A lot of people might consider the Mediterranean diet to be a well-balanced diet, but no single food group could yield such a positive result.
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that adding olive oil to your diet could lower your risk of Alzheimer's disease.
Those who consumed more than a half tablespoon of olive oil daily were found to have a 19% lower risk of death during the 28 years studied.
This could be because olive oil is packed with healthy fats, nutrients and antioxidants. Olive oil has long been touted as a vital ingredient of the Mediterranean diet.
The study found that people who ate olive oil daily were much less likely to die from Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease. This study also found that those who ate olive oil had a significantly smaller chance of death due to cancer, respiratory illness, and cardiovascular problems.
Olive Oil Reduces Risk of Any Death by 12%
Olive oil can boost your heart health as well as lower your risk of diseases and premature death, according to the study. The results also show olive oil is better for you than other oils like corn and canola.
The research found that replacing butter, margarine, mayonnaise, and dairy fat with 3/4 of a tablespoon of olive oil daily is associated with a 12% reduced risk of death from all causes.
The Mediterranean diet is typically considered to include essential components that help in the prevention of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Several studies show that olive oil is one main contributor to health benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet. This means that increasing your intake of extra virgin olive oil will help in preventing serious illness by lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.
Olive Oil and Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative disease that primarily affects the hippocampus – the memory storage center in the brain. It destroys brain cells, inhibiting your ability to remember, function and carry out daily activities. It may eventually lead to the death of parts of your brain. Sometimes called dementia, Alzheimer's primarily affects people between 40 and 65 years of age. Symptoms include changes in personality, behavior and language difficulties.
A breakthrough in the study of tauopathies, a type of dementia that leads to the development of abnormal protein, is helping researchers understand why the Mediterranean diet protects against them. The findings are the first to suggest that EVOO can defend against frontotemporal dementia specifically.
“EVOO has been part of the human diet for a very long time and has many benefits for the body. It contains many nutrients that have been shown to have an effect on brain health,” says Dr. Bode. “The realization that EVOO can protect against dementia will further research into possible medical applications.”
It may come as no surprise that a healthy diet consisting of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains is good for your health, but the added benefit of olive oil could be just what you need to follow this kind of diet.
Findings from the study suggest that eating a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil can help prevent Alzheimer's disease, and the researchers believe that it may work because of the fatty acids found in the olive oil. The next step is to conduct more studies on this potential connection.
Your overall health is also important in preventing Alzheimer's disease, so it's best to remember that this isn't an olive oil-only solution.