Olive oil mediterranean diet best for nourishment
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Olive oil, Mediterranean diet best for nourishment, pleasure
MADRID, Oct 26 (AFP) - It's official: Olive oil is good for you, according to conclusions published Tuesday by a group of 300 scientists who attended a weekend conference on its life-giving properties in the southern Spanish city of Jaen.
"The Mediterranean dietary pattern is being rediscovered as the one that best fulfils the need for nourishment and pleasure," noted the scientists gathered in the world's biggest olive oil production centre.
"One of the most well-known and important characteristics of the Mediterranean diet is the presence of virgin oil as the principal source of energy from fat," the scientists added.
Such a diet "is a healthy dietary model to achieve a healthy aging and to prevent the most important causes of morbidity and mortality around the world," the conference concluded.
The Mediterranean diet, the scientists added, "is associated with a low cardiovascular risk" and aids healthy post-prandial metabolism.
With its monounsaturated fat intake, olive oil appears to be associated with "a reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline," the conference noted.
Commercial olive oil which is edible comes in several categories but extra virgin olive oil is regarded as the most nutritional.
At the first ever international congress on olive oil and its role in promoting good health scientists said Saturday that a vitamin-filled Mediterranean diet based on olive oil, fish and fresh vegetables helped to keep Spanish rates of heart disease some two thirds lower than in northern Europe.
It is also seen as a key weapon in warding off Alzheimer's, cardiovascular ailments and cancer.
"We don't even know 10 percent of its benefits," said congress chairman Francisco Perez.
10/26/2004 19:49 GMT - AFP