I recently came across a study that shows a significant difference between regular olive oil consumption and virgin olive oil consumption when it comes to the overall risk of mortality.
According to the study published in Nature, daily moderate consumption of virgin olive oil was associated with a one-third lower risk of “all cause” mortality, as well as half the risk of cardiovascular mortality.
These effects were not seen for common olive oil.
If you’re curious, the differences between virgin olive oil and regular olive oil are as follows:
Virgin olive oil is always made cold-pressed and without the use of any heat or chemicals. This means that the oil is extracted purely mechanically, by grinding olives into a paste followed by pressing. What this does is leave the monounsaturated fats and antioxidants intact.
Regular olive oil may use heat or chemicals to achieve the result of oil from olives.
I would suspect that we should change dietary recommendations to emphasize the difference between the two types of oil.
Another interesting point of the study is that there is an interaction between virgin olive oil consumption and physical activity.
Higher virgin olive oil consumption (vs. lower) in combination with high total physical activity was associated with a 58% reduced risk of total mortality.
I may not be known for my culinary skills but I can assure you that virgin olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, will make all foods taste better (and help you live longer!).
As we say in Italian, Ciao. Dr. P
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