Heart Benefits – Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat and antioxidants like chlorophyll, carotenoids and vitamin E. The Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) also known as the “bad cholesterol” transports and deposits cholesterol in the tissues and arteries, which can eventually block the arteries leading to deficient blood flow and all kinds of heart problems. The high levels of monounsaturated fats found in the oil not only lower LDL levels protecting you from atherosclerosis, but also allow the High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) the “good cholesterol” to clean the cholesterol away from the arteries.
Inflammation Benefits – The healthy fats in olive oil are used by the body to create natural anti-inflammatory agents which help reduce the severity of both arthritis and asthma. Cell membranes that are not inflamed are able to transport healthy nutrients into the cells and move the waste products out.
Cancer Benefits – A study published in the January 2005 issue of Annals of Oncology (which is a peer-reviewed medical journal of tumors and cancers), showed that a monounsaturated fatty acid found in olives called oleic acid, has the ability to reduce the affect of an oncogene. An oncogene is a gene that in certain circumstances transforms a cell into a cancer cell. Another research which included over 36,000 participants conducted by the University of Athens revealed that high rates of olive oil consumption, is associated with lower odds of having any type of cancer.
Diabetes Benefits – A Spanish study published in the Scientific Journal Diabetes Care revealed that a Mediterranean style diet, rich in olives, reduces by almost 50% the risk of type II diabetes when compared to a low fat diet. Previously it was prescribed that a low fat diet can prevent various diseases such as heart diseases and diabetes, whereas it now appears that it is the “type” of fat that counts rather than the actual amount of fat. Adding olive oil to your diet can also lower your triglyceride levels. Many diabetics live with high triglyceride levels which increases their risk for heart diseases.
Weight-Loss Benefits – Being overweight goes hand in hand with high levels of cholesterol, heart disease and other ailments. In a study conducted and published in the September 2003 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, it was found that a significant loss of body weight and fat mass can be achieved by changing only one eating habit; the substitution of saturated fats with olive oil.