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What are some health benefits of olive oil?

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The dietary fat in olive oil, which is monounsaturated fatty acids, lowers the risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol, blood clotting and blood sugar levels, according to Medical News Today. People with olive oil in their diets are at a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular issues such as hypertension or hyperlipidemia.

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A French research study discovered that olive oil plays a role in reducing the risk of stroke among elderly people, states Medical News Today. By studying two groups of people, one consuming olive oil, the study found a 41-percent reduced risk of stroke among that group. Others studies show that olive oil may also reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Olive oil is unique due to its high fat content. Monounsaturated fat is three-fourths of the fat in olive oil, with only canola oil and soybean oil coming close to that number, according to WHFoods.com. Diets high in monounsaturated fats lead to lower blood cholesterol, an increase in the ratio of healthy to unhealthy cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.

People who consume high levels of monounsaturated fats could be less likely to develop depression, states Medical News Today. A Spanish study assessed more than 12,000 people, with one group's dietary fat coming from olive oil and the other group's dietary fat coming from trans fat. They identified a 48-percent greater risk of depression in the trans-fat group.

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