lebanese, etc. — affords diversity while eliminating the Western culinary arts’ tendency towards fats.

While the complete Medi Diet recommends a revised food pyramid emphasizing fruits, veggies, and nuts, the clincher is simply substituting butter for oil.

According to Babble.com, here’s the skinny on butter vs. olive oil:

What’s in butter?
Butter is a concentrated source of milkfat (80%) with some water and nonfat milk solids. It is made from milk, cream, or both. Its nutritional properties are:

100 calories per tablespoon
12 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat
3 grams monounsaturated fat
31mg cholesterol
82 mg sodium

The Olive Oil Difference:
Rather than being produced from another substance, like butter, olive oil is a natural product (kind of like a juice). It preserves the taste, aroma, vitamins, and properties of the olive fruit.

Because it is all natural, olive oil can be consumed as it is — freshly pressed from the fruit.

Choose extra virgin olive oil for the most health benefits; its processing is minimal and maintains the most nutritional elements such as vitamin E and phenols.

Its nutritional properties are:

120 calories per tablespoon
14 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fats
12 grams healthy fats
0 mg cholesterol
0 mg sodium
• Super food: olive oil

Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.

Studies have shown that EVOO extra virgin olive oil assists in raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels, and reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

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