Olive oil consumption found to reduce risk of death due to cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s
08/03/2022 // Zoey Sky // Views

People often make food swaps to improve their overall health and eating habits. According to a study, replacing butter or full-dairy fat with half a tablespoon or more of olive oil can help increase your chances of living longer.

The study was conducted by experts from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Olive oil consumption and reduced risk of disease-related death

The study revealed that people who used seven grams or more (at least half a tablespoon) of olive oil as a dressing or with bread had a reduced risk of dying from Alzheimer's disease, cancer, heart disease or respiratory disease compared to those who rarely or never consumed olive oil.

Findings also showed that replacing 10 grams a day (about 3/4 tablespoons ) of butter, margarine, mayo or dairy fat with the same amount of olive oil was linked to an impressive eight to 34 percent lower risk of disease-related death.

In a release, lead author Marta Guasch-Ferre explained that their findings support current dietary recommendations to increase the intake of olive oil and other unsaturated vegetable oils.

Olive oil can boost heart health

Olive oil contains different types of fatty acids, but it's mostly composed of monounsaturated fats. These healthy fats can reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol levels.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), consuming monounsaturated fats can also reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. This is why health experts recommend using olive oil instead of a less healthy oil or butter.


Olive oil is chock-full of powerful antioxidants, which are biologically active and can reduce your risk of chronic diseases.

Antioxidants also help protect against inflammation and protect cholesterol from oxidation. These actions can help lower your risk of heart disease.

Olive oil consumption linked to other healthy behaviors

For the study, the researchers analyzed data from 60,582 healthy adult women and 31,801 healthy adult men from the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

During the 28-year follow-up, the volunteers had a diet assessment every four years that asked them how often they consumed certain foods, fats and oils on average. The assessment also checked which brand or type of oils they used for cooking or at the table.

The researchers noticed a trend over time: The volunteers' olive oil consumption more than doubled from 1990 to 2010, from 1.6 grams to four grams. Within the same period, margarine use decreased from 12 grams a day in 1990 to four grams a day in 2010. The use of other types of fat remained about the same.

The researchers also found that participants who consumed more olive oil were more likely to be physically active, of Southern European or Mediterranean ancestry, and a nonsmoker. These participants also reported eating more fruits and vegetables than those who consumed less olive oil.

Volunteers who consumed the most olive oil enjoyed a:

  • 19 percent lower risk of cardiovascular mortality
  • 17 percent lower risk of cancer mortality
  • 18 percent lower risk of respiratory (e.g., influenza, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) mortality
  • 29 percent lower risk of neurodegenerative (e.g., Alzheimer's, Parkinson's) mortality

Olive oil and other healthy fats boost brain health

Suzanne Craft, professor of medicine and co-director of the Sticht Center for Healthy Aging and Alzheimer's Prevention at Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina, said that the study adds to the growing body of data on the importance of diet and healthy fats for brain health.

Craft explained that the brain gets all of its essential nutrients from the diet, so it's not surprising that dietary patterns that are repeated for every meal can affect how the brain ages.

Some fats are crucial for brain health because brain cells and their connections contain high levels of fat, which is essential for their normal function. But it's important to avoid bad or unhealthy fats because they increase inflammation, which has negative effects on the brain and may increase the risk for Alzheimer's and other brain aging disorders.

Good or healthy fats like olive oil are anti-inflammatory and may be protective as suggested by this study, added Craft.

Try healthy food swaps and replace butter and mayonnaise with olive oil to boost your heart, brain and overall health.

Watch the video below to know more about the benefits of taking a spoonful of olive oil and lemon every day.

This video is from the Natural Cures channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

The brain-boosting benefits of high-quality olive oil.

4 Amazing health benefits of antioxidant-rich olive oil.

A dynamic duo: Researchers find that an olive oil and veggie combo could explain the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.





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