Olive oil is one of the top foods recommended to promote cardiovascular health. Thousands of scientific studies (and the American Heart Association) declare the Mediterranean Diet one of the world’s healthiest ways to eat. A major component of the Mediterranean Diet is olive oil, which has long been considered one of the most important of natural oils essential to human health. These studies reveal that people who consume a diet rich in olive oil tend to exhibit better heart health than people whose diets contain other forms of fat, especially animal fats. In fact, a Mediterranean Diet ,rich in olive oil, could actually reduce the risk of heat attacks and strokes by as much as 30 percent.
Heart disease is often called the silent killer, because we don’t feel our blood pressure slowly increasing or our blood vessels narrowing and building up with plaque. A healthy diet is the best defense against high cholesterol, high blood pressure and excess body weight (the three main factors contributing to heart disease). And part of a healthy diet is, of course, olive oil. In addition to its anti-oxidant properties, extra virgin olive oil is a monounsaturated fat. It offers protection against heart disease by controlling or lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, while raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels. In fact, studies show that consuming two tablespoons of olive oil per day may reduce the risk of heart disease. It is also laden with antioxidants (polyphenols), which offers protection against the aging of the skin. The message is simple – if you love your heart – change your oil!