Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Heart Health
Fats are an essential nutrient in maintaining your body’s health and vitality. Extra virgin olive oil is amongst the most studied fats, largely due to its connection with the Mediterranean diet and reduction in cardiovascular disease. With this in mind, we want to lay out exactly how extra virgin olive oil fits into a heart-healthy lifestyle.
The Type of Fat Matters
Fat stores energy, carries vitamins, and helps cells build the structures they need to function properly. But the type of fat we consume matters greatly when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. And the type of fat most closely associated with good heart health is abundant in extra virgin olive oil.
Monounsaturated fatty acids (or “MUFAs” for short) are healthy fats that make up the main components of olive oil. Olive oil’s primary MUFA, oleic acid, is prized for its ability to help control LDL cholesterol; the cholesterol most closely associated with cardiovascular disease. LDL (low-density lipoprotein) tends to accumulate in arteries where it can interfere with blood flow and heart function. Having a diet rich in oleic acid can reduce your LDL levels and keeps your arteries in working order.
Evoolution’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil
With heart-health in mind, Evoolution stipulates that all our extra virgin olive oils must contain a minimum of 65% oleic acid. Because olive oil does not have cholesterol like butter or other sources of fat, swapping those fats for Evoolution’s extra virgin olive oil can greatly improve your cholesterol profile.
Given what we know about olive oil, it’s no surprise that populations with high olive oil consumption tend to be less impacted by cardiovascular diseases.
The main regions studied - countries of the Mediterranean basin - show both a low prevalence of heart disease and a decreased mortality for individuals with those conditions. Naturally, other factors like lower meat intake, emphasis on fruits & vegetables, and a focus on whole grains contribute to Mediterraneans’ heart health. But these elements act in tandem with EVOO’s impact on LDL cholesterol to improve risk factors such as:
- Blood Pressure
- Blood Sugar
- Serum Cholesterol Levels
Fortunately, it’s not just Mediterraneans who benefit from olive oil. Findings published in this 2022 study revealed that North Americans who adhered to a Mediterranean-style olive oil-rich diet also experienced similar results. Even in populations with different lifestyles, climates, and social influences, these heart-healthy findings hold true.
And that is why I really love olive oil and use it almost everyday!
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