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HEART HEALTH

Olive Oil May Prevent Strokes, Study Says

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We’ve been hearing about the benefits of olive oil for years, but now it looks like it could help prevent strokes in elderly people, according to a new French study.

Researchers at the University of Bordeaux studied medical records from nearly 8,000 people aged 65 and older.

Olive oil consumption was labeled in participants as “no use,” “moderate use” and “intensive use.”

Over the five-year study period, 148 people had strokes.

Results from the study show that people who used olive in both cooking and as a dressing or with bread had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those people who never used olive oil in their diet.

As a result, researchers said people over age 65 may need a new set of dietary guidelines.

“Olive oil is a big part of the Mediterranean Diet, which is a healthy diet that includes olive oil as their primary fat source, so as a result it’s not surprising to see that this is beneficial,” Carolyn Snyder, a registered dietician at the Cleveland Clinic, said in a news release.

And the good news is that olive oil is easy to add to any diet.

“It’s a very simple salad dressing, mixing that with a little balsamic vinaigrette,” Snyder said. “You can use it to dip whole grain breads in with a little bit of seasoning like basil.”

Complete findings of the study are published in the journal Neurology.