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Olive Oil Consumption May Reduce Risk of Stroke

Olive oil has gained increasing popularity in the US as a tasty alternative to butter. Now, a study out of France shows that consuming olive oil may also significantly reduce the risk of stroke in people over 65.

The research was conducted at the University of Bordeaux and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Bordeaux, France. The findings were published in the online edition of Neurology on June 15, 2011.

The study group included the medical records of 7,625 people over the age of 65 with no history of stroke. Researchers divided olive oil consumption into three categories: no use, moderate use, and intensive use. Moderate use was defined as using olive oil for cooking, as dressing, or with bread. Intensive use was defined as using olive oil in all of those categories.

Once other health factors—such as body mass index, physical activity, and diet—were taken into consideration, the researchers concluded that intensive use olive oil consumers were 41% less likely to have a stroke.

Olive oil has been linked with improved cardiovascular health, as well as with helping to prevent diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. Replacing butter in your diet, whether when you’re cooking or on bread, is a good way to increase your olive oil consumption. Olive oil can also be used to make quick, healthy salad dressings.

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