Adding a glug of olive oil to all food is a life mantra we live by. It improves basically any dish.
And while the positive effects of consuming olive oil have been known for quite some time — mostly thanks to the popularity of the Mediterranean diet — new research has cemented just how good olive oil is for your heart.
According to Healthline, new analysis of data dating back to 1990 shows that consuming more than half a teaspoon of olive oil per day can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease by 15% and coronary heart disease by 21%.
The most interesting thing about this data is that it comes from an American population, not a European one.
“Mostly, these associations have been shown in the past in Mediterranean and European populations,” Marta Guasch-Ferre, lead author of the study, told Healthline. “But until now, there was no previous study that showed results in a U.S. population.”
So, this shows that we can replicate similar positive effects of olive oil and Mediterranean-style eating here!
The only downside of the data is that researchers weren’t able to nail down what type of olive oil was best — be it regular olive oil or extra virgin olive oil.
“There’s some evidence showing that extra virgin olive oil varieties have higher amounts of polyphenols that are associated with better lipid profiles and less inflammation,” Guasch-Ferre said.
If you’re not currently consuming olive oil, maybe try swapping your usual cooking oil for a bottle of olive oil. It’s great for cooking pretty much anything including meat, eggs and veggies. And, you can also drizzle it over salads and cooked veg for an extra kick of goodness.