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Olive Oil And The FDA

La Tienda

Around 2004 the Food and Drug Administration gave its approval to olive oil producers, to put on their labels that there is limited and not conclusive evidence of reduction on the risk of heart disease when saturated fats are replaced with olive oil.

The FDA has approved a health claim for a food label twice before. Once for omega-3 fatty acids in salmon and tuna and once in walnuts. Salmon, tuna, walnuts and extra virgin olive oil are super foods.

The label can say that there is evidence that suggests consuming about two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily, can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, because of its monounsaturated fats.

Olive oil producers have asked the government to make that claim.

At the Harvard School of Public Health Dr. Meir Stampher, professor of epidemiology and nutrition said that the FDA has adjusted its opinion about healthy diets.  Before that, Dr. Stampfer said, the agency only gave cardiovascular health claims to low fat diets.

Fat is bad and we should move away from it, replacing it with monounsaturated fats, like olive oil, rich in poly-phenols and antioxidants.

Bonnie Liebman who is the Director of Nutrition for the Center for Science  in the Public Interest, criticizes the food companies and the Food and Drug Administration Agency for their regulations, allowing saturated fats and trans fats in foods that are marketed “good for your heart.”

Ms. Liebman also criticizes both the agency and the food companies about people won’t understand what “evidence that is limited and not conclusive” means. She is right and I agree with her.

The Study Of The Seven Countries supports the theories about olive oil exerts the beneficial effects on the risk of developing heart diseases.

Italian and Greek studies confirmed the study conducted at the University of Navara, Spain, that 54 grams of extra virgin olive oil daily brings down the risk of heart diseases by 75%.

The FDA should allow the olive oil labels to read: “unlimited and conclusive evidence. ” But based on these evidence and even with “limited and conclusive evidence” on the label, consumers can make their own decision on following a healthy diet.

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