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Health Benefits of Olive Oil
Olive oil is high in natural antioxidants and contains beneficial phyto-chemicals and phenols. It has been described in medical journal articles as being heart protective and having anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have demonstrated when consuming 1.4 ounces or more daily olive oil may contribute to decreasing blood pressure.
The Mediterranean diet features olive oil as the primary source of fat. Olive oil is 73% a monounsaturated fat — a type of fat that can help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol) when used in place of saturated or trans fats. "Extra-virgin" olive oils also contain the highest levels of protective plant compounds that provide antioxidant effects.
Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. An analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer, as well as a reduced incidence of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.