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Olive oil on your salad can save your life

leafy greens
leafy greens
Photo Credit: "First Harvest" by Q Family | via Flickr CC by 2.0

Combining olive oil with leafy greens and vegetables is one of the key elements that gives the Mediterranean diet the edge over other diets around the world.

In an article on BBC News online, Health Editor Michelle Roberts reports that scientists have found that the combination of the unsaturated fat in olive oil joins with the nitrites in the vegetables to form nitro fatty acids which lower blood pressure.

Dr. Sanjay Thakrar of the British Heart Foundation stated:

This interesting study goes some way to explain why a Mediterranean diet appears to be good for your heart health. The results showed a way in which a particular compound could combat high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease

Scientists would like to study the effect of these compounds to see if medications can be manufactured to treat high blood pressure and help prevent heart disease. In the meantime, the rest of us can simply enjoy our leafy green salads with olive oil without giving a second thought to the added fat.