The head of leading European food importing business William Aitken & Co is delighted the New Zealand Heart Foundation is ‘advising Kiwis to continue using unsaturated plant oils rather than switching to coconut oil as their main cooking oil.’ NZHF’s recent statement follows strong and significant international marketing of coconut oil as a superfood.
William Aitken & Co Managing Director Graham Aitken says his company has no problem with coconut oil, but is pleased the Heart Foundation is giving crystal clear advice after growing public confusion. Among many products William Aitken & Co is the exclusive importer of leading olive oil brand Lupi.
NZHFs statement follows the organisation commissioning Dr Laurence Eyres, New Zealand’s leading specialist in oils and fats, to review the research and author an academic paper.
“These latest findings also point to the fact that the likes of mono-unsaturated olive oil is a heathier option. We’ve heard for years to stay away from saturated fats and subsequently that message has helped drive many Kiwis to the Mediterranean diet and in fact seen a worldwide explosion in the use of olive oil in recent years,” says Aitken.
Aitken says international research has also consistently shown that mono-unsaturated fats, of which olive oil has a greater proportion than any other commonly used cooking oil, can actually help reduce blood cholesterol levels. He says olive oil contains good fat and that in turns helps reduce heart disease.
“Many studies over the years have strongly linked the Mediterranean diet to a reduced risk of many chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and allergies. Olive oil’s health benefits are well documented and frankly the longevity of the product’s success and many of its consumers says it all.”
“We are delighted the Heart Foundation commissioned this work and has now strongly advised the public accordingly. There was too much confusion and consumers deserve all the information so they can make informed choices about their diet and health. So-called superfoods come and go, but given my family has marketed olive oil for 70 years now, I can tell you olive oil is a superfood that’s here to stay,” says Aitken.