According to Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Donald Hensrud, olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) which are believed to be a source of healthy dietary fat. MUFAs may lower one’s risk of heart disease because MUFAs can lower your total cholesterol levels. In addition, MUFAs may also normalize blood clotting. However, as with most things, moderation of such foods is key.
Olive oil has phenolic compounds (which supposedly have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-clotting properties) in it which have been found to be beneficial for blood vessels and arteries. Virgin olive oil has more of these compounds than oils that have been processed more. One study found that having about three tablespoons of olive oil with a meal improves the functioning of small blood vessels and increases the concentration of healthy components in the blood. Researchers say that these findings suggest that including olive oil in your diet can decrease the chances of heart disease and atherosclerosis.
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