If you have a fatty liver, then you probably know already that greatly reducing the amount of fat in your diet is the only way to go if you want to reverse it. This means that you should never eat any deep fried products, no matter what oil you use for cooking. Also, you should try to use only the best and healthiest oil in your diet – for salads, dressings and adding a bit to your home-cooked foods.
But what is the best oil to eat when you suffer from a fatty liver?
Opinions might vary on this one, but I fortunately share one of the popular opinions: olive oil is the best! But not any type of olive oil: extra virgin, cold pressed (and if you can afford it, organic as it is considered the best of the best).
Olive oil is the staple of the Mediterranean Diet, the diet that I have followed (with slight alterations) with great results for my fatty liver. It has mostly unsaturated (healthy) fats, as well as polyunsaturated fats and a lot of antioxidants which are perfect for the liver. It also appears that the healthy fats and antioxidants from the extra virgin olive oil reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease too.
Also, according to the US National Center for Biotechnology Information, extra virgin olive oil, the first pressed oil, having maximum free acidity, contains an abundance of squalene and phenolic antioxidants including simple phenols (hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol), aldehydic secoiridoids, flavonoids and lignans (acetoxypinoresnol, pinoresinol). Interestingly, it contains significantly higher concentrations of phenolic antioxidants and squalene than refined virgin and seed oils. In addition, seed oils, which contain very low amounts of squalene, have none of the phenolic antioxidants that are present in virgin and refined olive oils.
In English, the extra virgin olive oil is an amazing choice – and the best choice, in my opinion (I eat nothing but this type of oil now). I usually prefer the Greek olive oil because it has a distinct, more powerful aroma, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter what choice you make.
Now here are a few of my own recommendations of some of my favorite Extra Virgin Olive Oil brands that you can start using right now – and probably fall in love with them instantly:
– La Olivilla Organic Olive Oil. Cold-pressed, Picual Variety, Non-blended, Non-refined, Low acidity, Rich in Antioxidants, USDA Certified. This is an award-winning olive oil coming from Spain. Not the cheapest on the list, but if you want organic, you should search no further.
– Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This is my choice of olive oil lately. I simply love it and I don’t even want to try something else right now.
– Iliada Extra Virgin Olive Oil – this is the Greek olive oil that I absolutely love for its flavor. It comes in a large can (101.4-Ounce or 3 liters) and you have to store it carefully so it doesn’t start oxidating, but it’s delicious!
When it comes to olive oil, have two things in mind: store it in a dark, cool place because the oxidation process starts quickly when it comes to extra virgin olive oils and it goes bad just as quickly. If the taste is altered, then you should stop using it. That’s why it’s best to get your olive oil in small bottles or if you get the larger packages (like the Iliada oil I recommended above, transfer some in a small glass bottle and use that first instead of opening over and over again the large container).
Also, don’t cook it, use it raw and if you want to add it to your home cooked dishes, add it AFTER you’re done cooking. This guarantees that the oil stays intact and offers the best nutritional punch possible.
And finally, a short personal anecdote on why I prefer the extra virgin olive oil to any other type of oil: according to my mother, my grand-grandmother had liver problems (she doesn’t know what exactly, though). We’re talking about the mid 90s here, when medicine was not as advanced and people went for natural cures.
Apparently, my grandmother found the best one after a doctor recommended her to drink one table spoon of olive oil per day. And so she did. It is unclear for how long, but she got cured, never had any other liver problems and lived until 90 years of age. She always said that it was olive oil that cured and saved her. And since it’s family, I do believe that.
Now I don’t say that you should start drinking olive oil like she did – I certainly don’t – but I do say that I strongly believe that olive oil (especially extra virgin) is the best oil, especially if you have liver problems.