As heart attacks continue to kill one person in every 33 seconds in India, health experts on Friday said that olive oil can help in decreasing cardio vascular diseases.
Olive oil is rich in MUFA or mono unsaturated fatty acids which helps in improving glycemic control and plasma lipid control and increase insulin sensitivity in diabetics and improve cardio vascular health, according to the experts.
The World Heath Organisation estimated that by 2020, cardiovascular disease will be the cause of over 40 per cent deaths in India as compared to 24 per cent in 1990.
“Olive oil contains a very important health benefiting element called oleic acid. It is known to be extremely heart-healthy and capable of fighting free radical damage (or oxidative stress), which has numerous health implications,” said Nidhi Dhawan, head dietician at city based Saroj Superspecialty hospital.
Dhawan said that due to the presence of powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols, olive oil is considered an anti-inflammatory food.
“It has been proven that olive oil is beneficial as it prevents strokes, keeps the heart young, fights osteoporosis, protects from depression, prevents skin and breast cancer,” said Neelima Burra, Chief Marketing Officer of Cargill foods.
The experts were speaking on the occasion of World Health Day.
Unlike other edible oils, olive oil contains about 75 per cent mono saturated fat which makes it the healthiest.
Cargill food had earlier launched Leonardo Olive — approved by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) — keeping in mind the rising cases of cardio vascular and other diseases such as diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive and pulmonary disease and cancer.
Stating that there was a rise in cardio vascular cases in rural India as well, Burra said that there is a need for the people of rural India to have more awareness about olive oil and its health benefits.