Coastal Living

Olive oil is linked to a lower risk of heart disease in the Mediterranean region.  The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet have led many Americans to use more olive oil. Researchers questioned whether the increased use of olive oil in the United States reduced our risk factors for heart disease.

A study was conducted that tracked roughly 93,000Americans for 24 years. Those who consumed more than half a tablespoon of olive oil a day had an 18 percent lower risk of heart disease than those who consumed olive oil less than once a month. Blood markers of inflammation were also lower in olive oil eaters. The risk of heart disease was no lower for olive oil than for other plant oils like soy or canola.

What is healthiest to do? Replace saturated fats like butter with unsaturated oils. The second best is to use tub margarines. Stick margarines are higher in saturated fat. This kind of study cannot prove that olive oil or other unsaturated fats prevent heart attacks, but it fits with clear evidence that unsaturated fats lower LDL or bad cholesterol.

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