Health Benefits Of Olive Oil

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Those who live in Mediterranean countries (Spain, Italy, Greece, etc.) do not suffer from many of the coronary diseases that afflict the Western world. This lowered risk of heart disease is attributed to what is now known as the Mediterranean diet, a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and olive oil. Health benefits of olive oil include:

  • Lowered risk for heart attack. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and contains many antioxidants including chlorophyll, carotenoids and vitamin E. The monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil not only lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels helping protect you from atherosclerosis, but also support the High Density Lipoproteins (good cholesterol) that can clean harmful cholesterol from your arteries.
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits. The healthy fatty acids in olive oil reduce systemic inflammation and may also reduce the symptoms of both arthritis and asthma. Olive oil supports healthy cell membranes that are then able to properly transport nutrients into cells as they move toxic waste products out to be eliminated.
  • Anti-cancer benefits. One of the monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil called oleic acid, has the ability to prevent pre-cancer cells known as oncogenes from becoming cancerous. A 2018 study, Potential Health Benefits of Olive Oil and Plant Polyphenols found that olive oil (and their polyphenols) reduced cancer cell proliferation and reduced or prevented metastasis, the spreading of cancerous cells throughout the body.
  • Positive type 2 diabetes benefits. Several studies support the theory that a Mediterranean diet and olive oil reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance). The Effect of Mediterranean Diet in Diabetes Control and Cardiovascular Risk Modification found that a diet rich in olive oil serves a “protective role on glycemic control as reflected by reduced HbA1c and lower fasting levels in addition to decreased insulin resistance and mortality…while also decreasing oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance. Adding olive oil to your diet can also lower your triglyceride levels. Protective Effects of the Mediterranean Diet on Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome found that the bioactive components of a Mediterranean diet and olive oil “synergize to affect various metabolic pathways, leading to a reduced cardiometabolic disease risk.”
  • Weight-loss benefits. In a study published in the September 2003 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, it was found that “a significant loss of body weight and fat mass” can be achieved by the substitution of saturated fats with olive oil, a monounsaturated fat. Simply by switching from butter, lard or saturated cooking fats to olive oil, you will lose weight, but also decrease your risks of diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
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