The Many Benefits of Olive Oil

Olive oil has become very popular in the cooking world in the past few years. Many celebrity chefs on TV opt to use the oil in their recipes due to the great taste and health benefits it processes. Olive oil can be used for cooking meats and vegetables among other things. It’s also a very popular topping and salad dressing. Sure the oil has a great unique taste but olive oil has gained a ton of popularity in a more health conscious world.

The health benefits of olive oil are quite astonishing when you think about it. From heart health to actually inhibiting the growth of some cancers this essential fat is a great addition to any diet. By simply using to sauté foods or drizzling a little on your favorite salad you will be able to reap the amazing benefits.

Atherosclerosis, also called hardening of the arteries, occurs when particles of LDL cholesterol stick to the walls of the arteries. Eventually these particles build up and form plaque which can narrow blood vessels and cause the heart to have to work harder to get oxygen rich blood to the rest of the body and the brain. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat and antioxidants like chlorophyll, carotenoids and vitamin E. Scientists have identified a compound in olive oil called oleuropein which prevents the LDL cholesterol from oxidizing which can significantly reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart attack.

A study published in the January 2005 issue of Annals of Oncology has identified oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid found in olive oil, as having the ability to reduce the effect of an oncogene, which is a gene that will turn a host cell into a cancer cell. This gene is particularly with the rapid growth of breast cancer tumors and prostate cancer. Adding olive oil to your diet can significantly reduce your risk for these types of cancer.

People with diabetes or at risk for diabetes need to stick to a diet that is low in fat and high in carbohydrates with olive oil in order to keep blood sugar levels in check. Studies show this combination is superior at controlling blood sugar levels compared to a diet that consists entirely of low-fat meals. Adding olive oil is also linked to lower triglyceride levels. Many diabetics live with high triglyceride levels which put them at risk for heart disease.

These are just a few of the many benefits you can get from olive oil. Olive oil has also been used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soap as well, just to name a few.