Why Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Are Key In Olive Oil Health Benefits

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Oleic Acid In Extra Virgin Olive Oil Has Vital Role In Health Benefits

Extra Virgin Olive Oil For Wellness
Extra Virgin Olive Oil For Wellness


  • New report outlines link between extra virgin olive oil and health benefits of monounsaturated fatty acids.
  • Fatty acids, particularly oleic acid, comprise 55 to 83 percent of extra virgin olive oil’s total composition.
  • Key health benefits of MUFAs in EVOO include Protection Against Chronic Diseases, Brain and Cognitive Health, Weight Management and Obesity, Longevity and anti-ageing.
  • Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Can Lower LDL And Increase HDL cholesterol.


  1. Key Health Benefits Of Monounsaturated Fatty Acids In Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  2. Oleic Acid In Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  3. The Health Benefits Of Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
  4. How MUFAs Can Lower LDL And Increase HDL cholesterol
  5. What Are LDL and HDL cholesterol?

Key Health Benefits Of Monounsaturated Fatty Acids In Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

A recent article in Olive Oil Times sets out the case for the vital role played by monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) in the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil.

For health enthusiasts and foodies alike, the symbiotic relationship between MUFAs and quality extra virgin olive oil like Morocco Gold is as fascinating as it is beneficial. In this exploration, we’ll unveil the profound role of MUFAs and decode why extra virgin olive oil stands as a powerhouse of health.

Oleic Acid In Extra Virgin Olive Oil

As explained by Olive Oil Times;

The exceptional health benefits of extra virgin olive oil are partially attributed to its fatty acids, particularly oleic acid, which comprises 55 to 83 percent of the oil’s total composition.

Oleic acid, classified as a monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA), has been extensively studied by scientists over the last decades, consistently demonstrating many positive effects on human health.

Moreover, oleic acid is recognized for its anti-inflammatory properties, further contributing to heart health.

Additionally, preliminary research suggests that oleic acid may reduce the risk of obesity by inducing a feeling of fullness, aiding in weight management.

The Health Benefits Of Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

Consumption of extra virgin olive oil has been linked to various health benefits, many of which can be attributed to the MUFAs it contains. Here are some of the most well documented benefits:

  1. Protection Against Chronic Diseases

The MUFAs in extra virgin olive oil, particularly oleic acid, have been associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, asthma, and even certain cancers. The oil’s rich antioxidant content, including vitamin E and phenolic compounds, bolsters this protective effect, offering a shield against oxidative damage.

  1. Brain and Cognitive Health

Several studies suggest that MUFAs, especially when part of a Mediterranean diet, can improve cognitive function and memory. The high presence of MUFAs in extra virgin olive oil has even indicated potential for reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.

  1. Weight Management and Obesity

Surprisingly, incorporating MUFAs into the diet could support weight loss and management. Evidence points to MUFAs’ ability to influence satiety, leading to reduced calorie intake and in some, an increased metabolic rate. This makes for an interesting narrative where ‘fats’ help in the fight against excess fat.

  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Longevity

The Mediterranean diet, with olive oil at its heart, has been celebrated for promoting longevity. The exemplary longevity of those who adhere to this diet has been extensively studied, with conclusions pointing to the diet’s rich MUFA content as a core contributor to longer, healthier lives.

  1. An Anti-Aging Elixir

One might consider extra virgin olive oil as an anti-aging elixir in the world of nutrition, largely due to the positive effects of MUFAs on cellular health and the anti-inflammatory properties that guard against premature aging.

How MUFAs Can Lower LDL And Increase HDL cholesterol

According to the OOT article, research has demonstrated that the monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil can significantly enhance heart and cardiovascular health, mainly by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels and reducing triglycerides.

What Are LDL and HDL cholesterol?

LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) are two types of cholesterol that travel through your bloodstream. LDL is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol because high levels can lead to the buildup of plaque in your arteries, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Conversely, HDL is known as “good” cholesterol because it helps remove other forms of cholesterol from your bloodstream. HDL picks up excess cholesterol in your blood and takes it back to your liver where it’s broken down and removed from your body. Optimally, doctors recommend having low levels of LDL and higher levels of HDL to maintain good cardiovascular health.

What are MUFAs?

“Fatty acids are essential components of lipids, which are important molecules for the structure and function of cells,” Nuno Rodrigues, a researcher at the Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO) of the Polytechnic Institute in Bragança, in Portugal, told Olive Oil Times.

“Fatty acids are an important source of energy for the body, being stored in adipose tissue, besides playing essential roles in the structure of cell membranes,” Rodrigues explained.

The fatty acids in olive oil are formed at the end of the olive development process, essentially during their maturation.

“In the olive tree, during the fruit’s growth, the plant produces carbohydrates that are later converted into fatty acids through photosynthesis, the fatty acids are stored in the cells of the olive pulp in the form of triglycerides and are the main fat molecules, olive oil, present in the fruits.” 

Nuno Rodrigues, Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO)

“Since fatty acids are the major components of olive oil, they are also responsible for some of the most important functions attributed to olive oil,” Rodrigues said.

“Compared to other oils and fats, olive oil is very rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, between 70 and 85 percent of the fatty acids in olive oil, of which oleic acid is the most significant,” Rodrigues said.

“MUFAs are of great importance from a nutritional perspective, as lipids are the main component of our cell membranes,” he added. “Due to their greater elasticity, MUFAs confer less rigidity to cell membranes and thus act in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.”

“Fatty acids also have an important function as precursors of some volatile compounds, where fatty acids are essential components of the metabolic pathways that form the aromas of olive oils,” Rodrigues said.