Olive Oil Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Studies have shown that fatty acids and antioxidants in olive oil can provide some beneficial health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease.
Olive oil is widely recognized as one of the healthiest oils in the world. In fact, in regions where olive oil is an integral part of the diet, people tend to live longer and healthier ways. Olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean diet and recognized for contributing to its health benefits, particularly in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Olive oil is always the main protagonist of the studies. At the beginning it was thought that the dietary benefits of olive oil were linked to its high content in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid whose content is around 80% of total fatty acids.
However, experimental evidence has accumulated on the health benefits of minor bioactive components of olive oil such as polyphenols which have specific structures and are found in larger quantities in extra virgin olive oil. The minor but highly bioactive compounds, present only in 1-2% of the weight but include over 230 different chemical compounds, including tocopherols, squalene, fatty alcohols, triterpene alcohols, plant sterols, polar pigments and hydrophilic compounds, and mainly polyphenols such as l oleuropein and its metabolites hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol, which make up about 80% of the phenolic content of olive oil.
The highest quality oil
Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality olive oil, extracted from the fruit of the olive tree without the use of heat or chemicals and richer in protective substances. Its polyphenol content varies from 50 to 1000 mg / kg and in fact, its content depends on agronomic factors, as well as on extraction technology, together with the conservation or packaging processes also depending on the cultivar, the climate, the maturation of the olives at the time of harvest. The most active and most abundant polyphenols are hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol, derived from oleuropein, the main responsible for the bitter taste and which make up about 80% of the phenolic content of olive oil. Then there are oleacein and oleocanthal, the main cause of the burning sensation that occurs in the back of the throat when extra virgin olive oil is consumed.
A good extra virgin olive oil should contain at least 300 mg / kg of phenolic compounds. From a study on 32 extra virgin olive oils taken directly from Italian shelves, as regards polyphenols and tocopherols, a great variability emerged with values from about 50 to about 500 mg / kg. The concentration of phenolic compounds was considerably higher in 100% Italian oils, and in particular in DOP ones.
The health effects of green gold
Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) are the most common causes of death worldwide. Numerous observational studies show that the incidence of these diseases is low in some areas of the world, particularly in the countries of the Mediterranean Sea. Extra virgin olive oil protects against heart disease through numerous mechanisms:
• Reduced inflammation: olive oil protects against inflammation, a key factor in heart disease
• HDL cholesterol: the most important results, for example of the EUROLIVE study, were an increase in HDL cholesterol and a decrease in lipid oxidative damage, linear with the phenolic content of the olive oil consumed
• LDL cholesterol: olive oil protects LDL particles from oxidative damage, an element that favors heart disease
• Improvement of endothelial function: olive oil improves the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels
• Lower blood pressure: several studies indicate that olive oil significantly reduces blood pressure and reduces the need for hypertension drugs by 48%
Epidemiological research indicates that the consumption of olive oil can also be useful for preventing diabetes, obesity and diseases related to chronic inflammation such as metabolic syndrome. Extra virgin olive oil can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes through the phenolic compounds present in extra virgin olive oil that contribute to glucose metabolism and improve the sensitivity and effectiveness of insulin. Olive oil can also have a protective role against some cancers (especially breast and digestive tract cancers) and the consumption of olive oil can improve bone health, preventing bone loss with aging.
Dietary fat is highly controversial, and the debate over animal fat, seed oil, and everything in between is fierce. But there is one consensus. That said, most people think that extra virgin olive oil is very healthy. As part of the Mediterranean diet, this traditional oil has been the main diet for the healthiest people in the world.
The olive oil production process is extremely simple-olives are pressed to extract oil. However, low-quality oils can be extracted with chemicals and even diluted with other cheaper oils. Therefore, buying the right type of olive oil is essential. The best is extra virgin olive oil. It is extracted using natural methods, and its purity and certain sensory qualities such as taste and odor are standardized.
Real virgin olive oil is a highly phenolic antioxidant with a distinctive special taste, which is the main reason why it is so beneficial.
In addition, there are refined or “light” olive oils, which are usually extracted with solvents, heat-treated, and even diluted with cheaper oils such as soybean or rapeseed oil.
Therefore, labels must be carefully checked and purchased from reputable sellers. Even oils marked with extra-virgin may be blended with cheaper oils.
Real extra virgin olive oil is 100% natural antioxidants. Many lower quality olive oils are processed to incorporate cheaper oils.
Extra virgin olive oil is quite nutritious. It contains the right amount of Vitamin E and K and a lot of beneficial fatty acids.
One tablespoon (13.5 grams) of olive oil contains the following:
14% saturated fat:
73% (mainly oleic acid) monounsaturated fat:
· 13% Vitamin E:
· 7% Vitamin K:
It is worth noting that extra virgin olive oil is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are biologically active, some of which can help fight serious diseases. Oil’s main antioxidants include the anti-inflammatory camellia aldehyde, and oleuropein, a substance that protects LDL (bad) cholesterol from oxidation. Some people have criticized olive oil for its high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio (over 10: 1). However, its total amount of polyunsaturated fats is still relatively low, so this should not be a cause for concern.
