Join Our Vida Juicing Community and Blog for Us Get Started Now

Olive Oil – A Mediterranean Mainstay for a Reason

By on June 5, 2015

Olive Oil – A Mediterranean Mainstay for a Reason

Olive oil, whether extra virgin or virgin, has been used in the Mediterranean for centuries, which are, by the way, considered one of the longest living cultures in the world. Their longevity is often attributed to their diets, which have a distinct focus on olive oil. If that isn’t enough for you to decide to hop on the olive oil train, keep reading to find out the health benefits of this flavorful oil.

Health Benefits

Olive oil has been shown to help reduce the risk of several different diseases and health conditions. These include:

  • Heart Disease – Olive oil helps prevent heart disease by lowering triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, without affecting the “good” HDL cholesterol levels. This helps to prevent the buildup of fat in the blood vessels, reducing overall risk.
  • Cancer – Olive oil contains a phytonutrient called oleocanthal, which has an anti-inflammatory effect that is similar to that of ibuprofen. This substance is believed to be effective in decreasing the risk of certain cancers. The oil also contains lignans and squalene, which are currently being studied for their effects on cancer as well.
  • Alzheimer’s – Another benefit of oleocanthal is that recent research has found that it may provide added protection for the nerves that are damaged by Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Diabetes – Due to its low levels of saturated fats, olive oil is often recommended as a substitute for other, less healthy oils for those suffering from diabetes. While it does have a higher fat content, these fats are monounsaturated, which have been shown to prevent diabetes and other diseases.
  • Stroke Prevention – Another study focused on those who used olive oil over five years. The study found that those who used olive oil for their cooking and as dressings showed a 41% decrease in their stroke risk.
  • Metabolic Syndrome – This syndrome, which includes high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar paired with abdominal obesity, causes serious health risk for heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Studies have shown that those who follow a Mediterranean diet high in olive oil actually have a significantly lower risk of metabolic syndrome.

Don’t Sweat the High Calories

While it is true that olive oil has a higher number of calories, this is not a bad thing. The real benefits come from the low levels of saturated fats and the high levels of monounsaturated fats, mostly in the form of oleic acid. It also provides omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are known for their health benefits. Additionally, there are plenty of antioxidants known as tocopherols and phenols, and vitamin E – all of which provide numerous benefits as well. When taken in context for those trying to lose weight, the additional calories are well worth it considering that the oil helps with a myriad of health problems that often affect those who are overweight.

Olive oil provides a wealth of health benefits, and it seems as if more are being discovered every day. If you want to give your body an added boost of beneficial compounds, add olive oil to your diet in place of butter, lard, and other cooking oils.

Did you enjoy this article?
Share the Love
Get the latest news, reviews and features directly into your inbox.

About Lionel Correia

Lionel is a fitness enthusiast, juicing advocate, and serial entrepreneur. He loves real estate, but is even more passionate about health, wellness and a positive mindset. He’s a graduate of the University of Arizona and prides himself on establishing great habits because great habits lead to great results. His favorite workouts include, yoga, spin class, sprints on the track and resistance training. He believes that if you desire a strong healthy body, you must first build mental toughness because a healthy body requires a disciplined mind and great habits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *