One of the key objectives of the International Olive Oil Council is to broadcast the nutritional and dietary advantages of olive oil. How the IOOC disseminates the conclusions of scientific research into the effects of olive oil consumption on health is to organise international scientific seminars, conferences or symposiums.
One such event was MEDIET 2004, an international conference providing further unanimous evidence of the beneficial effects of olive oil as a chief source of fat for healthy eating, as well as the advantages of a balanced Mediterranean type diet.
Over 100 international scientist and nutritionists attended the conference at which leading researchers presented the latest discoveries concerning the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil was spotlighted as the fundamental and essential feature of this diet.
Olive oil benefits from a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and a wealth of antioxidants, polyphenols, sterols and vitamins. These quantative amounts of nutrients have proven to exert a positive effect on diseases as diverse as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, skin diseases, arterial hypertension, ageing, cognitive function decline and senile dementia.
Statistics released by the American Medical Association.
Leading researchers recognise that olive oil has a positive health profile. It contains more monounsaturated fat per teaspoon than butter, margarine and all other cooking or salad oils. Monounsaturated fat is considered "good" fat because it helps to reduce the level of LDL "bad" cholesterol while maintaining "good" HDL cholesterol. This, in turn, lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
An excess of the type of polyunsaturated fat found in many vegetable oils and most margarines may be causing the increasing rates of diabetes in Western countries. There is evidence to suggest that this is related to the kind of fats within cell membranes and the way the membranes resist the action of insulin.
Using Olive Oil in preference to polyunstaurated vegetable oil would help provide a better balance of fats within cell membranes.