` An Olive Oil Rich Diet is Better for the Heart - Olive Oil Times

An Olive Oil Rich Diet is Better for the Heart

Nov. 21, 2011
Elena Paravantes

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New research from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine pro­vides fur­ther evi­dence that a Mediterranean style diet rich in monoun­sat­u­rated fat from olive oil, avo­ca­does and nuts improves heart health even if the diet is not cou­pled with weight loss.

In their report pre­pared for the American Heart Association’s sci­en­tific ses­sions, the researchers said that swap­ping out cer­tain foods could improve heart health in those at risk for car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, even if the dietary changes aren’t accom­pa­nied by a loss in weight.

The team of John Hopkins researchers ana­lyzed data from the OmniHeart Trial, which com­pared car­dio­vas­cu­lar effects of three dif­fer­ent diets; a car­bo­hy­drate rich diet, a pro­tein rich diet and an unsat­u­rated fats rich diet.

Each par­tic­i­pant fol­lowed each of the three diets for 6 weeks while the researchers gath­ered infor­ma­tion on the abil­ity of the body to reg­u­late blood sugar and main­tain healthy insulin lev­els while on those diets. According to the researchers if the body fails to effec­tively use insulin this can lead to devel­op­ment of type 2 dia­betes, a major risk fac­tor for heart disease.

The results of their analy­sis found that a diet higher in unsat­u­rated fats such as those found in olive oil, nut and avo­ca­does, improved the use of insulin com­pared to the other two diets.

The unsat­u­rated fat diet basi­cally replaced some of the car­bo­hy­drates with good fats, result­ing in a diet makeup of 37 per­cent fat. The inves­ti­ga­tors say that the pre­ferred diet is very sim­i­lar to the Mediterranean diet, inspired by the foods of south­ern Italy and Greece, empha­siz­ing healthy fats, fruits and vegetables.

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It appears that adding olive oil to your diet, while remov­ing some of the processed car­bo­hy­drates will result in bet­ter heart health. The intro­duc­tion of the right kind of fat into a healthy diet is another tool to reduce the risk of future heart dis­ease,” says Meghana Gadgil, M.D., M.P.H., one of the researchers who pre­sented the study.

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