The Benefits of Truffle Oil: A Delicious Addition to Your Diet
Truffle oil is a common ingredient found in kitchen pantries across the globe. It is enjoyed by many as a simple way to amp up the flavor of everything from pasta dishes to risottos and beyond — much like olive oil. Although many people have started stocking up on this aromatic oil, few people really understand what’s actually in it or whether they’re getting the best value for their money in terms of both nutrition and flavor. So what does truffle oil taste like, and is it actually good for you? Keep reading to find out whether this popular ingredient really lives up to the hype, plus how you should use it in your own kitchen.
What Is Truffle Oil?
There are two types of truffle oil: real and synthetic. Real truffle oil is made by adding edible truffles to an oil base and allowing the flavors to infuse over several days. This results in a more authentic truffle flavor and also allows you to benefit from the health benefits of truffles. Synthetic truffle oil, on the other hand, is made by adding a chemical called 2,4-dithiapentane to oil, which mimics the taste and aroma of truffles.
Truffle oil is a popular ingredient that is used in many dishes. It is made using olive oil as a base, but some manufacturers may use other types of oil, such as canola oil or grapeseed oil. This diminishes many of the potential health benefits of truffle oil. Truffles are considered a delicacy because of their intense aroma and ability to punch up the flavor of just about any dish. They are also loaded with health benefits. Much like other types of fungi, such as mushrooms, truffles are loaded with antioxidants and flavonoids that can fight disease and boost overall health.
Benefits of Truffle Oil
- Promotes Heart Health
Truffle oil is made using healthy oils, such as olive oil, as a base. This accounts for many of the health benefits of truffle oil, including its powerful effect on heart health. Truffle oil is rich in polyphenols, which are natural compounds with antioxidant properties that can prevent oxidative stress and damage to cells. Polyphenols can also help reduce inflammation, which is linked to a variety of chronic conditions, including coronary heart disease. Studies show that these polyphenols can effectively reduce levels of cholesterol and triglycerides and lower blood pressure. A study published in BMC Medicine found that a higher intake of olive oil is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
- Preserves Brain Function
There is a growing body of evidence linking diet and brain health. Numerous studies have shown that consuming healthy fats can have a number of benefits for the brain, particularly in the prevention of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. For example, one human study from Pamplona, Spain found that following a Mediterranean diet enriched with healthy fats was associated with better brain function than a low-fat diet. In addition, a 2013 animal model found that a compound in olive oil had neuroprotective properties and was able to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by preventing the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain.
- Keeps Skin Glowing
The benefits of white truffle oil for skin are numerous and impressive. White truffle oil is rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat conditions like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and acne. A 2000 animal study in Japan found that olive oil applied topically helped protect skin against UV damage. Truffles are also commonly used in skincare products, serums and cosmetics due to their high antioxidant content, which can prevent oxidative damage, reduce skin aging, ward off wrinkles and improve skin tone.
- Regulates Blood Sugar
Truffle oil has the potential to help regulate blood sugar levels by regulating insulin, the hormone that transports sugar from the bloodstream to cells. The olive oil found in truffle oil has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity, which can help keep blood sugar levels normal. A 2017 review of four studies and 15,784 adults showed that people consuming the highest amounts of olive oil had lower levels of blood sugar, plus a 16 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.