Olive oil, one of the basic components of the Mediterranean diet, when consumed daily has significant beneficial effects on our health. The benefits, span on a wide range of conditions such as diseases of the heart and cancer.
The daily consumption of 23 grams, 0.81 oz, of olive oil, equivalent to two tablespoons, is in a position to reduce the risk of suffering from a heart disease. This benefit is maximized if the oil will be consumed, replacing saturated fat diet. It is certainly preferable to reduce saturated fats (which are of animal origin) of the diet and replace those with olive oil rather than simply to add extra olive oil to the animal fat diet.
Q1. Why does Olive oil help the heart?
Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids. It is the most beneficial fatty acids. This acid reduces the risk of ischemic heart disease such as coronary heart disease, angina, myocardial infarction or heart attack and heart failure.
Olive oil and monounsaturated fatty acids reduce total blood cholesterol, particularly the bad cholesterol LDL. This cholesterol contributes to fatty deposit on artery walls, creating and exacerbating the diseased arteries.
Animal fats in a diet, because they offer saturated fatty acids, increase bad cholesterol. The same is true for Trans fatty acids found in partially hydrogenated fats are widely offered to consumers. Trans fatty acids increase levels of bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. They also lower the levels of good cholesterol HDL.
This calls for our attention to the consumption of animal fat in any form and trans fats. Unfortunately, trans fats are prevalent, there is a multitude of products in our diet used widely by the food industry and restaurants because of their low cost, practicality and good taste.
Q2. Which Olive oil is best?
All types of olive oil contain monounsaturated fatty acids, beneficial for the heart. However, the extra virgin and virgin olive oil contain the highest levels of antioxidants such as polyphenols.
Natural, herbal antioxidants of olive oil and those derived from fruits and vegetables, coffee, tea and dried fruits have strong beneficial effects on health.
Cancer, heart disease, aging, degenerative brain diseases and diabetes are among the problems and diseases of human health which are addressed by the actions of olive oil and other natural sources of antioxidants.
In conclusion we can infer that Olive Oil as one of the basic components of the Mediterranean diet plays an important role in the human health and vitality of the body when consumed in moderation and in a controlled way as part of our diet.