The Mediterranean diet has been shown to have a significant reduction in heart disease and stroke. Research exists that shows following this type of diet, which includes an increase in the consumption olive oil, can help lower the risk significantly!
This is because olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats (the good fats), which can help with overall cardiovascular disease (CVD) by lowering cholesterol. An increasingly common condition, CVD refers to a range of different health problems, including stroke, heart failure, and atherosclerosis (a buildup of plaque in blood vessels). According to the CDC, someone dies of CVD in the U.S. every 36 seconds.
New research is expanding our understanding of olive oil’s health impacts, showing that increasing intake of olive oil could improve cardiovascular health and more.
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology examined how intake of olive oil affected overall health when compared to other oils. Researchers included 90,000 participants derived from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, both of which started around 1990. No participant in either study had cancer or cardiovascular disease when the study started. Questionnaires were used every few years to assess changes in diets. A key dietary change researchers noted was an increase in olive oil consumption among participants and a decrease in margarine usage–usage of other fats and oils stayed about the same.
The researchers found that participants who reported the highest intake of olive oil had significantly improved health outcomes with an almost 20% lower risk for cardiovascular mortality. Higher levels also seemed hint at a decreased danger in cancers and neurocognitive decline – supporting existing guidelines advocating higher amounts or other unsaturated oils within our diets!