Strokes are devastating—and all-too-common in the older set. Now, a new study from Bordeaux, France, shows that those age 65 and older who cooked with olive oil and drizzled it over prepared food and bread cut their stroke risk by 41 percent compared to those who never used the flavorful oil.
Most study participants used extra-virgin olive oil, which accounts for 98 percent of the olive oil available in France.
The versatile product also appears to protect against cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity.
Want to add olive oil to your diet? Go for it! But remember that even healthier fats like olive oil are high in calories, so use it in moderation; choose olive oil instead of butter and stick margarine—not in addition to them.
Here are 3 tips for buying, storing, and enjoying olive oil:
- If you can, smell (and taste) before you buy. Olive oils encompass a wide range of flavor from fruity to peppery, mild to intensely strong. Don’t buy one you don’t like!
- Good extra-virgin olive oil lasts about a year when stored out of the light and away from heat.
- Virgin and extra-virgin oils are best used uncooked or cooked at low to medium temperatures. Try them in marinades, drizzle them over vegetables or bread, and add them at end of cook time for a burst of flavor.