What are the health benefits of olive oil?
The Mediterranean diet has long been praised by experts as heart-healthy and nourishing. One of the main reasons is olive oil.
Several studies show that including extra virgin olive oil in your diet has health benefits, thanks in part to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity associated with its phenolic compounds.
According to a 2022 study in the Caspian Journal of Environmental Sciences, “unsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and high blood pressure.”
The study said that the main exporting countries of olive oil are Spain, Italy, and Greece, and that those countries have a lower rate of colon, breast, and prostate cancer, less Alzheimer’s disease, and an increased life expectancy compared to people in northern Europe.
But a 2023 study in the journal Nature says not all olive oils are the same. After tracking the results of more than 12,000 people for an average of 10.7 years, the researchers said that moderate daily consumption of extra virgin olive oil (1-1/2 tablespoon) was associated with a one-third lower risk of all-cause infection as well. Half the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. These effects were not observed for common olive oil.”
The Journal of the American College of Cardiology published a study led by researchers from Harvard University that analyzed data from the 28-year-old Nurses’ Health Study, looking at data on 60,582 women, as well as 31,801 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study over the same period. Years 1990-2018. When the studies began, everyone was free of heart disease and cancer. They each took a nutritional questionnaire every four years.
The researchers concluded that for those with high intakes of olive oil, the risk of death from cardiovascular disease was reduced by 19%, while the risk of death from cancer was reduced by 17%. They also had a 29% lower risk of death from neurodegenerative disease, and an 18% lower risk of death from respiratory disease.
“Replacing ghee, butter, mayonnaise, and dairy fat with olive oil was associated with a lower risk of death,” the researchers wrote.
Healthline outlines a number of olive oil benefits, based on studies, starting with its fat content, which consists mostly of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat. This is thought to reduce inflammation and some say it reduces the risk of cancer, although different studies have different results about cancer.
The article says that olive oil also contains antioxidants, which may reduce the risk of chronic disease, among other potential health benefits.
She also points out that “buying the right kind of olive oil is very important.” The article suggests reading the ingredient list and checking quality certifications since some products labeled “extra virgin” may have been diluted with other refined oils.
Replace, do not apply
Because olive oil is fairly high in calories, health experts told The New York Times that olive oil should not just be poured on or into foods. Instead, it should be used as a substitute for less healthy fat sources, especially butter and full-fat dairy products, which contain saturated fat that can raise your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels.
The Times experts suggest not eating more than three or four tablespoons of olive oil daily, “because this amount is associated with the greatest benefit.” As The Times’s Danny Bloom wrote, people shouldn’t think that olive oil alone will change health.
Other experts point out that butter, in moderation, is part of a healthy diet. “Moderate amounts of saturated fat, like what you find in butter, can be part of a healthy diet as well, and butter also contains nutrients like fat-soluble vitamins,” Jessica Titchenal, MD, a clinical nutritionist and registered dietitian, told Wellandgood. .com. Butter and olive oil are different fats, she said, “so sometimes it won’t do the trick in a dish to substitute one for the other.” “Both butter and olive oil can be included in a healthy diet,” the article stated.
Spain and shoplifted olive oil
Some strange olive oil-related news broke this week with the news that in Spain, the largest producer of olive oil, supermarkets are “sealing bottles of the essential cooking oil as prices rise and theft increases,” according to Reuters.
One-liter bottles are selling for the equivalent of about $16 in some stores, “pushing olive oil into the category of products that retailers fit security labels with, along with cosmetics, spirits and hardware,” the article said.
She said that the price of olive oil “rose by 150% over the past two years in Spain, as a scorching drought in the south weakened the olive harvest.” Organized criminal gangs steal oil to resell it.”