Olive oil is an excellent source of Oleic acid. Olive oil plays a major role in the Mediterranean diet - a diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, and which includes fish, nuts and low-fat dairy products - which is linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer.
The link between reduced incidences of cardiovascular disease and olive oil centers around its ability to lower cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Another risk factor of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, may also be positively affected by olive oil. One study (Arch Intern Med, 2000 00, 160:6, 837-42) compared the antihypertensive effects of monounsaturated (MUFA) (extra virgin olive oil) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) (sunflower oil). The authors state in their abstract " A slight reduction in saturated fat intake, along with the use of extra virgin olive oil, markedly lowers daily antihypertensive dosage requirement, possibly through enhanced nitric oxide levels stimulated bypolyphenols."
There are a few reasons why Americans are deficient in omega ? 3 EFA
It's because of major changes that have occurred during the 20th century.
The introduction of hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oil into solid margarine or cooking fats and improves the shelf life and flavor of products, has had a significant negative impact. The trans fatty acids formed by hydrogenation have not only been implicated in an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and possibly cancer.
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