Sydney Times

Books Food and Drink


Written by Aksel Ritenis


                From Dr. Simon Poole and Judy Ridgway

Winner of the “First in the world” Dun Gifford Special Award at the 2017 International Finals of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards and Gold Diploma, Oleocanthal International Society Health and Food Awards, 2017.


Nutritional secrets of the Original Superfood

Is it true that two tablespoons of olive oil can halve your risk of heart disease? 

Does the combination of olive oil and salad explain the success of the Mediterranean Diet? 

Can olive oil kill cancer cells, fight the toxins of Alzheimer’s Disease and revive a failing heart? 

Is olive oil the key to sustained weight loss and ultimate SIRT food?

The Olive Oil Diet takes an authoritative look at the science behind some of the headlines, with a passion for enjoying truly healthy cuisine. The book reveals fascinating insights into the extraordinary health benefits of one of the oldest “super foods” known to man and is designed to take the fear out of using significant amounts of fat in the diet.

This is the first time that anyone has defined a way of eating that encompasses the most up-to-date nutritional recommendations and that is both sustainable and enjoyable.  The Olive Oil Diet is not a single uniform pattern of eating to take up or leave when you are trying to lose weight or are feeling unwell. It is a recipe for guilt-free indulgence, not for misery. It is very versatile and wide ranging and can easily accommodate the seasonality and availability of particular ingredients, the varying pattern of individual tastes and preferences and fulfil the recommended levels of extra virgin olive oil and other nutrients. The Olive Oil Diet is a Diet for Life.

The first section of the book focuses on the health benefits of the regular use of olive oil within the context of a healthy diet.  It makes sense of the emerging science and explains why olive oil is a fat that is good for you.  It describes, in simple everyday language, the beneficial properties of monounsaturated oleic acid, the predominant type of fat in olive oil, in maintaining good levels of cholesterol and so helping to prevent coronary heart disease.  It goes on to look at the part played by the non -fatty acid components in olive oil, such as phenols, and their powerful protective “anti-oxidants and “anti-inflammatory “ effects in our bodies.      

Not all olive oils are the same and so the second section of the book explains the different   grades of olive oil and their benefits.  It outlines the factors which have an effect on the health characteristics of different oils and goes on to show how these factors can point to the extra virgin olive oils which are most likely to provide advantageous nutritional characteristics.  This information is geared to buying advice on how to find the healthiest olive oils in the market place.

The third section of the book explains the on-going Olive Oil Diet of the title.  It contains a practical guide to producing great food which will not only help to achieve and sustain a healthy body weight but will also promote fitness and long life.  It shows how extra virgin olive oil can be used to give character and flavour to food and, at the same time, enhance the health qualities of the other ingredients in the dish.

Hints and tips such as the fact that vegetables cooked in olive oil retain more of their fat soluble vitamins than steamed vegetables, coating fish in olive oil antioxidants protects the delicate omega3 oils, and that marinating meat can make it a more healthy ingredient are included here.

  Practical advice is given on menu planning, choosing ingredients and the best ways to cook them, dressing simple dishes to enhance their health benefits, using store cupboard items and buying and enhancing ready-made food.

The final section of the book includes over a hundred suggestions and recipes which start with olive oil and build up with a wide range of other healthy ingredients.  These recipes are arranged around the modern lifestyle with plenty of ideas for fast food at home, healthy snacks and packed lunches.   There are also recipes to make when more time is available including baked foods and desserts.   No sugar or salt is used in these recipes.  Instead, fresh and dried fruits and a dash of honey are in desserts and sweet baking and herbs, spices and a range of peppers are used of flavour savoury dishes.

The book is available in soft back and kindle from

It is also available with free worldwide distribution from

Some Testimonials

“Not only a thoroughly enjoyable read, but also the most scientifically comprehensive book on one of nature’s best medicines”  Dr Aseem Malhotra, Cardiologist and Commentator

” This is the go-to book for facts on the health benefits of olive oil and how to switch to the Mediterranean diet every day. “  Professor Tim Spector, Author “The Diet Myth”

“A must read, The Olive Oil Diet brings fascinating new perspectives on the Mediterranean Diet with olive oil – the essential ingredient at its heart.  A practical guide to make the Mediterranean Diet part of everyday life”  Ian Marber; Nutritionist and Columnist

“The clinical treatment of the health contribution and the passion for the use of olive oil in cooking and food combine to give a very valuable and readable book” Simon Field, Founder Savantes International, Melbourne.

“I can’t help but think that if all of the world’s leaders were to read this book and promote the implementation of its recommendations, we would see a lot less premature death and morbidity. Our population would shrink in girth. Diabetes and hypertension would be relegated to the genetically less fortunate…” Dr Melissa Shirley Walton MD, Cardiologist and Medscape author

“The combination of these two experts — Dr. Simon Poole and Judy Ridgway — guarantees total understanding of both the nutrition science and the culinary applications around extra virgin olive oil.   If you’re not already, you will be a convert to the everyday use of olive oil — for good health and great taste”.  Sara Baer-Sinnott, President, Oldways

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Publisher and Custodian of the Sydney Times

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