Olive Oil – Review the Latest Research

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Olive oil is a multi-faceted fat produced by crushing, milling, pitting, and crushing olives to extract their oil.

This healthy oil is high in antioxidants, which positively affect health in various ways, including preventing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

It's a key element in the Mediterranean diet, which is considered one of the most healthy eating styles in the world.

Here's everything you should know about olive oil: its nutritional value, potential health benefits, and the best way to incorporate it into your daily diet.

Promotes Heart Health

Heart disease has been identified as the most common cause of death in the U.S. Lifestyle and diet choices can lower the risk of suffering from heart disease by encouraging healthy blood cholesterol levels as well as blood pressure. This can help improve blood vessels' function and prevent atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is a medical term for the hardening or thickening of arteries due to plaque buildup. Plaque forms slowly as blood cells, fat, cholesterol, and other substances accumulate in the arteries of your body, reducing the flow of blood. Atherosclerosis is one of the major causes of heart disease.

A diet high in olive oil, like the eating habits of people living near the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea, has been proven to help protect against cardiovascular risk factors, such as atherosclerosis.

Olive oil is rich in compounds, like antioxidants phenolic, which reduce inflammation compounds that promote atherosclerosis. For instance, oleuropein is a phenolic component in olive oil that aids in reducing inflammation and inhibits the expression of adhesion molecules, which plays a key role in the progression and development of atherosclerosis.

Research suggests that diets high in olive oil could help in reducing the progress of atherosclerosis. A 2021 study that involved 939 patients suffering from heart disease discovered that those who ate an oil-rich Mediterranean lifestyle for 7 years experienced a decrease in atherosclerosis progress, as measured in the thickness of the outer two layers in the carotidartery (IMT-CC) and the plaque's height in the carotid arterial, as compared to those who adhered to the diet that was low in fat.

In addition, regular consumption of olive oil could help reduce LDL cholesterol, boost the levels of protective HDL cholesterol, and decrease blood pressure, all of which could help prevent heart disease.

A 2021 study involving 92,978 Americans found that those who consumed more than a half-ton serving of olive oil each day had a lower risk of heart disease than people who did not use olive oil.

High in Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Compounds

One primary reason that olive oil consumption is linked with lower disease risk is that it's a concentrated source of compounds that reduce inflammation and guard against cell damage.

Olive oil contains over 200 different plant components, including carotenoids, polyphenols, and sterols such as hydroxytyrosol (HT) and hydroxytyrosol-acetate (HT-ac), which act as potent antioxidants in the body.

These substances inhibit inflammation in the body and can also assist in reducing inflammation-related markers such as C-reactive proteins (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6).

A 2015 review of 30 studies involving 3106 participants showed that supplementing olive oil in dosages ranging from 1 milligram (mg) up to 50 mg daily resulted in significant reductions of CRP and IL-6 compared to treatment alternatives.

Since olive oil is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, it could benefit people who suffer from inflammatory illnesses such as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). A 2023 study, which included more than 365 people suffering from RA, discovered that a higher intake of olive oil has a significant positive impact on RA disease activity and decreased levels of inflammation markers such as CRP.

May Help Reduce the Risk of Common Health Conditions

Incorporating more olive oil into your diet can help reduce the risk of developing common illnesses like type 2 diabetes. It can also help you live longer and healthier lives.

A review conducted in 2017 of 4 cohort research studies as well as 29 controlled trials that were randomized found that those in the top intake of olive oil had a reduced chance in developing diabetes type 2 as compared with those who were in the lower intake category. The review also found that supplementing with olive oil improved indicators that indicate long-term glucose control as well as fasting blood sugars in people with type 2 diabetes when compared to control groups, which means that olive oil may be beneficial in preventing type 2 diabetes as well as improving the health outcomes of those with diabetes.

The review of 2022 also found that every extra 25-gram serving of olive oil was linked with a significant 22% reduction in the possibility of developing type 2 diabetes. The review also showed that consumption of olive oil reduced the risk of dying from any cause.

