Consuming More Olive Oil Associated With Less Heart Disease In Americans from Natural Blaze
Consuming more olive oil was associated with less risk of heart attack among Americans, especially when it replaced mayonnaise, margarine or butter, according to preliminary research presented today at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2020. The EPI Scientific Sessions is a premier global exchange of the latest advances in population based cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.
After accounting for diet and lifestyle factors, researchers found that those who ate more than half a tablespoon per day of olive oil had a 15% lower risk of having any kind of cardiovascular disease and a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease. However, higher consumption of olive oil did not show an impact on stroke risk.
The researchers also found that replacing one teaspoon of butter, margarine, mayonnaise or dairy fat with the same amount of olive oil lowered the risk of any cardiovascular disease by 5% and lowered the risk of coronary heart disease by 7%. However, when the study began in 1990, many margarines contained substantial amounts of trans-fatty acids, so the results may not apply to vegetable margarines currently available.
“Previous studies have linked high consumption of olive oil with better cardiovascular health, particularly in Mediterranean countries where olive oil intake is much higher than in the United States,” said Marta Guasch-Ferre, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a research scientist in the department of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
“Our aim was to investigate whether higher olive oil consumption was beneficial to heart health in the U.S. population,” Guasch-Ferre said.
This study took place between 1990 and 2014 and included 63,867 women from the Nurses’ Health Study and 35,512 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. All participants were free of cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases at the start of the study. Every four years for about three decades, study participants answered questionnaires about their diet and lifestyle.