Heart health, brain, life expectancy: three reasons to include olive oil in your diet

Heart health, brain, life expectancy: three reasons to include olive oil in your diet

A staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is full of multiple health benefits. This is evidenced by recent studies on the subject, extolling its merits for the heart, life expectancy, and even mental health. Here are three good reasons to adopt it every day, and even to make it an essential part of your diet, according to the scientific community.

While the composition of olive oil can vary subtly depending on the variety of olives and the climate in which they are grown, it most often gives pride of place to antioxidants, monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. , whose health benefits have been recognized for several decades. Hence the importance of integrating this vegetable fat into your diet, whatever it may be. It is obviously not a question of ingesting it morning, noon and evening – the oldest undoubtedly remember the spoonful of cod liver oil as breakfast at school – but of consume a minimum amount daily. In any case, this is what several scientific studies suggest that have looked closely at the subject, highlighting highly beneficial properties for physical and mental health.

Benefits for the heart

Olive oil has real benefits for protecting the heart from certain diseases. This is what a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 2022 showed. More than 60,000 women and more than 31,000 men free of cardiovascular disease at the start of the research were followed for 28 years, with a questionnaire on their diet every four years. Verdict, the study showed that consumption of more than 7 grams of olive oil per day, corresponding to more than half a tablespoon, was associated with a lower risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease ( -19%) and cancer mortality (-17%), compared to occasional or no consumption.

Our results support current dietary recommendations to increase consumption of olive oil and other unsaturated vegetable oils. Clinicians should advise patients to replace certain fats, such as margarine and butter, with olive oil to improve their health“, said Professor Marta Guasch-Ferré, lead author of this work.

Reduce dementia deaths

Presented as part of Nutrition 2023, the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, a new study focused on the benefits of olive oil for brain health. After analyzing dietary questionnaires as well as death records for more than 90,000 Americans over three decades, researchers suggested that consuming more than half a tablespoon of olive oil daily was associated with to a 28% reduction in the risk of death from dementia, compared to rare or no consumption. As a reminder, more than 55 million people suffer from dementia worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)

Our study reinforces dietary guidelines recommending vegetable oils such as olive oil and suggests that these recommendations promote not only heart health but also potentially brain health. Opting for olive oil, a natural product, instead of fats such as margarine and commercial mayonnaise is a safe choice and may reduce the risk of fatal dementia“, explains Anne-Julie Tessier, main author of this research.

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A longer life

This work on dementia, carried out by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health with more than 90,000 healthy people, and followed for 28 years, gave rise to other conclusions. Which reveal that a high consumption of olive oil, namely more than half a spoon per day, would allow you to live longer. This would be all the more the case if the olive oil in question replaces other forms of fats such as butter, margarine, or even mayonnaise. At the end of this research work, scientists also specify that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of olive oil could greatly contribute to preserving health.

Which oil to choose for which recipe?

Slide: Which oil to choose for which recipe?