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October 2016
17/10/2016

Olive oil's benefits, in the spotlight at the International Dietetics Conference

Wikispanishfood editorial team

Considerable scientific evidence shows that olive oil is one of the healthiest foods that exist and is essential for understanding the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet.

The Interprofesional del Aceite de Oliva de España, through its brand Aceites de Oliva de España, has made raising awareness about its benefits for health one of its main objectives and is focused on promoting the product all around the world. The organization has been exploring several communication channels over the years which allow it to present health professionals with the latest advances achieved in this area.

One such example is the 17th International Dietetics Conference, held in Granada this week. Thanks to the Interprofesional del Aceite de Oliva Español, professionals who came from all over the world learned about this progress in a symposium entitled "New scientific evidence on the health benefits of olive oil. The PREDIMED Study." To that end, two eminent scientists participated: Dr. José López Miranda, Head of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Reina Sofía University Hospital in Cordoba, and Ramón Estruch, Coordinator of the Predimed Study.

Dr. Miranda was responsible for reviewing the role of olive oil in the Mediterranean Diet. He also provided an overview of the main research milestones in this area: "The Mediterranean Diet is rich in olive oil, which, first of all, improves the lipoprotein profile; second, it reduces blood pressure; third, it reduces vascular inflammation; fourth, it reduces arterial and endothelial dysfunction; fifth, it reduces oxidation; and sixth, it improves the parameters of oxidation in general and it reduces the risk of contracting diabetes and metabolic syndrome as well as other metabolic illnesses. In short, it has a wide variety of positive effects which, in view of the scientific evidence, suggests that doctors opt for this model as one of the healthiest models that exist".

The PREDIMED Study

Dr. Ramón Estruch provided an in-depth analysis of the results obtained with the PREDIMED Study, which has become the most influential study undertaken in decades on this diet's effect on health. Since it commenced at the beginning of the century, it has become clear that eating a Mediterranean Diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by over 30%: "We saw how blood pressure improved, how the lipoprotein profile improved, i.e. the good cholesterol, HDL, increases, and the bad cholesterol declines, and new cases of diabetes are avoided, improving sensitivity to insulin. We've also seen that people don't really gain weight, despite eating a diet that is high in fat, consuming around 4 to 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day." But, in particular, it showed that not all fats and created equal, and that a Mediterranean Diet, supplemented with extra virgin olive oil, is much better for your health than a fat-free diet which, for decades, has been erroneously believed to be the best diet for avoiding cardiac illness.

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