Since ancient times, olive oil has played an important role in daily life. Olive oil was used for religious offerings, as fuel for oil lamps, a part of trade and wealth, medicinally, used in soaps and skin and hair treatments.
The use we’re most familiar with today is as part of our diet. The Cretan or Mediterranean diet that includes olive oil has been given as the reason why people from these areas have had a lower rate of heart disease and longer life spans.
There have been many research studies, including those conducted by the FDA, which show the benefits of including olive oil in one’s diet.
Most of the studies cite the monounsaturated fat in olive oil is the reason why it reduces your risk of heart disease. The monounsaturated fats help lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and keep the HDL (good cholesterol) to help remove buildup in the arteries.