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More Good News About Olive Oil

It’s fairly common knowledge these days that there are some really important health benefits associated with consuming olive oil. No doubt, one of the reasons that the Mediterranean diet turns out to be so healthful is because it is rich in olives and olive oil. And this may explain why following the Mediterranean diet is associated with significant risk reduction for things like breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and even dementia.

But it’s been a bit challenging to try to delineate specifically what it is about olive oil that makes it so special as it relates to health. There are multiple chemicals found in olive oil that are bioactive in a positive sense, and new research has identified yet another chemical and mechanism that may explain why olive oil is so good for us. Continue reading

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Making the Mediterranean Diet Even Better

What better place to ponder the benefits of the Mediterranean diet than from the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea where I made this video blog.

The Mediterranean diet has certainly garnered a lot of attention, and with good reason. Adherence to this way of eating has been clearly associated with reduced risk for a variety of medical conditions including coronary heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and even dementia.

In a recent report, researchers again demonstrated a significant reduction in risk for cognitive decline in people following the Mediterranean diet. However, when a subgroup added high amounts of olive oil to their regimen, dementia risk was even further reduced.

In this entry, I discuss some of olive oil’s health enhancing properties that may explain why we should consider it to be a brain “super food.”

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Making the Mediterranean Diet Even Better!

We are certainly hearing a lot these days about the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and with good reason. There is so much being written how effective this diet is in terms of being associated with reduced risk for a vast panorama of diseases. From diabetes to obesity to coronary artery disease, the foods that constitute this diet are really gaining the attention of scientists and consumers around the world.

When you analyze the Mediterranean diet you learn that it differs from what most Americans seem to be eating in that it’s remarkably lower in added sugars and processed fats. It also includes foods that are nutrient-dense and help boost the amount of fiber a person consumes. As it turns out, the fact that many of the fiber-rich foods that you’ll find on this diet are high in prebiotic fiber may well explain why we’re seeing such health benefits with this way of eating.

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Yes, Dietary Fat is Associated with Better Health

There is no question that one of the biggest debates these days centers on the health risks or benefits of dietary fat. And rather then enter into this discussion from an opinion derived position, I believe it’s fundamentally important to first and foremost see what our most well respected institutions that are researching questions such as this are telling us in the form of peer-reviewed publications.

Arguably, one of the most well respected medical journals on the planet is the New England Journal of Medicine. And last year the journal published a study entitled, Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet. The researchers enrolled 7447 individuals whose age ranged between 55 and 80 years. There were slightly more women than men, 57%. There were three different dietary plans used in this interventional study including a standard low-fat diet, A Mediterranean diet enriched with extra-virgin olive oil, and a group that received the Mediterranean diet with the addition of fat derived from added nuts.

The study was designed to look for particular “endpoints” and in this case there were three. They included having a stroke, a heart attack, or death. Continue reading