Fight aging and reduce your risk of heart disease with olive oil, according to research

If you want to lengthen your years then it might be time you start cooking with olive oil instead of butter

Olive oil pouring out a jar
(Image credit: Getty)

Cooking with butter or margarine can be very tempting but it might be wise to break this habit and instead switch this ingredient for olive oil. Research has found that olive oil could help prevent your chance of developing heart disease later in life.

There are lots of things you can do to protect your health as you grow old, such as taking a daily vitamin. Many people like to regularly consume one of the best fish oil supplements as a daily source of omega-3, which can help with various things such as cognitive function and heart health.

However, you can't always fully rely on supplements to safeguard your body and mind as you age. This is where your diet and cooking can work in your favor. A study published in the Circulation journal discovered that an increased dietary intake of olive oil could help lengthen people's lives by lowering their risk of heart disease.

The study analyzed the health status and diets of over 100,000 people over the space of 24 years and discovered that the participants with higher consumptions of olive oil had a 15% reduced risk of developing heart disease.

Researchers estimated that replacing 5g of saturated fat (e.g. butter, margarine, mayonnaise, or dairy fat) with the same amount of olive oil is associated with a 5 to 7% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.

Cooking with olive oil

(Image credit: Getty)

One of the reasons why olive oil is viewed as being good for us is down to it containing monosaturated fatty acids. These contain healthy vitamins and minerals, polyphenols, and micronutrients sourced from plants.

The monounsaturated fatty acids and compounds inside olive oil can help our bodies fight non-communicable diseases. This 2019 study found that the beneficial health benefits of olive oil not only helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease but can also boost our gut microbiota and help to prevent type 2 diabetes and cancer.

The positive effects present a promising case for olive oil as a health-friendly cooking condiment. Not only can the healthy nutrients found in the oil be good for fighting off age-related diseases but by choosing this oil you're cutting unhealthier fats out of your diet by default.

If you'd like to find other ways to protect your heart health then you can always add something like one of the best air fryers to your kitchen. This is considered a healthier alternative to frying or roasting your food in lots of fat. 

Or you might be considering lowering your intake of saturated fat by cutting out red meat or other meats. Perhaps some more vegetable-based recipes from one of the best vegan cookbooks can help with this.

Jessica Downey
Jessica Downey

Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. She is a keen runner and is currently sweating her way through a 10k training plan. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen - which she loves sharing with others on her healthy living-inspired Instagram account, @jessrunshere. Despite her love for nutritious cooking, she stands by the saying ‘everything in moderation’ and is eagerly conquering the London food and drink scene!