Olive Oil Increases Energy Expenditure

Olive Oil Increases Energy Expenditure
People consuming the Mediterranean diet— high in olive oil, lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, and red wine— live longer and have a reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer, and less blood vessel inflammation. Scientists do not know why the diet is so healthy, but think that olive oil might be a factor. Peter Jones and colleagues from McGill University in Canada found that olive oil increased resting metabolic rate, the energy cost of digesting a meal, and post-meal energy consumption more than sunflower or flaxseed oil. Long-term consumption of olive oil may decrease blood vessel inflammation, promote blood vessel health, prevent blood platelets from clumping together (which can block arteries), reduce the risk of some types of cancer and lower levels of proteins that accumulate in Alzheimer’s disease. Olive oil lowers LDL (the bad cholesterol) and contains phenols that fight chemicals called free radicals linked to aging, immune system breakdown, heart disease and cancer. It may be one reason why people living in Mediterranean countries have low rates of heart disease and live so long. (Metabolism Clinical and Experimental, 57: 1198-1203)

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