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Benefits of Olive Oil in your Diet

A 2020 study found, consuming more than half a tablespoon of olive oil a day lowers the risk of heart disease. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology also reported that it lowers the rate of premature death from cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and others compared to those who don't or sparingly consume olive oil. 


"Olive oil is the hallmark of the Mediterranean diet, and its link to lower mortality is well established in southern European countries. But this is the first long-term study to show such a health benefit here in the U.S.," said Dr. Frank Hu, the study's senior author and professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.


Among all edible plant oils, olive oil has the highest percentage of monounsaturated fat, which lowers "bad" LDL cholesterol and increases "good" HDL. It's shown to lower blood pressure, and offers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to reduce the disease process, including heart disease.


Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is an unrefined, natural product that has undergone a single, simple milling process without any processing to alter its quality. Regular olive oil, on the other hand, has been refined, bleached, deodorized, and blended with 5 - 15% EVOO. "Pure” or ''light” are marketing terms used for olive oil, refined and mixed with a small amount of EVOO to yield a product that's lighter in flavor, aroma, or color.  European studies have shown better health results with EVOO which has a higher amount of plant compounds and antioxidants than other edible oils.


Other liquid vegetable oils make good substitutes as well, like the heart-healthy benefits of soybean, canola, corn, safflower, sunflower, and other plant oils.


Source: The benefits of adding a drizzle of olive oil to your diet

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