`High-Fat Meal with Olive Oil Can Have Immediate Positive Effects - Olive Oil Times

High-Fat Meal with Olive Oil Can Have Immediate Positive Effects

Nov. 2, 2012
Elena Paravantes

Recent News

Salmon with Almond Crust

It is well known that the Mediterranean diet is con­sid­ered heart-healthy due to its dietary com­po­nents, par­tic­u­larly olive oil, and now accord­ing to Canadian researchers the effect can be imme­di­ate.

A new study pub­lished in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology showed that while a sin­gle junk food meal with mainly sat­u­rated fat can harm the arter­ies, a Mediterranean meal rich in monoun­sat­u­rated and polyun­sat­u­rated fat from olive oil and fatty fish not only did not affect artery func­tion, it even had a pos­i­tive effect.

Researchers from the University of Montreal-affil­i­ated ÉPIC Center of the Montreal Heart Institute set out to com­pare the effects of a junk food meal and a typ­i­cal Mediterranean meal on the health of blood ves­sels. For the study 28 non-smok­ing men were given first a Mediterranean style meal com­posed of veg­eta­bles cooked in olive oil, almonds and salmon. For this meal, 51 per­cent of total calo­ries came from fat mainly monoun­sat­u­rated and polyun­sat­u­rated fats.

After a week the same group of men were given a junk food” meal con­sist­ing of a sand­wich made with sausage, an egg, and a slice of cheese, and three hash browns with 58 per­cent of total calo­ries com­ing from fat, mainly sat­u­rated fat with no Omega‑3 fatty acids. After the con­sump­tion of both meals the researchers con­ducted ultra­sounds on the par­tic­i­pants in order to assess the effect of the meals on endothe­lial func­tion.


The results showed that after the junk food meal, the arter­ies dilated 26 per­cent less, mean­ing that there was lim­ited blood flow. After the Mediterranean style meal, there was no reduc­tion of dila­tion and the arter­ies func­tioned nor­mally and had good blood flow. In fact, it appeared that par­tic­i­pants with higher blood triglyc­eride lev­els seemed to ben­e­fit more from the Mediterranean meals. Artery dila­tion is a key char­ac­ter­is­tic of endothe­lial func­tion and as the researchers noted in their study: poor endothe­lial func­tion is one of the most sig­nif­i­cant pre­cur­sors of ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis.

This study is sig­nif­i­cant because it shows that not all high fat meals and diets are detri­men­tal to health. The Mediterranean diet, with its main source of fat com­ing from olive oil, can have long-term and short-term pos­i­tive effects on health.


Related Articles

Feedback / Suggestions