Virgin olive oil and a Mediterranean diet fight heart disease by changing how our genes function

Below is another study out of Spain illustrating the beneficial effects of olive oils rich in polyphenols and the Mediterranean diet. However this study claims it is good for you for a surprising reason – it changes how your genes deal with factors connected to atherosclerosis. This study implies that our genes are not predetermined at birth to act only in one way. We can change how our genes function based on good habits in all areas of our life. Because the human species is so adaptable it seems this is the only sensible conclusion and a very positive one at that.

The Mediterranean Foods Alliance Website

May was Mediterranean food month and the Mediterranean Foods Alliance website had a recipe contest and has posted the winners on their website.

We have mentioned this website before because it is one of the best sites if not the best site for learning about the Mediterranean diet. They have an educational introduction for the beginner, extensive resources for the experienced, lots of wonderful recipes, practical tips for introducing the Mediterranean diet into your diet and much more. This is all presented in a beautifully designed website, well worth the visit.

How the Right Fats Could Actually Reduce Weight

The article below is about a recent study that found eating the right fats could actually help reduce weight. The basic finding is that oleic acid is transformed in the small intestine into a chemical that sends a signal to the brain that you are full. Olive oil is up to 80% oleic acid which is a monounsaturated fat. The article focuses on the prospect on using this finding to create a new class of anti-obesity drugs. But why not just take the natural drug of real extra virgin olive along with all its other anti-oxidant benefits?

Olive Oil, Heart Health, and Phenol Compounds

The link below is to a Spanish study that indicates that real extra virgin olive oil is good for your heart because of the phenol compounds. This is similar to a previous article in our blog on real extra virgin olive oil and cancer. This is important because, once again, it is not just because olive oil is a mono-unsaturated fat that makes it good for the heart but because real extra virgin olive oil contains phenol compounds. These phenol compounds reduce inflammation which is a major cause of heart disease. And, once again, only real extra virgin olive oil contains phenol compounds.

Read the article

Substituting Polyunsaturated Fat May Reduce Heart Health Risk More Than Cutting Bad Fat

Below is a link to a recent study done at Harvard University that found replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats may reduce your risk of heart disease by 20 percent more than just reducing fat intake. This is significant because it implies the low-fat craze is not the healthiest approach. Our body needs fats so why not consume healthy fats. Extra virgin olive oil has both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and is one of the healthiest fats around. One fun way of replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats is to replace butter with real extra virgin olive oil in desserts. We have a wonderful carrot cake recipe on our site that does exactly this and it is yummy. You can find the recipe here.

Read the article.


Mediterranean diet helps you live longer

Below is a link to a recent study that is the first of its kind to investigate the effect of different components of the Mediterranean diet. They looked at large samples of people who loosely followed the Mediterranean diet but at the same time left out certain components of it. What they found is not surprising. The major benefit of the diet occurs when all elements are included. In other words it is very synergistic. Our modern tendency is to seek single ‘active ingredients’ and turn them into drugs. However this study suggests that a whole range of beneficial eating habits is what does the trick. The most important components were moderate intake of alcohol and a low consumption of meat, with a high intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, olive oil and legumes. Read the article.