Protecting our heart with extra virgin olive oil
The heart… our central organ that beats for us throughout all our life, good and bad times! The modern lifestyle, stress and other daily habits put an extra pressure on it and we have to take good care of it! How can we do that?
Diet plays an integral role, along with exercise. Let’s focus on diet first. It is long established that our lipidemic profile plays a crucial role in the development of cardiovascular problems. High levels of LDL, total cholesterol and triglycerides in combination with low levels of HDL are risk factors in developing high blood pressure and coronary heart disease, as cholesterol, especially when oxidized can accumulate in arteries causing clogging and arteriosclerosis.
Thankfully, the risk can be managed through healthy diet and exercise. Studies have shown that unsaturated fatty acids can help lower LDL, total cholesterol and triglycerides and elevate HDL, while consumption of animal fat, which is saturated fatty acids, only deteriorates the situation. Excluding fats from one’s diet is not healthy because they are important constituents of our biochemistry. Therefore, replacing animal fat with olive oil is the best option and a very tasty option as well!
Extra virgin olive oil is a great source of monounsaturated fatty acid and has shown to help reduce one’s risk for heart disease. In addition, consuming olive oil on a daily basis leads to an accumulation of antioxidants and healthy compounds as olive oil is also rich in antioxidants that can protect red blood cells from damage – otherwise, that damage could lead to heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.
A nice way to adopt a healthier and more heart-friendly diet is to add elements of the Mediterranean diet to your everyday eating habits. This includes fish, which helps in getting omega-3 fatty acids, and fruits and vegetables while pasta dishes can also benefit from adding olive oil to achieve better processing in our stomach and better digestion.