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Olive Oil Shown to Drastically Reduce Heart Disease Risk

Elizabeth Renter
February 13th, 2013
Updated 05/21/2014 at 1:04 am
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olivesandoil 265x165 Olive Oil Shown to Drastically Reduce Heart Disease RiskBoost your olive oil consumption and live longer! Sounds simple, right? It’s not. While olive oil can have amazing benefits to the cardiovascular system, research shows that it’s not entirely simple. How you eat your olive oil, where your oil comes from, and even where you store it can impact its benefits. So, pay close attention to these benefits and how to make the most of them.

In 2003, a study published in the Journal of the National Medical Association indicated a diet rich in fish, olive oil, and plants decreased inflammation and heart disease. In 2009, a study in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology showed that when paired with a Mediterranean diet, the consumption of olive oil lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease. That same year, another study was published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology affirming that a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil could reduce heart disease, lower fats in the liver, improve insulin levels, and regulate blood sugar.

And these studies are only the tip of the iceberg.

NaturalNews concludes the findings of one other study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

“Study participants whose olive oil intake ranked in the top quarter had a 26 percent lower risk of dying of any cause and a 44 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease compared to those who did not consume olive oil. The risk of mortality from causes other than cancer or heart disease was reduced by 38 percent for those whose olive oil intake was greatest.”

However, one thing these studies had in common was that olive oil was part of a healthy, natural diet rich in plants.

Olive oil, like many healthful natural foods, contains polyphenols. These are the same beneficial compounds in red wine and other foods common in the Mediterranean diet. Without these polyphenols, olive oil would be similar to canola oil—another monounsaturated fat.

These polyphenols decrease heart disease risk factors like blood pressure and cholesterol. They can also improve arterial health.

The more polyphenols, the more health benefits. Olive oil pressed from an olive tree in your backyard is ideal and likely very rich in polyphenols. Some say this is why people in the Mediterranean reap even more benefits from olive oil than we do. But, there are things you can do to get the most out of your store-bought olive oil as well.

First, buy extra virgin olive oil. This is the oil that comes from the first pressing of the olives. No heat or other processing is used. Second, if you have local olive farmers (as a growing number are cropping up in the U.S.), shop local! Finally, don’t heat your olive oil. Think of it as a flavor enhancer to add after cooking. Heat degrades the benefits of the oil. It breaks them down. So, add a spoonful to your salad or put over your roasted vegetables after they come out of the oven.

Be aware: the olive oil you buy could be low quality and even fake. Here are additional tips on choosing the best olive oil.

Additional Sources:

Washington Post

From around the web:

  • James

    On the island of Crete they consume more olive oil per capita than anywhere else in the world, three times their nearest "competitor".

    And they have one of the lowest rates of CV disease in the western world.

    Their olive oil is produced locally (olive trees cover the island) and it is mostly consumed raw, on salads, as a dressing, or just for dipping bread. It is delicious!

  • Not a Paper Patriot

    This report is rubbish! Olive oil does NOT reduce CV disease, it increases it.

    If you want the low-down on this myth, read famed cardiologist Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr.'s superb book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.

    Dr. Esselstyn has demonstrated not only that one can prevent CAD but bhat one can reverse it. That procedure does NOT include olive oil!

  • Robert Park

    Of course, olive oil is also sold in dark glass bottles or containers to slow its rancidity but does not prevent it. When vegetable oils are subjected to heat or oxygen as they are when in the body those wee free radials which are harmful rapidly multiply and create havoc at the cellular level to the body but this moot piece of information is judiciously held from the public arena.