Can too much olive oil be harmful?
The monounsaturated fats in olive oil offer several health benefits. However, excess consumption of olive oil may cause several side effects. It may cause acne, allergies, skin rashes, blackheads, and saturated- and trans-fat-related diseases. It may also cause diarrhea and inflammation in some people.
As a general rule of thumb, between one and two tablespoons a day is a good amount of olive oil to consume. This goes for both olive oil that you drink for health benefits and also olive oil that you consume with food as part of your regular cooking process.
While there is some truth to this (olive oil does appear to cause relatively less damage than saturated animal fats), it is important to note that 'less damage' is still damage. The scientific evidence clearly shows that olive oil plays a role both in damaging blood vessels as well as forming atherosclerotic plaques.
Consuming more than four tablespoons a day can significantly lower your risk of having a heart attack, suffering from a stroke or dying of heart disease, according to the recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Plus, most kitchens liberally use olive oil and other oils, which has been shown in research studies to increase your risk of having high cholesterol and other cardiometabolic disorders.
Extra virgin olive oil can reduce inflammation, which may be one of the main reasons for its health benefits. Olive oil's main anti-inflammatory effects are from antioxidants, one of which is oleocanthal. This antioxidant has been shown to work like ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug.
Optimum Daily Intake
According to the US FDA, our daily intake of monounsaturated fatty acids should be at least around 17.5 grams, which is about 1.5 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. So consume a tablespoon of olive oil daily, instead of cooking with it.
Folks who consume more than 1/2 a tablespoon of olive oil a day are less likely to die from heart disease, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's or lung disease when compared to people who consume less of this healthy fat, a new study finds.
Those who said they consumed more than a half tablespoon of olive oil daily had reduced their risk of death from neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, by 29%.
Regular consumption of olive oil may help you to increase good cholesterol, called HDL, and also reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) in your blood. High-quality extra virgin olive oils are the best at increasing HDL since they have the highest amounts of polyphenols.
Is a spoonful of olive oil a day good for you?
The ancient Greeks were on to something when they referred to olive oil as an "elixir of youth and health." Centuries later, research offers evidence about the benefits of olive oil in our daily diets. Consuming more than half a tablespoon of olive oil a day may lower heart disease risk, a 2020 study found.
Olive oil has a lower smoke point-the point at which an oil literally begins to smoke (olive oil's is between 365° and 420°F)-than some other oils. When you heat olive oil to its smoke point, the beneficial compounds in oil start to degrade, and potentially health-harming compounds form.