Beneficial Effects of Olive Oil
Research shows that the beneficial effects of olive oil may extend beyond cholesterol control.
Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats such as olive oil can help reduce cholesterol and keep the heart healthy. Now researchers have discovered that fresh extra-virgin olive oil contains a compound that helps fight inflammation.
A compound found in olive oil called oleocanthal fights inflammation in a manner similar to ibuprofen, inhibiting the cyclooxygenase enzymes involved in pain and inflammation responses. The amount of oleocanthal obtained from daily olive oil consumption would elicit a much smaller anti-inflammatory effect compared to medication, and more research is needed to determine whether olive oil consumption has any clinical effect on inflammation. However, some researchers speculate that the heart benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet, which includes ample amounts of olive oil, may be due in part to the anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil. The inflammation of tissues, such as those of the vascular system, plays a role in the development of heart disease. A great way to add olive oil to your diet is to replace creamy salad dressing high in saturated fats with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Eating a low-fat diet — and eating healthful unsaturated fats when you do eat fat – can make your age as much as 6 years younger.