Published: 06/18/2007 - Updated: 08/15/2019
Author: Prof. Dr. Luis Ruiz-García
From July 9th 13th, Seminar of "Olive oil, source of health, culture and wealth of the Mediterranean peoples is held at the headquarters of the UIMP in Valencia is hold. Directors of this seminar are: D. Fernando Lopez Segura, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Optional Internal Medicine Hospital Reina Sofia, D. Francisco Perez Jimenez, Professor of Medicine, Director of Lipids and Arteriosclerosis, Reina Sofia hospital and Córdoba University.
- Agency for Olive
- Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Andalusian
- Patrimonio Comunal Foundation
- Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
The main causes of mortality has a multifactorial origin, which often results from interaction between genetic background and environmental factors. Among the latter, the diet is perhaps the most important factor. During recent decades, a very active research has shown long series of biological effects induced by different nutrients and food. Lately, it has focused attention on a more holistic approach that includes both diet components of health and pleasure. In this sense, the Mediterranean dietary pattern is being rediscovered as one of those who best meet the nutritional needs and satisfaction.
One of the best known and most important features of the Mediterranean diet is the presence of virgin olive oil as the main source of fat. Unlike other vegetable oils (sunflower, soybean, rapeseed ,…), virgin olive oil is a natural juice of olives compared to that from the seed, is not refined or subjected to any chemical treatment before consumption. Therefore, and as packaged without any additives, it is presented with its original composition, contrary to what happens to the rest, which are modified during the preparation process. Thus, virgin olive oil is not only a source of fatty acids with high nutritional value, but also provides hundreds of micronutrients, especially antioxidants, including phenolic compounds , vitamin E, carotenes and squalene.
But besides the healthy dimension of olive oil, this food has been expressed through the habits and ways of life. Olive oil has also been a continual source of inspiration that has transcended the geographical area in which the cultivation of olive trees exists. For this reason, much of the historical and artistic dishes from the countries surrounding the Mediterranean cannot be conceived without olive oil as a key reference point.
Moreover, all this must be added that olive oil has been key item in the trade, and sustaining economic development of peoples and countries of the Mediterranean basin, so that we can say that neither our wealth nor our culture and our economy would be the same without the traditional olive-growing.
About the author