Can olive oil really do all that?

Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest type of olive oil. It is high in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, which are linked to health benefits like reduced inflammation and lower risk of heart disease.

Can olive oil really do all that?

There are many health benefits associated with olive oil, including lowered blood pressure and reduced inflammation. Photo by 123RF

Starbucks announced recently that they will be adding this Mediterranean staple to their coffee drinks. Expert nutritionists weigh in on the health benefits of olive oils.

Are you interested in olive oil-infused coffee? Starbucks bets you'll drink


Olive oil wouldn't make it the strangest food or beverage product. It's mixed into ice cream, then whipped into chocolate cake. TikTok users enjoy consuming olive oil, claiming that it helps clear their skin and reduces weight. You can dip grapefruit in olive oils, or use the liquid to make lemon curd.

Experts recommend olive oil as a healthy component to your meal. Julia Zumpano from the Cleveland Clinic, a registered dietitian, stated that olive oil has a variety of health benefits. These include lowered blood pressure and reduced inflammation.

There is a lot of research that has shown the Mediterranean staple can lead to positive health outcomes, including a lower chance of developing cancer and a potential for preventing Alzheimer's disease. Many studies focus on the health of those who consume olive oil as part a Mediterranean diet. This means that olive oil replaces other healthy fats like butter and does not have any health benefits.

Marta Guasch-Ferre is a Harvard T.H. Research Scientist. She said that it's difficult to determine how important olive oil was in these health outcomes. Chan School of Public Health. She added that the best research on the benefits of olive oil for the heart is the strongest.

Guasch Ferre was the lead researcher of a 2022 study that found that people who eat more than half a teaspoon of olive oil per week have a 19% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. A 2022 review of 13 studies found strong associations between olive oil consumption and lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and other causes.

There are a few theories that olive oil may protect your heart, according to researchers. According to the American Heart Association, olive oil has monounsaturated fat acids that can lower levels of low-density Lipoprotein (or LDL) in your blood. LDL can buildup in the blood vessels' inner walls, creating thick deposits called plaques. These plaques can cause major artery blockages. Monounsaturated fats can help to prevent this from happening.

According to Dr Selvi Rajagopal (assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), olive oil is rich in antioxidant compounds called Polyphenols. These can protect your cells against damage.

Rajagopal stated that olive oil has many cardiovascular benefits, but it is still a fat. This means that it is high in calories. Olive oil mixed with other beverages or straight may add calories to your diet.

Olive oil's manufacturing process can also affect its health benefits. Zumpano stated that the oil's polyphenol content will be higher if it has been less processed. She said that exposing the oil to high temperatures or using chemical solvents can cause the oil's polyphenols to be destroyed. You should choose extra-virgin olive oils (which are typically made by crushing the olives manually) or virgin olive oils, which tend to retain polyphenols, over regular olive oil.

Rajagopal stated that no matter which type of olive oil you choose it will still offer some health benefits.

Guasch Ferre suggested using olive oil to replace less healthy fat sources, especially butter and full fat dairy products. These saturated fats can increase your LDL. Zumpano suggested that olive oil can be used in place of butter or mixed with herbs and spices to drizzle over salads instead of using a creamy dressing. GuaschFerre suggested that you limit your intake to three to four tablespoons per day. Don't expect olive oils to make a significant difference in your overall health.

Rajagopal stated, "You can't just take one thing and say, "Let me just increase it and see if my health improves." "You must look at your entire diet.

This article first appeared in

The New York Times.

Written by: Dani Blum