The Mediterranean diet has long been hailed by experts as heart-healthy and nutritious. One key reason is olive oil.
Numerous studies have shown that adding extra virgin olive oil to the diet has health benefits, in part due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity of its phenolic compounds.
According to a 2022 study in the Journal of Environmental Science, “Unsaturated fatty acids in olive oil may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and hypertension.”
The main source countries for olive oil are Spain, Italy and Greece, which have less colon, breast and prostate cancer, less Alzheimer’s disease and longer life expectancy than northern Europeans, the study said.
But a 2023 study in the journal Nature shows that not all olive oils are created equal. Researchers followed more than 12,000 subjects for an average of 10.7 years and found that “moderate daily consumption of virgin olive oil (1-1/2 tablespoons) was associated with a one-third lower risk of all-cause cardiovascular death” Half the risk. These effects were not found with regular olive oil. “
The Journal of the American College of Cardiology published a study led by Harvard University researchers that analyzed data from the 28-year Nurses’ Health Study, looking at data from 60,582 women, as well as 31,801 from the same Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Data for men. years, 1990 to 2018. When the study began, all were free of heart disease and cancer. They conduct dietary surveys every four years.
The researchers concluded that for those with the highest olive oil intake, the risk of death from cardiovascular disease dropped by 19%, while the risk of death from cancer dropped by 17%. They had a 29% lower risk of death from neurodegenerative diseases and an 18% lower risk of death from respiratory diseases.
“Replacing margarine, butter, mayonnaise, and milk fat with olive oil may reduce mortality,” the researchers wrote.
Healthline outlines the many benefits of olive oil based on research, starting with its fat content, which is primarily oleic acid (a monounsaturated fat). This is thought to reduce inflammation, and some say it can reduce cancer risk, although different studies have different findings on cancer.
The article states that olive oil also contains antioxidants, which may reduce the risk of chronic diseases, among other potential health benefits.
It also states that “buying the right olive oil is extremely important.” The article recommends reading ingredient lists and checking quality certifications, since some oils labeled “extra virgin” have been diluted with other refined oils.
Replace, do not apply
Because olive oil is quite high in calories, health experts told The New York Times that it shouldn’t just be poured over or into food. Instead, it should be used to replace “less healthy fat sources — especially butter and full-fat dairy products, which contain saturated fats that can raise your LDL levels.”
Experts at The New York Times recommend consuming no more than three to four tablespoons of olive oil per day, “because this amount is associated with the greatest benefits.” People shouldn’t assume that, either, wrote Times reporter Danny Blum Olive oil alone can transform your health.
Other experts note that moderate amounts of butter are part of a healthy diet. “Moderate amounts of saturated fat, like the saturated fat found in butter, can also be part of a healthy diet, and butter also contains nutrients like fat-soluble vitamins,” says Jessica Tichenauer, Ph.D., Clinical Nutrition, Certified Nutrition Specialist (Jessica Tichenal) said. Tell Wellandgood.com. She said butter and olive oil are different fats, “so sometimes substituting one for the other in a dish won’t work. “Both butter and olive oil can be included in a healthy diet,” the article says.
Spain and shoplifting olive oil
Some strange olive oil-related news broke this week, reporting that in Spain, the largest olive oil producer, supermarkets are “locking up bottles of the main cooking oil as prices soar and theft increases,” according to Reuters.
In some stores, one-liter bottles sell for nearly $16, the article said, “putting olive oil into the category of products where retailers affix safety labels, along with cosmetics, spirits and appliances.”
Olive oil prices in Spain have “soared 150% in the past two years” as hot drought in the south affected olive harvests, the report said. Organized crime gangs are stealing oil to resell. “