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Good Fats, Olive Oil and the Mediterranean Diet

Olive oil is the key component of the Mediterranean Diet which has been shown to have beneficial effects on many diseases. It can be included in a healthy eating plan as one of the oils that contains the least amount of saturated or bad fat, no cholesterol and is rich on antiinflammtory substaces and antioxidants. Watch video about the Mediterranean Diet (by the way, it is not a diet)

Olive oil may protect against strokes

A diet high in olive oil may help protect older people against strokes, which are the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. The findings are in a study published in the journal Neurology.

A stroke occurs when an artery within the brain, or leading to the brain, becomes blocked by a clot or bursts. The brain becomes deprived of blood and oxygen carried in the arteries and begins to die.

Strokes become more common as we age – stroke risk doubles for each decade of life after age 55, according to the American Heart Association.

University of Bordeaux researchers examined the medical records and olive oil consumption of 7,625 study participants, which included people age 65 and older from the  French cities of Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier. None of the participants had any history of stroke when the study began. Olive oil use was classified as “no use”, “moderate use” – meaning using olive oil for cooking or as dressing or with bread, or “intensive use” which means olive oil was used for cooking and as dressing or with bread.

Participants had follow-up exams at 2, 4, and six years and stroke incidents were recorded and verified. 148 stokes occurred after slightly more than five years.
Compared to those who didn’t use olive oil, people who had “intensive use” of olive oil had a 41% lower risk for stroke.

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