New study: For a Healthy Heart, add a little Olive Oil

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This suggests that there’s something intrinsic about olive oil that benefits cholesterol function. Of course this isn’t the first study to suggest that certain fats are good for the heart, and nuts have certainly been shown to have an effect. One study a few years ago found that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with either olive oil or nuts was linked to a reduced risk of major cardiovascular events (i.e., heart attack and stroke) over time. And research has often shown how olive oil added to a healthy diet (especially if it’s paired with greens) benefits the heart. Eating fish once a week has been linked to heart health, presumably for its abundance of omega-3 fatty acids. Finally, other studies have found that nuts are linked to reduced risk of death from a number of causes (although peanut butter does not, and there was an upper limit to nut intake).

So we may not need more convincing that a Mediterranean diet, including a dose of healthy oils, is good for the heart. Another body of work has shown that it’s also very good for the brain—which isn’t surprising, since brain and heart health generally go hand-in-hand. But we are learning more and more why each component does what it does. So grab some greens and oils and whole grains. Have a little fish and red wine, if you like, and finish it off with a little dark chocolate. The benefit of the Mediterranean diet is not just that it’s good for you, but it’s also just really good.

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