Olive Oil Olive Oil
Olive oil is obtained from pressed lives of the the Olea europaea (olive tree). It contains monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which are considered a healthy dietary fat, as opposed to saturated fats and trans fats. A diet rich in MUFAs like the ones found in olive oil, nuts and seeds actually protects from many of types of chronic diseases.
The phytonutrient in olive oil, oleocanthal, is a natural anti-inflammatory, which may decrease the risk of certain cancers. Squalene and lignans are among the other olive oil components being studied for their possible effects on cancer. There have been studies conducted in the latter part of the twentieth century that show that people of the Mediterranean basin have a healthier lifestyle with decreased incidence of degenerative diseases. Their diet (the Mediterranean diet) is the main reason for this where olive oil, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables are an important part source of their dietary antioxidants.
Studies have shown that a diet rich in olive oil may prevent the appearance of type II diabetes by improving blood sugar levels, insulin resistance and blood lipid levels. One such study from the American Diabetes Association found that their is a significant impact on the types of fats we eat on Type 2 Diabetes. "In this nutrition intervention study we found that a non–calorie-restricted traditional MedDiet enriched with high-fat foods of vegetable origin decreased the incidence of diabetes in individuals at high cardiovascular risk after a median follow-up of 4.0 years. Diabetes rates were reduced by 51 and 52% by the consumption of MedDiets supplemented with virgin olive oil or mixed nuts, respectively, compared with a control diet consisting of advice on a low-fat diet. When the results of the two MedDiet groups were merged, risk reduction was 52%."
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Olive oil is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Olive oil is a food, not a drug or dietary supplement.
- Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with the Mediterranean diet: results of the PREDIMED-Reus nutrition intervention randomized trial. Diabetes Care. 2011 Jan;34(1):14-9 ↩