A study from 2022, which included data from 92,383 Americans, discovered that those who ate the most olive oils had a 17 percent lower risk of death from cancer as well as a 29% lower chance of death due to neurodegenerative diseases and a decrease in 18% in the possibility of dying from respiratory diseases.

The study concluded that replacing 10 grams per day of mayonnaise, butter, and margarine with the equivalent quantity of olive oil linked to an 8-34 percent lower chance of dying from any cause.

Nutritional Facts of Olive Oil

Olive oil can be described as a health fat that's high in vitamin E, a vitamin that acts as an effective antioxidant in the body. Most of the fat contained in olive oil is unsaturated, which makes it a great option for improving heart health.

Here's the nutritional breakdown for a serving of one tablespoon of olive oil.

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Olive, oil, extra light.

  • Calories: 126
  • Fat: 14.0 grams (g)
  • Saturated Fat: 2.17 grams
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 9.58 grams
  • Unsaturated Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.33 grams
  • Vitamin E: 2.93 mg or 20% of the Daily Value (DV)

Olive oil is mostly monounsaturated fats and is not high in saturated fat. Monounsaturated fats, including Oleic acid, are helpful in promoting heart health.

Research findings suggest that substituting sources of saturated fats such as butter for monounsaturated fats such as olive oil can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Olive oil is also a great source of vitamin E, A nutrient that plays a significant role in immunity and helps protect cells from damage from oxidative stress, which could lead to illness.

Most people in the U.S. don't consume enough high-quality vitamin E foods. A study suggests that 96 percent of women and 99% of males living in the U.S. have insufficient vitamin E intake, which can negatively impact general health.

Fortunately, including more olive oil in your diet is an excellent method to increase the amount of this vital nutritional element.

Risks of Olive Oil

Olive oil is regarded as an excellent fat for health and is safe to eat for most people. However, those with an allergy to olives must avoid any olive-derived product, including olive oil.

Like all fats, olive oil is calorie-dense. A tablespoon of olive oil has 14g of fat. However, high-calorie, fat-rich foods like almonds, olive oil, and avocados can be consumed regularly as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

However, those looking to lose weight might need to reduce their intake of high-calorie food items such as oils to build a calorie deficit for weight loss.

Tips for Consuming Olive Oil

Olive oil is a good addition to a variety of sweet and savory dishes. It can be used in low-to-moderate-heat cooking techniques like sauteeing and baking.

Be aware that olive oils made from virgin olives and extra-virgin olive oils have fewer smoke points than refined olive oils. Smoke point is how hot oil starts to smoke. The smoke point of extra-virgin olive oil is between 350 and 4100 F, while the smoking point of refined olive oil could be anywhere between 390 and 4700 F. This makes refined olive oil the better option for cooking at higher temperatures.

Here are some simple ways to include the use of olive oil in your daily diet:

  • Use extra-virgin olive oil over the pasta or other dishes that you have cooked, such as cooked vegetables.
  • Make use of olive oil for your salad dressings and dressings for salads. You can also make hummus, dressings, and pesto.
  • Use olive oil to dress dishes based on fruits, such as watermelon, mint, or feta salad.
  • Olive oil can be used in place of butter or vegetable oils to cook low—and moderate-heat dishes.
  • Make use of olive oil for baked goods such as cakes and bread
  • Mix olive oil with minced garlic and salt and pepper to create an easy dip to serve with freshly baked bread.

There are numerous ways to use olive oil in your cooking. Don't be afraid to play around with this flexible fat.

Try replacing various fats, such vegetable oil and butter with olive oil for your favorite recipes. You can also ensure you have olive oil of high-quality in your pantry to always have a nutritious fat choice to make delicious meals.

A Quick Review

Olive oil is thought to be one of the most healthy oils you can eat. It is loaded with antioxidant plants that could help reduce inflammation and protect against cell damage.

Consuming a diet rich in olive oil has been associated with numerous health benefits, such as reducing the risk of common illnesses like heart disease and diabetes type 2. Olive oil is versatile and can be utilized in sweet and savory dishes.

It would help if you considered adding this versatile fat for simple ways to improve your overall health.

Live Healthier
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