Hectic schedule, lack of rest, and an imbalanced diet can negatively affect our heart. And when the heart doesn’t function properly, the entire body suffers. The body will remain healthy only as long as blood circulates properly to each cell. Without proper diet, particularly with high fat, one can run the high risk of heart damage. You may not realize, though, that many facets are good for our heart! Yeah! Yeah! We usually consider fats as the greatest heart enemy, but you need to make your definition clear that fats have several categories and not all are dangerous.
Fats can be categorized as unhealthy dietary fats containing saturated, trans fats, and balanced nutritional fats consisting of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Our body requires these good fats as part of a balanced diet and eliminating unhealthy fats.
Olive Oil for Healthy Heart
One of the dietary fat sources is olive oil. The Mediterranean basin is rich in olive crops producing olive oil. Too much is used in the Mediterranean diet. Fats in American food products like butter, mayonnaise, and cheese are particularly unhealthy. This is one of the reasons American cardiovascular disease is more common than in Mediterranean countries. However, awareness of healthy fats has increased olive oil use in America. Olive oil has many advantages, along with its misuse related side effects. Olive oil is ideal for cooking and seasoning. Among the various types of olive oils on the market, the extra virgin is the best, particularly for those interested in lowering cholesterol levels, so use olive oil for a healthy heart.
Chemical Constituents of Olive Oil
For an idea of how olive oil helps regulate cholesterol levels, see the list of its constituents:
- Fatty acids
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
- Free fatty acids
Olive oil consists mainly of triacylglycerol molecules with different types of fatty acids, such as linolenic acid, linoleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid and oleic acid. Oleic acid is the most common of them, making up 55-85% of olive oil: a monounsaturated fatty acid, a balanced dietary fat. Consumption of olive oil contributes to the incorporation of healthy fat in the body.
Olive Oil for Healthy Heart
As noted above, the composition of olive oil is such that healthy fatty acids exceed unhealthy fatty acids. Due to high cholesterol levels, harmful fats can accumulate in coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart, causing a blockage. In this case, the heart would have to work more to provide blood to each cell. This puts pressure on the lungs, resulting in high blood pressure and some serious heart diseases.
Olive oil in your diet helps reduce cholesterol. Monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil are useful in reducing overall cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein in the body. Moreover, unlike polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids do not lower the level of high-density lipoproteins that suit our body. So we can say, olive oil has dual effects, increasing the proportion of healthy fats and reducing the proportion of excessive unhealthy body fats. However, it should be remembered that if olive oil were used with products containing saturated fat, it would not help to minimize bad fat content. To get the most out of olive oil, it must replace unnecessary fat.
The utility of olive oil for a healthy heart can be determined from the fact that Food and Drug Administration has required olive oil manufacturers to note on the label that some evidence suggests that the use of two spoons of olive oil daily can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the presence of monounsaturated fat in it.
Despite all the above-mentioned advantages, keep in mind that olive oil contains a small number of calories, as is also present in other oils. So be careful about the amount you use. If you are susceptible to coronary artery disease due to high fats, it would be prudent to use olive oil to substitute unhealthy fats with safe dietary fats.