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A recent study found that the consumption of olive oil can lower the risk of heart disease.
According to the study’s lead author, previous studies have found that high consumption of olive oil improves heart health. She added that this finding is especially true for those living in countries in the Mediterranean region, where olive oil is widely used. Because of this, her team conducted a study to determine if the same finding applies to people in the United States.
The researchers tracked the health of approximately 100,000 people in the United States from 1990 to 2014. Every 4 years within the 2-decade period, the study’s participants were asked to answer questionnaires about food intake and lifestyle. At the beginning of the study, none of the participants had cancer, heart problems, or other long-term diseases.
Findings showed that participants who regularly consumed more than 7 grams of olive oil a day were 21% less likely to develop coronary heart disease. These participants also had a 15% lower chance of developing any type of cardiovascular disease. In addition, those who replaced around 5 grams of mayonnaise, butter, and margarine with olive oil had a 7% and 5% lower chance of developing coronary heart disease and any type of cardiovascular disease, respectively.
In line with their findings, the researchers clarified that adding olive oil to people’s diet is not enough. They recommend using olive oil as a substitute for animal fat to reduce the risk of developing heart disease. According to the team, making small swaps can have beneficial effects in the long run.