Olive Oil? Or Snake Oil?
Ah yes – the well-known benefits of olive oil. Various studies indicate benefits ranging from heart health and reduced stroke risk to anti-inflammatory properties and a boost in antioxidants. Sounds almost magical, right? As someone who’s automated the “big salad with a protein source” lunchtime meal, ever since a buddy introduced me to his “olive oil with a little salt/pepper” to replace (often unhealthy) salad dressing options, that’s become my go-to. I’d load up the giant bowl and then proudly pour the olive oil over the top, never considering the amount poured because it’s so healthy, right?
Then recently, I noticed something: 120… as in calories per serving… with a “serving” being 1 tablespoon. No problem – except in my generous and pride-filled (“I’m being so healthy”) pouring of olive oil, I was adding 700+ calories – OF OLIVE OIL!!! – to my lunch. That’s the equivalent of adding more than six Reese’s Pieces, 2 slices of pizza or more than half a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream… EVERY DAY to my lunch! While there are, of course, other downsides to those specific food items beyond the direct calorie comparison, the fundamental point remains clear: Blindly embracing a seemingly healthy choice can have unintended consequences.
This scenario is all too familiar in the realms of health, wellness, and performance. Often, in our pursuit of a healthier lifestyle, we take well-founded insights and push them to extremes, inadvertently negating their benefits. Conversely, a research study with limitations such as a small sample size, a restricted time frame, or a marginally relevant population might yield intriguing results, guide future studies, or spark valuable conversations about certain concepts. Yet, we tend to forget about these important caveats. Both scenarios open the door for individuals seeking sensationalized opportunities (or those who simply haven’t done their due diligence) to transform a preliminary and unverified finding into a miraculous solution.
Catalyst Community friends – the quest for enhanced health, wellness, and performance is commendable. We’re right there with you. However, as we navigate this journey, let’s ensure we pay attention to the crucial details. Skipping this step might lead us to invest unnecessary time, money, and effort, ultimately turning a substance as wholesome as olive oil into mere snake oil in the process.