Countries inhabiting the shores of Mediterranean Sea are constantly recording lower death rates from heart diseases. Olive oil, the main fat consumed in the region is credited for these statistics.
Known for its great taste and flavor and designated as safe for daily usage, olive oil is fast making its presence known across Asia, North Africa and other landmasses.
So, what makes the oil a heat-friendly cooking and food preparation ingredient? What constitutes olive oil heart health? Let’s find out.
Prevention of Blood Clots
The best way in which olive oil maintains good heart health is by preventing the formation of blood clots.
Meals rich in fat have the tendency to coagulate and block the path of arteries. Olive oil reduces this tendency significantly, thereby reducing the chances of heart attacks.
High MUFA Content
Olive oil is among the top cooking oils that are rich in mono saturated fatty acids (MUFA) that are known to reduce the risks of heart diseases significantly.
For example, mono saturated fats obtained from this oil keep a check on total cholesterol in the body. In addition, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is also maintained at low level by them. Coronary heart diseases become easily preventable by consuming the oil in recommended quantities.
Good for HDL
Apart from reducing the formation of LDL, it protects HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol level. Some studies even prove that the oil is useful in boosting the production of HDL.
If you are not aware, HDL is important to prevent the formation of fat patches in the arteries that further decreases the chances of heart attack.
Low Saturated Fats
The oil is highly recommended by the heart experts as well as dieticians because of presence of saturated fats in low amount in it. As compared to the animal fats, it contains about 14% of saturated fatty acids by weight.
In fact, the percentage is quite lower as compared to that found in palm oil (about 50%), coconut oil (91%) and cottonseed oil (about 26 %). Because of low saturated fats, it keeps the risks of heart diseases at minimal.
Excellent Amount of Polyphenols
Polyphenols or phenol compounds are known to be beneficial for heart health because they help lower cholesterol level, reduce blood clotting and maintain lower blood pressure.
Olive oil contains polyphenols like trysol and hydroxytrysol that activate certain mechanisms in the body that fight heart-hampering metabolic syndromes.
However, to enjoy this advantage, make sure to buy high-polyphenol olive oil.
Prevention of Atherosclerosis
Blood carrying arteries should be free from fatty patches to maintain normal functioning of heart and other critical organs. However, atherosclerosis is one condition in which cholesterol deposits on the artery walls obstruct the path of blood that may lead to death due to sudden cardiac arrest.
Olive oil has been scientifically proved to prevent the formation of cholesterol patches that ultimately thwart the chances of atherosclerosis.
Presence of substances like oleocanthol in the oil makes it capable of inhibiting inflammation in arteries, one of the primary causes of heart attacks.
Extra virgin olive oil in particular is known to control the inflammation causing factors like high blood pressure, increased glucose level and even stress.
Rich in Antioxidants
Another useful aspect of the oil is the adequate presence of antioxidants, confirmed by a number of studies. These antioxidants are helpful in preventing the oxidation of red blood cells and LDL compounds by fighting the damaging free radicals inside the body.
Low Blood Pressure
Arterial hypertension, which is better known as high blood pressure, is another condition that can be regulated by this healthy oil. Hypertensive patients can therefore benefit from it and improve their heart health.
Diabetes and Obesity
Overweight and high blood sugar levels are also linked with bad heart health. Olive oil as a part of the Mediterranean diets controls insulin levels and can keep check on obesity and diabetes.
Olive oil can be extremely heart-friendly when consumed in the right quantity. Learn from an expert on how to extract all the above-mentioned advantages from it.