Fats have long been controversial. With high fat diets like Keto and bullet-proof gaining popularity, it's more important than ever that we get the facts straight about fats.
Here is a list of scientifically backed reasons why olive oil should be your main source of fat, especially if you consume high quantities of fats.
1. Olive oil contains a lot of antioxidants
Extra virgin olive oil has numerous healthy properties. It is loaded with powerful antioxidants that are biologically active. These can help reduce your risk of chronic disease.
2. Studies show olive oil may help prevent strokes
A person has a stroke when there is a disturbance of blow flow to the brain, due to bleeding or a blood clot. A large study reviewing 841,000 people found that olive oil was the only source of monounsaturated fat that lowered the risk of stroke and heart disease. In another study of 140,000 participants, it found that those who consumed olive oil as their main source of fat were at much lower risk of a stroke.
3. Olive oil does not cause obesity
A 30 month study of 7,000 Spanish students found that consuming large quantities of olive oil was not linked to increased weight gain. Numerous studies have shown the Mediterranean diet, that is rich in olive oil, has favorable effects on body weight.
4. Olive oil may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
There are numerous studies on the effectiveness of a diet rich in olive oil in someone who is at risk for type 2 diabetes. Several have linked olive oil directly to beneficial effects on blood sugar. One study showed a diet rich in olive oil reduced the risk of the 2 diabetes by over 40%.
5. Olive oil is mostly healthy monounsaturated fats
Olive oil is a natural oil extracted from the fruit of an olive tree. The oil is comprised of 14% saturated fat, 11% polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6), and the majority monounsaturated fats specifically oleic acid. Studies suggest that oleic acid reduces inflammation and may have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer. Monounsaturated fats are also fairly heat resistant, so contrary to popular belief, olive oil is great to use for cooking.
6. Olive oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties
Inflammation is thought to be one of the leading drivers of diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, arthritis, and even obesity. Extra-virgin olive oil is known to reduce inflammation, which is the main reason for a majority of its health benefits. A key antioxidant in olive oil is oleocanthal, and it's proven to work similarly to ibuprofen.
7. Olive oil helps prevent against heart disease
Heart disease is the most common cause of death around the world. Studies have shown over decades that heart disease is much less common in the Mediterranean. This caused scientists to look a little deeper at the diets of the people in this part of the world. Extra virgin olive oil is a key ingredient in this cuisine, protecting them against heart disease in several ways. It lowers inflammation, keeps LDL cholesterol low, improves the lining of your blood vessels and can help prevent blood clotting.
8. Olive oil may help fight Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative condition in the world. While studies are still fairly new on the topic, research on mice shows that olive oil can help remove the beta-amyloid plaques on brain cells that cause Alzheimer’s.
9. Olive oil has antibacterial properties
Olive oil contains many nutrients that can kill harmful bacteria in the human body. Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria that lives in your stomach and can cause cancer and ulcers. Test tube studies show that extra virgin olive oil fights eight strains of this bacteria.
10. Antioxidants in olive oil have cancer preventative properties
The antioxidants in olive oil can reduce oxidative damage due to free radicals. This is believed to be the leading driver of cancer. There are many studies that show olive oil can fight these cancer cells, but more research needs to be conducted on its effectiveness.
11. Olive oil can help treat Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease which causes painful and deformed joints. Olive oil supplements improve inflammation and reduce oxidative stress in people with rheumatoid arthritis. It has proven to be particularly beneficial when combined with fish oil.