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How much olive oil should a healthy diet contain?

Ramón Estruch, coordinator of the study PREDIMED

The study PREDIMED has found out that people who follow a Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil lose weight compared to those consuming other low fats.

Experts recommend consuming 40 millilitres (37 grams) of olive oil a day to obtain all the benefits of the product.

Olive oil, like other oils, generates a contribution of 9 calories per gram ingested. So far, there is no difference between olive oil and other oils.

However, olive oil is special and offers much more. The European Union itself has recognized that the consumption of oleic acid, vitamin E and the polyphenols that are in the olive oil, have beneficial effects on a person’s health.

Many people might be tempted to think that the higher the consumption, the higher also the health benefits. Science tells us that this is only half true. A diet without any oil is just as inadvisable as a diet where the consumption of oil is excessive. Like everything in life, it is a matter of balance. Let’s return to the original question: What quantity of olive oil is reasonable for a healthy diet?

Scientists, working for the Study PREDIMED (Effects of the Mediterranean diet on the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease) help us to answer this question. For years, thousands of participants in this study took a controlled Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil. “We advised the people to consume 40 milliliters of extra virgin olive oil a day”, confirms Ramón Estruch, coordinator of the study.

Over time it has been shown that these people "have a lower risk to suffer from diabetes, have lower blood pressure, fewer depressions, and, especially, have a lower risk to suffer from cardiovascular diseases."

Furthermore, the results from the study have shown that the consumption of olive oil has more benefits: "From what we've seen so far, people who kept a Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oils, despite taking more calories than the people in the other group (keeping a low fat diet) have not gained weight.

Instead we have verified a tendency to lose weight and also waist circumference. So there is no fear of adding olive oil in the diet because it is a fat".

Fuente: Interprofesional del aceite de oliva español

Madrid, 14th October, 2013.

© 2013-2018 SOCAPMA - Sociedad Cooperativa Agrícola Provincial "Montañas de Alicante" / GCC

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