Olive oil is a very high monounsaturated fat containing a small amount of vitamin E, K. Real extra virgin olive oil contains antioxidants, some of which have powerful health benefits.
Extra virgin olive oil contains anti-inflammatory substances
Chronic inflammation is considered one of the main drivers of many diseases, including heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and arthritis.
Some people speculate that the anti-inflammatory ability of olive oil is behind its many health benefits.
Oleic acid is the main fatty acid in olive oil and has been found to reduce markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein.
However, the main anti-inflammatory effect of olive oil seems to be due to its antioxidants, mainly linalool, which has proven to be like ibuprofen, a popular anti-inflammatory drug. Researchers estimate that the analgesic effect of oleocanthal in 50 milliliters (about 3.4 tablespoons) of extra virgin olive oil is similar to that of 10% of adult ibuprofen doses.
In addition, a study showed that substances in olive oil can reduce the expression of genes and proteins that mediate inflammation. Keep in mind that chronic, low-level inflammation is usually quite mild, and it can take years or decades to cause damage. Using extra virgin olive oil may help prevent this from happening and reduce the risk of various inflammatory diseases, especially heart disease.
Olive oil contains oleic acid and olive oil, two nutrients that fight inflammation. This may be the main reason for the health benefits of olive oil.
Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke, are one of the most common causes of death in the world.
Many observational studies have shown that the number of deaths from these diseases is low in some parts of the world, especially in the Mediterranean countries. The discovery initially sparked interest in the Mediterranean diet, which is thought to mimic the diet of people in those countries.
Studies on the Mediterranean diet have shown that it helps prevent heart disease. In a major study, it reduced heart attacks, strokes and deaths by 30%.
Extra virgin olive oil prevents heart disease through a variety of mechanisms:
Reduce inflammation: Olive oil can prevent inflammation, which is a key driver of heart disease.
Reduce the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol: Olive oil protects LDL particles from oxidative damage, which is a key factor in the development of heart disease.
Improve blood vessel health: Olive oil can improve the function of vascular endothelial cells.
Helps control blood clotting: Some studies have shown that olive oil can help prevent unwanted blood clotting, a key feature of heart disease and stroke.
Lower blood pressure: A study of patients with hypertension found that olive oil can significantly lower blood pressure and reduce blood pressure medication needs by 48%.
Considering the biological effects of olive oil, it is not surprising that people who consume the most olive oil have a significantly reduced likelihood of dying from heart disease and stroke.
Dozens or even hundreds of animal and human studies have shown that olive oil is great for the heart. In fact, the evidence is strong enough to suggest that those with or at high risk for heart disease include a large amount of extra virgin olive oil in their diet.
Olive oil is probably one of the most beneficial foods for heart health. It reduces blood pressure and inflammation, protects LDL particles from oxidation, and helps prevent unnecessary clotting.
Other health benefits of extra virgin olive oil
Although most people study the effects of olive oil on heart health, consuming olive oil is also associated with some other health benefits.
Olive oil and cancer
Cancer is a common cause of death and is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. Studies show that people living in Mediterranean countries have a relatively low risk of cancer, and some have speculated that olive oil is linked to cancer.
One potential carcinogen is due to oxidative damage to harmful molecules called free radicals. However, extra virgin olive oil is high in antioxidants and reduces oxidative damage. Oleic acid in olive oil also has high antioxidant capacity and has shown beneficial effects on cancer-related genes.
Many laboratory studies have found that compounds in olive oil help fight cancer at the molecular level. But at the same time, in other words, controlled trials in humans have not investigated whether olive oil can help prevent cancer.
Olive oil and Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and the leading cause of dementia.
A feature of Alzheimer’s disease is the formation of protein tangles called beta-amyloid plaques in certain neurons in the brain. A study in mice found that a substance in olive oil can help clear these plaques. In addition, a controlled study of humans has shown that a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil can improve brain function and reduce the risk of cognitive impairment.
Preliminary evidence suggests that olive oil can help fight cancer and dementia, although human research needs to confirm this.
Can you cook with it?
During cooking, fatty acids oxidize, which means they react with oxygen and are destroyed. The double bond in the fatty acid molecule is the main cause of this phenomenon. For this reason, saturated fats (without double bonds) are resistant to high temperatures, while polyunsaturated fats (many double bonds) are sensitive and damaged.
Why extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat on earth
Olive oil contains mainly monounsaturated fatty acids (only one double bond) and is quite resistant to high temperatures. In one study, researchers heated extra virgin olive oil to 356 ° F (180 ° C) for 36 hours. This oil is highly resistant to damage.
Another study uses olive oil for frying, and it does not reach the level of damage that is considered harmful after 24-27 hours. Overall, olive oil seems to be very safe, even when cooked at fairly high calories.
Olive oil summary
Olive oil is super healthy. For those with or at a high risk of heart disease, olive oil is definitely a superfood. However, be sure to purchase undiluted extra virgin olive oil. The benefits of this magical fat are one of the few things most nutritionists agree on.