It’s amazing how what we eat over the course of our lives dictates the direction our health goes. Poor food choices lead to obesity, heart disease, and Type 2 Diabetes and many seniors have to deal with these health issues and many others due to poor nutrition choices. However, it’s never too late to make changes. Benefits of Olive oil for health especially for seniors is a great place to start.
Along with coconut oil, olive oil could make for a very dynamic duo for seniors to include as everyday ingredients for their cooking and baking needs.
There is a very long list of the health benefits of olive oil and seniors should seriously consider substituting olive oil in cooking in baking when a recipe calls for margarine or butter. Also, there are few oils better for drizzling on your salad.
OLIVE OIL STUDY
It was Spanish researchers who wanted to ascertain the impact of olive oil on seniors once it was introduced into their diet.
The study published in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics included seniors aged 65-96.
Participants were divided into two groups. One half continued on with their regular diet without olive oil and the other half used three tablespoons of EVOO(extra virgin olive oil) as their only fat. The time period for the study was six weeks.
The participants who consumed the olive oil showed a significant reduction in total cholesterol, but also an increase in HDL(the good cholesterol). Basically, the study concluded that people incorporating olive oil into their diet on a regular basis improved the health of the elderly.
This study and many like it add to the success of the Mediterranean Diet that is regarded by a good deal of health care circles as the best diet in the world for overall health and longevity. This would well be why people in the Blue Zones of the world tend to live to be a very healthy 100 years old on a regular basis.
Another study published in Neurology used data from over 15,000 people over the age of 45 to conclude that those on a Mediterranean Diet suffered less memory loss, improved heart function, and protection from age-related chronic diseases.
The list of health benefits from daily consumption of olive oil is quite extensive.
RICH IN MONOUNSATURATED FATS
This is considered a good fat. The main fatty acid in olive oil is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. This fat makes up 73% of the total oil content.
Studies have shown that oleic acid may reduce inflammation and may even benefit genes linked to cancer.
One of the main reasons olive oil is so handy in the kitchen is that it’s quite resistant to high heat and this makes it a very healthy choice for cooking.
OLIVE OIL AND ANTIOXIDANTS
Not only is olive oil nutritious and great to cook with, but it also contains vitamins E and K and large amounts of powerful antioxidants.
As antioxidants are biologically active they might reduce a senior’s risk of chronic disease. For that reason alone, consuming olive oil on a regular basis seems like an excellent choice.
Antioxidants battle inflammation and at the same time help protect blood cholesterol from oxidation. These two benefits have the potential to lower the risk of heart disease.
OLIVE OIL AND STROKE PREVENTION
A disturbance to the blood flow to the brain is ultimately what causes a stroke. This can be caused by a blood clot or bleeding.
It’s very surprising that strokes in developed countries are the second most common cause of death. The most common cause is heart disease. Ultimately, there is a very real possibility that the right diet will lessen the risk of seniors falling victim to either one of these.
A very large study review that included over 840,000 people found that olive oil was the main source of monounsaturated fats that could be linked to fewer instances of stroke of heart disease.
OLIVE OIL AND HEART DISEASE PREVENTION
As stated, heart disease is the most common cause of death in developed countries.
Many studies have been done on the Mediterranean Diet and why people who embrace it suffers from far fewer heart diseases. Olive oil is one of the key ingredients in the Mediterranean Diet.
Olive oil is a key ingredient because it lowers inflammation while at the same time protects against bad LDL cholesterol from oxidization, improves blood vessel lining, and at the same time may help prevent blood clotting.
Even more, telling is the fact that olive oil appears to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the main indicators for heart disease and dying far too young. Olive oil, according to one study, can reduce the need for taking blood pressure medication by 48%.
Yes, it’s true. Sound nutrition can eliminate the need for many prescription medications.
There have literally been hundreds of studies done on the benefits of olive oil and the power it has to decrease disease that seniors often fall victim to and at the same time increase longevity and quality of life.
OLIVE OIL WEIGHT GAIN NOT AN ISSUE
Most foods that contain excessive amounts of fat are sure to cause weight gain if consumed on a regular basis.
Olive oil is an exception and does not cause weight gain. On the contrary, numerous studies of the Mediterranean Diet rich in olive oil has a favorable effect on a person’s body weight.
One 30-month study including 7000 college students who consumed large amounts of olive oil did not lead to increased weight.
On the contrary, studies have shown that diets rich in olive oil showed an increase in antioxidants in the blood and weight loss.
OLIVE OIL AND ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
It’s sad but true. Alzheimer’s is the most common neurodegenerative condition on the face of the earth.
It appears that one of the key features of Alzheimer’s is a buildup of plaque inside the brain cells. Studies on rats have shown that there is a substance in olive oil that can help remove this plaque.
Another human study determined that a Mediterranean Diet rich in olive oil was a benefit to brain function.
The research on olive oil and its impact on reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s is in its preliminary stages and further testing and research are needed to substantiate the findings.
However, with so many proven benefits, it would be well worth making olive oil a mainstay in your kitchen.
A Mediterranean Diet rich in olive oil has proved to be a powerful weapon against a host of diseases.
Studies have shown it can reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes by 40% and the need for blood pressure medication by 48%.
It can be a force in the fight against obesity, heart disease, and strokes. Even if it reduces the risk of just one of these diseases that often afflict seniors, it’s well worth making it an integral part of one’s everyday diet.
It’s versatile, good tasting, resistant to high heat, and considering its health benefits, is quite inexpensive.
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