It has been proven that extra virgin olive oil reduces levels of cholesterol. Health benefits of olive oil include reduction of clolersterol in our blood.
“Good” and “bad” cholesterol
Lipoprotein LDL is a type of protein found in our blood and is known as bad cholesterol. LDL is related to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
On the other hand, there is high density lipoprotein HDL , which is known as good cholesterol. HDL is related to lower risk of cardiovascular disease and its protective properties depend on the level in our blood. The higher the level, the greater the protection it provides.
Research has shown that protective properties of good cholesterol are improved with the mediterranean diet and the intake of extra virgin olive oil.
The research was published at the American cardiology journal Circulation. The study was conducted by the Institute of Medical Research in Del Mar Hospital In Barcelona. The researchers studied 300 people with high cardiovascular risk and an average age of 66.
The sample was divided in three groups:
- the first group followed a traditional diet with extra virgin olive oil
- the second group followed a mediterranean diet with nuts instead of olive oil and
- the third group just followed a healthy but not mediterranean diet.
A year after, findings from the blood analysis were
- Only the third group reduced both overall cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol. Nevertheless, in that group there was a negative effect on the anti-inflammatory properties of “good” cholesterol!
- None of the three groups had a significant increase of “good” cholesterol.
- The first group had significantly more effective function of good cholesterol.
This practically means that
Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil facilitates good cholesterol to remove excess cholesterol from the arteries. Moreover, antioxidative properties of “good” cholesterol are increased so it can balance the oxidative effect of “bad” cholesterol.
References mention “a study conducted by Spanish doctors in Barcelona”.
This time the sample consisted of 16 healthy volunteers 25-65 years old, who had to follow a special diet rich in pure virgin olive oil. Results showed that
everyday intake of 15ml (2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil increases HDL’s (good cholesterol) resistance to oxidation.
The reason is that this lipoprotein becomes richer in oleic acid and other antioxidative substances contained in olive oil like vitamin E and phenols. Unlike common oils, due to the fact that extra virgin olive oil is less processed, its antioxidative subtances are not destroyed.
To summarise, studies show that everyday intake of extra virgin olive oil facilitates good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol.
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