A new study has found that adding olive oil to your diet can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The health benefits of olive oil have long been promoted – olive oil is full of healthy fats, nutrients, and antioxidants – and it’s a vital component of the Mediterranean diet. This new research, published in the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Cardiology, suggests the possibility of including olive oil in your diet.
The study, led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, examined the health and diet of 60,582 women and 31,801 men in the United States from 1990 to 2018.
During the 28 years studied, those who said they ate more than half a tablespoon of olive oil per day had a 19% lower risk of all-cause death, as well as a 19% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, compared to those who rarely Those with cardiovascular disease. olive oil.
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Those who consumed olive oil daily also reduced the risk of death from neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, by 29%. The researchers also found that olive oil use was associated with a 17% lower risk of death from cancer and an 18% lower risk of death from respiratory disease.
Olive oil and Alzheimer’s disease
Dr. Susanna Larsson, an epidemiologist at Uppsala University in Sweden, said in an editorial titled “Can small amounts of olive oil prevent death?”
“Given the lack of preventive strategies for Alzheimer’s disease and the high morbidity and mortality associated with this disease, this finding, if confirmed, is of significant public health significance,” Larson said.
Researchers have found that even a smaller amount of olive oil appears to have a health effect. They found that eating up to a teaspoon per day was associated with a 12% lower risk of death from all causes.
Research found that replacing three-quarters of a tablespoon of olive oil daily with margarine, butter, mayonnaise and dairy fats was associated with an 8% to 34% lower risk of all-cause death. However, no lower risk was found when olive oil was compared to vegetable oils such as corn oil and canola oil. “This suggests that vegetable oils may provide the same health benefits as olive oil,” Larson said.
Study author Marta-Guache Ferret, a research scientist in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told USA TODAY that a good goal for daily olive oil consumption is 3–4 tablespoons per day. This will help you reduce the amount of butter, mayonnaise, and other animal fats used in cooking.
“At home, we always use olive oil for everything,” she said. “We use it for baking, for preparing vegetables and salads, and it’s even a good option for frying.”
There is more to learn about olive oil
While the findings expand on the limited knowledge of olive oil’s health benefits, “More research is needed,” Larson said.
This is because there are still more questions. A more specific study comparing those who neither consume nor consume olive oil could provide a scientific explanation for olive oil’s ability to reduce mortality risk. Also Wanted: Evaluate the types — extra virgin olive oil or refined olive oil, for example — that may provide health benefits.
In the meantime, those seeking to improve their lifestyle can include olive oil, but should consider it in its context.
“We need to take care that we have an overall healthy dietary pattern full of plant foods including fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, healthy fats such as olive oil or nuts and a healthy, moderate protein intake (eggs, fish, poultry),” Guasch-Ferré said..
At the same time, you can reduce your risk of disease by reducing your consumption of processed meat and other processed foods, sugary drinks, and sweets. “Also, other lifestyle factors, such as not smoking (and) being physically active, play an important role,” she said.
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