Olive Oil. Ever wonder why the Greeks were always credited for their herculean strength and battle-winning toughness? Olive oil has long been a staple of the Mediterranean diet. This miraculous lipid has been credited with numerous health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and improved heart health.
Olive oil can be incorporated into your diet in several ways. Use olive oil to sauté vegetables, add it to salad dressings, or simply drizzle some atop your favorite proteins. No matter how you incorporate it, olive oil is a fantastic addition to any diet or food plan.
Preliminary clinical studies provide evidence that consumption of olive oil may lower risk of heart disease risk factors such as lower blood cholesterol levels and reduced LDL cholesterol oxidation, and that it may also possibly influence inflammatory, thrombotic, hypertensive and vasodilatory mechanisms. Although epidemiological studies indicate that a higher proportion of monounsaturated fats in the diet may be linked with a reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease, a cause and effect relationship has not yet been established with sufficient scientific evidence.
Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 2 tbsp. (23 g) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day.
Preliminary research indicates that olive oil could possibly be a chemopreventive agent for peptic ulcer or gastric cancer, but confirmation requires further in vivo study. Pilot studies showed that olive oil may reduce oxidative damage to DNA and RNA, revealing a possible anti-carcinogenic factor. Consumption of olive oil may prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, possibly through a mechanism related to oleocanthal inhibiting fibrillization of tau protein.
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