Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) lovers rejoice – science says your favourite cooking ingredient is also good for your heart!
New research published in academic journal Nutrients shows consumption of high polyphenol olive oil by healthy Australian adults contributes to a decrease in peripheral and central systolic blood pressure, a key risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Study author and Princess Alexandra Hospital Research Dietitian Dr Hannah Mayr (pictured) said the results provide evidence for a potentially widely accessible dietary intervention to prevent cardiovascular disease in a culturally diverse country like Australia.
“The study adds further credence to the existing body of evidence that a Mediterranean style diet, of which EVOO is a core ingredient, is good for one’s health.”
The Mediterranean Diet, so called because it mimics the traditional way of eating and cuisine seen in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, has been shown to reduce chronic disease risk and boost mental health.
“The diet is also high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, wholegrains, fish and seafood, and limits the intake of red meat, processed foods, and sugary drinks, and is recommended for the prevention and management of conditions including heart disease and diabetes.”
Speaking at this month's PA Staff Forum, Dr Mayr said she encouraged Australians to make a healthy change and incorporate EVOO in their diet during National Nutrition Week next month, 11-18 October.
“It's a simple and delicious step we can all take to love our hearts healthier.”