EVOO reduces risk of a heart attack by 20%

by Antonios Miliarakis

As researchers at Harvard's TH Chan School of Public Health suggest, consuming more than half a tablespoon of olive oil per day could reduce the risk of a heart attack by 20%.

In addition, after 24 years of data analysis, the research team concluded that consuming more than half a tablespoon of olive oil per day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by 15% and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by 21%.

Higher baseline total olive oil consumption was associated with 48% reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality.

Marta Guasch-Ferre, lead author of the study and research scientist of nutritional value at TH Harvard School of Public Health, cautioned that we also need to think in terms of what is olive oil replacing. “Replacing 5g of margarine, butter, mayonnaise, or dairy fat with the equivalent amount of olive oil was associated with 5-7% lower risk of total CVD and CHD”.

She explains that the study does not conclusively prove cause and effect of such observations. However, it definitely supports growing evidence that olive oil can be beneficial to heart health.

As several studies from Harvard's TH Chan SoPH suggest, you can help prevent heart disease by doing four key things and making them into habits:

  1. Don’t smoke (or quit if you do)
  2. Maintain a healthy weight
  3. Exercise; be active
  4. Follow a healthy diet