In many studies, olive oils have been found to be the healthy alternative to butter and other oils in your diet. Olive oil is very high in monounsaturated fats, polyphenols, antioxidants and vitamins A, D, and E. All of which lead to health benefits, when used in moderation as replacement for other oils and fats.

History shows that olive oil has long been thought to be a substance of great medical benefit.

The Olive Tree World talks about the historical uses and benefits of olive oil, many now scientifically attributed to the unique nutrient properties of olive oil.

Evidence from epidemiological studies suggests that a higher proportion of monounsaturated fats in the diet are linked to a reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease. This is significant because olive oil is considerably rich in monounsaturated fats, most notably oleic acid.

In Nov. 2004, the Food and Drug Administration announced the decision to allow olive oil producers to make the following health claim on product labels:

"Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about two tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day."

FDA Olive Oil Study

The Mediterranean diet discovered in the 1950's has been long attributed to a healthy lifestyle. It has been scientifically researched for nearly 50 years and still yields positive results in studies.

Mediterranean Diet Article

Mayo Clinic Mediterranean Diet Article

Key components of the Mediterranean diet include:

  • Eating a generous amount of fruits and vegetables
  • Consuming healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
  • Eating small portions of nuts
  • Drinking red wine, in moderation, for some
  • Consuming very little red meat
  • Eating fish on a regular basis

 Using More Olive Oil May Cut Stroke Risk

If you cook with more olive oil and less vegetable oil, you may be less likely to suffer a stroke. This is the conclusion of new research published this week in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“Our research suggests that a new set of dietary recommendations should be issued to prevent stroke in people 65 and older,” said study author Cécilia Samieri, PhD, with the University of Bordeaux and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Bordeaux, France. “Stroke is so common in older people and olive oil would be an inexpensive and easy way to help prevent it.”

For the study, researchers looked at the medical records of 7,625 people, ages 65 and older, from three cities in France. They categorized the subjects by the amount of olive oil they used. After a little over five years, only 148 strokes were experienced within the testing population.  In the categories where the members consumed more olive oil, the researchers found fewer incidences of stroke. More olive oil, less stroke.

Drilling down through the numbers, and accounting for diet, physical activity, body mass index and other risk factors for stroke, the study found that the more you consumed olive oil, the less likely you were to suffer a stroke. Those who regularly used olive oil for both cooking and as dressing had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke, compared to those who never used olive oil in their diet. 

Read Olea Farm's entire collection of olive oil related health benefit articles