This is an article I read: Dr. Theodora Psaltopoulou and colleagues from the University of Athens, Greece, investigated whether the Mediterranean diet as a whole, or just olive oil is responsible for the reduction in blood pressure associated with this way of eating.
Their finding: while the diet as a whole reduces blood pressure, extra virgin olive oil by its self, is largely responsible.
The Greek team examined the ability of the total diet and the olive oil alone to reduce arterial blood pressure. Their study included over 20,000 Greek participants who were free of hypertension (high blood pressure) when the study began. Food frequency questionnaires were completed and systolic and diastolic blood pressures were taken.
Diet was evaluated by a 10 point score that reflected the extend to which study participants followed the Mediterranean diet and also provided scores for individual components of the diet, including extra virgin olive oil.
Data analysis confirmed that the Mediterranean diet as a whole was significantly associated with lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure as were the olive oil that“liquid gold” vegetables and fruit. On the other hand, consumption of cereals, meat and meat products, and alcohol intake was associated with higher blood pressure. When the effects of olive oil and vegetables were compared, olive oil was found to be responsible for the dominant beneficial effect on blood pressure.
Now do you understand why it is called “liquid gold”?