Olive Oil and Cardiovascular Disease
Olive oil decreases rates of cardiovascular disease. The FDA has allowed the label on foods containing olive oil to say that the food labeled may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Olive oil is a primary contributor to the cardiprotective ability of the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil can satisfy hunger and help reduce calories consumed. Remember we want to stay away from the saturated fats in other cooking oils and switch to healthy monounsaturated fat, don’t let the word fat scare you, it is really a fatty acid.Also, Olive oil is a good source of vitamin E. One ounce of extra virgin olive oil contains about 17 percent of the daily value for vitamin E that we need for one day. The polyphenols in olive oil help preserve the vitamin E.
Diets rich in olive oil have been shown to be effective in lowering high cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. I am sure that the lower rates of coronary artery disease in Mediterranean Countries are at least partly due to olive oil consumption.
Polyphenols in olive oil are potent antioxidants that help protect LDL from oxidation. Monounsaturated fatty acids help the membranes in our cell walls of our arteries resist oxidation or I would say “stay more flexible”. A Spanish study supports this with findings that showed drops in blood pressure by participants in there comprehensive study of the Mediterranean diet.