The health effects of dietary fat are controversial. However, experts agree that olive oil — especially extra virgin — is good for you. Here are 11 health benefits of olive oil that are supported by scientific research.
1 Olive Oil Has Antibacterial Properties
Extra virgin olive oil has antibacterial properties and has been found to be particularly effective against Helicobacter pylori, a type of bacterium that can cause stomach ulcers and stomach cancer.
2 Olive Oil Can Help Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis
Olive oil can help reduce joint pain and swelling from rheumatoid arthritis. The beneficial effects are greatly increased when combined with fish oil.
3 The Antioxidants in Olive Oil Have Anti-Cancer Properties
Cancer is one of the most common causes of death in the world. People in Mediterranean countries have a lower risk of some cancers, and many researchers believe that olive oil may be the reason. The antioxidants in olive oil can reduce oxidative damage due to free radicals, which is believed to be a leading driver of cancer.
4 Olive Oil May Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Olive oil appears to be highly protective against type 2 diabetes. Several studies have linked olive oil to beneficial effects on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity. A randomized clinical trial in 418 healthy people recently confirmed the protective effects of olive oil. In this study, a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by over 40%.
5 Olive Oil May Fight Alzheimer’s Disease
Some studies suggest that olive oil may combat Alzheimer’s disease, but more research is needed.
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6 Olive Oil Is Not Associated With Weight Gain and Obesity
Consuming olive oil does not appear to increase the likelihood of weight gain. Moderate intake may even aid weight loss.
7 Olive Oil Is Protective Against Heart Disease
Extra virgin olive oil has numerous benefits for heart health. It lowers blood pressure, protects “bad” LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation and improves the function of blood vessels.
8 Olive Oil May Help Prevent Strokes
Several large studies demonstrate that people who consume olive oil have a much lower risk of stroke, the second biggest killer in developed countries.
9 Olive Oil Has Strong Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Olive oil contains nutrients that fight inflammation. These include oleic acid as well as the antioxidant oleocanthal.
10 Olive Oil Contains Large Amounts of Antioxidants
Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, some of which have powerful biological effects.
11 Olive Oil Is Rich in Healthy Monounsaturated Fats
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated oleic acid. This fatty acid is believed to have many beneficial effects and is a healthy choice for cooking.
How do you add olive oil to your diet?
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