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 oil.
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.
The preliminary research was presented Wednesday at the American Heart Association’s Prevention, Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2020.