04 Apr

Olive Oil Eases Ride For Bypass Patients

By Charlene Laino,

If you or a family member are scheduled for heart bypass surgery, stock up on the olive oil.

That’s the advice of Greek researchers who found that an olive-oil-rich diet may lower the risk of having a heart attack or stroke or dying from cardiovascular disease in the month after heart surgery.

“There’s a lot of research showing that olive oil may help protect healthy people from developing heart disease, but very few studies looking at the role of olive oil in people who already have cardiovascular disease,” says Dennis Cokkinos, MD, professor of cardiology at the University of Athens.

Olive oil is a cornerstone of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet that’s also rich in veggies, legumes, and nuts, says American Heart Association spokesman Russell Luepker, MD, of the University of Minnesota.

“From a nutritional point of view, olive oil is good for you – and your heart,” he tells WebMD.

Cokkinos says that olive oil is rich in antioxidants and “good” monounsaturated fatty acids, both of which pack a punch against heart disease.

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