Follow

America’s Healthy
Cooking Teacher

Olive Oil and Your Heart…A Healthy Combination

There’s a lot of talk these days about olive oil. There are people who would have you believe that it’s an unhealthy ingredient in your diet. These experts, many of whom I know, love and respect, could not be more wrong…in my view…and in the view of most of the Mediterranean!

Some facts for you.

According to The New York Times: “About 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they switch to a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, and even drink wine with meals, a large and rigorous new study has found.”

The findings were published on The New England Journal of Medicine’s website were based on the first major clinical trial to measure the diet’s effect on heart disease risk. Here’s what surprised me. “The magnitude of the diet’s benefits startled experts. The study ended early, after almost five years, because the results were so clear it was considered unethical to continue.”

Have experts never looked at many of the people who live in the Mediterranean region? One look at their vibrant health and long lives should have been a clue that they are doing something right!

Rachel Johnson, a professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont and a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association said the results were impressive and added, “And the really important thing — the coolest thing — is that they used very meaningful endpoints. They did not look at risk factors like cholesterol or hypertension or weight. They looked at heart attacks and strokes and death. At the end of the day, that is what really matters.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/health/mediterranean-diet-can-cut-heart-disease-study-finds.html?_r=0

Now that’s not to say all olive oils are created equal. If you’re buying a vat of oil for a low price you can be guaranteed that it’s not good quality and is not real extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin oil is the first press and contains within it all the nutrients and antioxidants that provide the benefits attributed to it.

To reap those benefits, you need to invest in real extra virgin olive oil and that means a bit of an investment. A good estate oil, pressed from fresh olives, can range in price from $15-$50 a bottle. Is it worth the price? Yes and yes.

Want great skin? Fabulous hair? Good digestion? A healthy heart and brain? I’m thinking it’s worth the investment.

From brain and cognitive health to reduced risk of stroke, the results are as clear as day to me. This monounsaturated fat is an essential ingredient in a healthy diet.

Blog Category: