From a new study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers have discovered the connection between olive oil and mortality rate. It is found that higher olive oil consumption can reduce the mortality rate from several chronic diseases and are highly beneficial.
Diminishing Mortality Rates By Inflating Olive Oil Consumption
Olive oil is one of the major components of the Mediterranean diet and is rich in antioxidants. Monounsaturated fatty acids(MUFAs) are the main fat present in olive oil that is considered a healthful fat by experts. The antioxidants present in this oil provide your body protection from cellular damage which can cause severe health problems.
There are five types of olive oils based on their processing, and out of these extra virgin olive oil contains more antioxidants since it undergoes cold processing. It has a bitter flavor and helps in preventing cellular damage caused by molecules called free radicals that are produced by your body during metabolism. The increase in free radicals can cause oxidative stress that leads to cell damage and may lead to certain types of diseases including types of cancer.
From many other studies, it is proved that including more olive oil in your diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and the anti-inflammatory properties in olive oil may reduce oxidative stress, improve cholesterol, and decrease blood pressure.
While comparing with the Mediterranean countries, the people in the US consume very little olive oil, thus this new prospective study was conducted to check the connection between olive oil consumption and mortality rate in the US population.
The data used for the study is collected from the Nurses Health Study (NHS), which contains information on dietary intake and other lifestyle factors and included the data of 60,582 women and 31,801 men.
The participants of the study were asked to fill out food frequency questionnaires that included questions about how frequently and in what amount dietary fats were consumed as well as the brands used for cooking and table-side applications.
The consumption of olive oil was classified by frequency and compared with the death rates and the causes of death over 28 years for this study. It is found by the researchers that those who consumed more olive oil (more than 0.5 teaspoons per day) were more likely to have a low risk of death from all causes. And those who never or less frequently consumed oil had a 19% lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases, a 17% lower risk of death from cancer, also experienced a 29% lower risk of death from neurodegenerative diseases, and 18% lower risk of death from respiratory diseases.
According to Melissa Mitri, MS, RD, a registered dietician with Wellness Verge, olive oil contains a healthy monounsaturated fat called oleic acid that may protect the heart, as well as vitamins E and K. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant, and vitamin K plays a major role in proper blood clotting and health.
Olive oil contains polyphenols that add anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and antioxidant effects said Elena Paravantes, RD and she also says that only extra virgin olive oil has a significant amount of phenolic compounds thus she recommends using it instead of refined or light olive oil.
In this study, the researchers have also tested other replacements to check any health differences when people substitute margarine, butter, mayonnaise, and other dairy fats with olive oil. The result was that replacing 2 teaspoons a day of all these above-mentioned substitution models with the same amount of olive oil cognate up to 34% lower risk of total and cause-specific mortality.
Since olive oil has a high smoke point, it is stable under high temperature because of the presence of monounsaturated fats that are resistant to heat, explained Mitri. Furthermore, she adds that other vegetable oils like soybean or canola oil are not quite as stable, and may produce harmful compounds when heated.
The researchers suggest that their findings from the study support the present dietary recommendations to replace animal fats with unsaturated plant oils such as olive oil. But they also mention that even though olive oil is highly nutritious it is important to use it adequately.