Heart disease is one of the most common causes of death in the world. A lifestyle that is increasingly sedentary (lack of motion) today also influences the development of heart disease. Therefore, to prevent heart disease, you are advised to change your diet to be healthier and more active in physical activity. Some foods with certain ingredients are believed to be able to maintain your heart health so that it helps reduce the risk of heart disease, one of which is olive oil.
What is olive oil?
Olive oil is fat or oil obtained from the fruit of the olive tree (Olea europaea). So, the oil produced is called olive oil. This plant is widely grown in Mediterranean countries.
There are many benefits that can be produced from olive oil. Not surprisingly, this oil is widely used in the manufacture of cosmetics, medicines, soaps, and also added to your cooking.
The content in olive oil for the heart
Olive oil for the heart contains healthy fats that are good for your health. The type of fat that is mostly contained in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA). Monounsaturated fatty acids can help reduce bad cholesterol and total cholesterol levels in the body, and help maintain good cholesterol levels in the blood. This can then help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Monounsaturated fatty acids can also provide nutrients that help develop and control cells in the body. In addition, monounsaturated fatty acids can also help improve the function of your blood vessels. Oils that contain monounsaturated fatty acids also usually contain vitamin E (vitamins that contain antioxidants). So, olive oil (which is one of the oils with monounsaturated fatty acids) can help protect your heart health.
Besides containing unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants, olive oil also contains phenolic compounds that can protect your heart, called polyphenols. Polyphenols contained in olive oil can reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing blood clotting, and protecting the lining of arteries. Olive oil containing high polyphenols can affect genes that reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and heart disease.
Apart from helping to reduce the risk of heart disease, olive oil also can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and cancer. Some studies have linked consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids (contained in olive oil) with control of insulin levels and blood sugar. So, consumption of olive oil can also help if you suffer from type 2 diabetes mellitus. In addition, the content of polyphenols and antioxidants in olive oil can also help reduce inflammation and cell growth, and protect cells from damage, thereby reducing the risk of cancer.
Use enough olive oil
Even though olive oil has good health benefits for you, wise use is also needed. However, olive oil is a high-calorie fat. If you use it too much, it can certainly contribute additional calories to your body. So, you are advised to use just enough. The American Heart Association also recommends that the consumption limit for foods containing monounsaturated fatty acids is less than 20% of your total daily energy needs.
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