How Good Is Olive Oil for Your Heart?

By Dolly M George

03 Apr, 2018


When it comes to healthy cooking oil, olive oil has been hailed as one of the healthiest by nutritionists and health experts across the world.

The Mediterranean diet, of which olive oil is a key component, is associated with lower incidence of blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, as well as heart disease, according to studies.

What makes olive oil heart-healthy?

Olive oil improves heart health by lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Some studies show that, it slightly increases HDL levels as well.

The monounsaturated fats of which the oil is largely made up of, and the powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols, appear to make the oil so unique for heart health.

Numerous studies have shown that polyphenols and monounsaturated fats help keep LDL cholesterol from being oxidized. It’s worth recalling that, the oxidation of LDL cholesterol fuels inflammation, which in turn hastens plaque formation. When plaque forms in arteries, the risk of heart disease or stroke increases. Therefore, protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation is a crucial step in preventing atherosclerosis (the thickening and narrowing of coronary arteries).

And when it comes to olive oil's blood-pressure lowering effect, research says that olive oil is uniquely able to reduce high blood pressure.

Olive oil for cooking…
Based on the process of extraction, there are different varieties of olive oil--extra-virgin  being referred as 'fine grade' oil. However, extra virgin olive oil has a relatively low smoke point and may not be withstand high heat, which is common in Indian style of cooking.

To reap the benefits! Drizzle the oil raw over anything you like - salads, salad dressings, for dips, spreads or even for light sautéing and that way, you are good to go!

It’s worth remembering that, even the good fats in oils are still fats and are loaded with calories and hence they should be used only in moderation.


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