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Using olive oil instead of these foods could add years to the life of your heart, study says
The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are renowned: Lots and lots of veggies, fruit, fish and olive oil have been shown to strengthen bones, improve brain health and reduce the risk for some cancers, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke.
People living around the Mediterranean Sea are well-versed in the daily use of olive oil.
Residents of the United States? Not so much. They mostly choose to cook with butter, margarine and soybean or canola oils.
Now a new study of Americans shows that replacing a mere five grams of margarine, butter or mayonnaise with the same amount of olive oil was associated with up to a 7% lower risk of coronary artery disease.
To put that into context, five grams is about a half pat of butter or margarine and one teaspoon of mayonnaise or fatty dairy products.
Even better, people who used even higher olive oil intake — more than seven grams, or 1/2 tablespoon a day — had a 15% lower risk of any kind of cardiovascular disease and a 21% lower risk of coronary artery disease. It didn’t appear to have an impact on stroke risk, however.