Health Benefits

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Health Benefits and Conservation of Our Food

We use only the best extra virgin olive oil.

The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to its high content of both monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidative substances.

Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol levels while raising HDL (the ‘good’ cholesterol) levels.

No other naturally produced oil has as large an amount of monounsaturated fats as olive oil – mainly oleic acid.

Olive oil is very well tolerated by the stomach. In fact, olive oil’s protective function has a beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis.

Olive oil activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones much more naturally than prescribed drugs.

Consequently, it is believed to lower the incidence of gallstone formation.

Olive Oil and Health

Below we include information on olive oil and health for your information.

One of the other differences between our products and many manufactured food products is that we do not use garlic salt, onion salt etc., but use the natural ingredient – garlic, onions etc., instead, thus ensuring that we keep sodium levels to a minimum.

We also use natural sea salt rather than refined salt for additional health benefits.

Importantly, all our products have no preservatives, additives, thickeners or colourants.

They are totally natural and if it’s not on our label, we haven’t used it.

Because of this, we are required by law to state on our packaging that, once opened, most of our products should be consumed within three days (or in some cases seven days).

However, we have found through rigorous testing that, if kept refrigerated, they will actually last safely much longer – I’ve consumed my bruschetta toppings, for example, up to three weeks after opening with no ill effects and have heard from my customers the same thing.

Further Information

All products can be kept in the larder until opened. Once opened, refrigerate.

Be aware that oil based products will cloud when refrigerated.  In fact the better the oil, the more it will cloud and sometimes even solidify.  This does not affect the product and it will return back to liquid form after a while at room temperature.

If, for some reason, you need to keep products in a pantry or dark cupboard, rather than a refrigerator, they will be fine for a short time as long as the contents are totally covered in oil.

Most products, especially olives, must be kept upright or parts will be exposed to air which may cause discolouration.

Never expose olive oil to too much light such as a sunny window sill.  This will make the oil rancid and lose all its good properties.

Apart from those products designed to be served hot, all Franca’s products are at their best served at room temperature.

Products leave Franca’s kitchen in perfect condition but as they are totally natural and without preservatives, anything can happen.

Please let me know if you encounter any problems – and feel free to contact me for any advice on their care or uses.

Olive Oil and Heart Disease

Studies have shown that people who consumed 25 milliliters (ml) – about two tablespoons – of virgin olive oil daily for one week showed less oxidation of LDL cholesterol and higher levels of antioxidant compounds, particularly phenols, in the blood.

But while all types of olive oil are sources of monounsaturated fat, EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil, from the first pressing of the olives, contains higher levels of antioxidants, particularly vitamin E and phenols, because it is less processed.

Olive oil is clearly one of the good oils; one of the healing fats.

Most people do quite well with it since it does not upset the critical omega-6 to omega-3 ratio and most of the fatty acids in olive oil are actually an omega-9 oil which is monounsaturated.

Olive Oil and Colon Cancer

Spanish researchers suggest that including olive oil in your diet may also offer benefits in terms of colon cancer prevention.

Their study results showed that rats fed diet supplemented with olive oil had a lower risk of colon cancer than those fed safflower oil supplemented diets.

In fact, the rats that received olive oil had colon cancer rates almost as low as those fed fish oil, which several studies have already linked to a reduction in colon cancer risk.

Types of Olive Oil

Generally, olive oil is extracted by pressing or crushing olives.

Olive oil comes in different varieties, depending on the amount of processing involved.

Varieties include:

  • Extra virgin – considered the best, least processed, comprising the oil from the first pressing of the olives;
  • Virgin – from the second pressing;
  • Pure – undergoes some processing, such as filtering and refining;
  • Extra light – undergoes considerable processing and only retains a very mild olive flavour.