The Health Benefits of Using Olive Oil in Your Cooking

Sep 04, 2023

Why Olive Oil?

The Mediterranean diet is renowned worldwide for its health benefits, and one of its main components is olive oil. This golden, flavorful oil is not only a culinary delight but also a powerhouse of nutrients. Packed with healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants, olive oil is a healthy choice for cooking and salad dressings. But what exactly makes it so beneficial? Let's delve into the health benefits of using olive oil in your cooking.

olive oil

Rich in Healthy Monounsaturated Fats

Olive oil is one of the richest sources of monounsaturated fats, specifically oleic acid. These fats are considered heart-healthy because they can lower bad cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol levels in your body. This, in turn, reduces the risk of heart diseases and stroke.

Loaded with Antioxidants

One of the most significant benefits of olive oil is its high antioxidant content. These substances are biologically active and can reduce your risk of chronic diseases. They also fight inflammation and help protect your blood cholesterol from oxidation — two benefits that may lower your risk of heart disease.


Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Chronic inflammation is believed to be among the leading drivers of diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's, arthritis and even obesity. Olive oil can reduce inflammation, which is one of its key health benefits. The antioxidants in olive oil have been shown to function similarly to anti-inflammatory drugs.

May Help Prevent Strokes

Stroke is caused by a disturbance in blood flow to your brain, either due to a blood clot or bleeding. In developed nations, stroke is the second most common cause of death, right behind heart disease. The relationship between olive oil and stroke risk has been extensively studied. A massive review of studies in older individuals found that olive oil was the only source of monounsaturated fat associated with a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease.

stroke prevention

Protective Effects on Heart Health

Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the world. Observational studies conducted a few decades ago showed that heart disease is less common in Mediterranean countries. This led to extensive research on the Mediterranean diet, which has now been shown to significantly reduce heart disease risk. Extra virgin olive oil, with its powerful antioxidants, is a key ingredient in this diet.

Does Not Contribute to Weight Gain and Obesity

Eating excessive amounts of fat leads to weight gain, right? Well, it's not that simple. It appears that the type of fat matters. Interestingly, in Mediterranean countries, fat — and specifically olive oil — is commonly consumed, yet rates of obesity are significantly lower than in most other western countries. Several studies have linked olive oil to beneficial effects on body weight.

healthy weight

May Fight Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is the most common neurodegenerative condition in the world. One of its key features is a buildup of so-called beta-amyloid plaques inside your brain cells. One study in mice showed that a substance in olive oil can help remove these plaques. Additionally, a human study indicated that a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil benefits brain function.


Overall, olive oil is super healthy. Its benefits are among the few things in nutrition that people agree on. So why not make olive oil a staple in your kitchen? It’s a simple change that could have significant health benefits.