Olive oil: why eating it daily protects your heart health

El aceite de oliva es rico en antioxisantes y es fuente de grasas monoinsaturadas saludables para el corazón.

Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and is a source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

Photo: RODNAE Productions / Pexels

Olive oil is a healthy oil whose benefits have been attributed to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The consumption of olive oil can reduce the risk of death from various diseases, including cardiovascular diseases.

A study conducted by researchers at the American College of Cardiology indicates that consume more olive oil, as well as replace the consumption of other fats, can reduce the risk of dying from heart Disease, neurodegenerative diseases, mortality from respiratory diseases and cancer.

The study published January 10 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, cConsuming more than 7 grams (more than 1/2 tablespoon) of olive oil per day and replacing about 10 grams per day of margarine, butter, mayonnaise, and dairy fat with the equivalent amount of olive oil is associated with a lower mortality risk.

60,582 women and 31,801 men with a follow-up of 28 years on the diet were analyzed. Compared to people who did not consume olive oil, those who consumed the most olive oil had a 19% lower risk of cardiovascular mortalitya 17% lower risk of cancer mortality, a 29% lower risk of neurodegenerative mortality, and an 18% lower risk of dying from respiratory disease.

Why olive oil protects heart health

The key to preventing illness and death from heart disease would not just be adding olive oil to your diet, but use it as a substitute for other unhealthy fatsaccording to study author Marta Guasch-Ferre, a research scientist in the department of nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

Olive oil is rich in healthy antioxidants, polyphenols and vitaminsand it’s a good one source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. “It can be speculated that mechanisms related to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of olive oil may have played a role in these (study) findings,” Guasch-Ferre said.

Harvard Health shares that regardless of the type, olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, containing around 75% by volume. When substituted for saturated fats, monounsaturated fats help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Olive oil is one of the ingredients included in the Mediterranean diet, a heart- and brain-healthy diet. Many fruits, vegetables, and nuts are also included; whole grains; and limit red meat, with fish being the favorite animal protein.

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