Health Tips: Life-Extending Powers of Olive Oil
Olive Oyl, Popeye’s darling, first appeared in 1919 in a comic strip called “Thimble Theatre.” Ten years later, the tape was renamed “Popeye”. That makes 103-year-old Mrs. Oyl – a wonderful testament to the life-extending benefits of its namesake, olive oil.
And now, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reveals how olive oil protects you from a whole range of health problems. Looking at data from more than 92,000 men and women over a 28-year period, researchers found that “replacing margarine, butter, mayonnaise, and dairy fat with olive oil was associated with a lower risk of total and cause-specific mortality. Additionally, a diet that includes about half a tablespoon of olive oil daily can reduce the risk of cardiovascular death and death from all causes by 19 percent; 17% cancer deaths; neurodegenerative diseases by 29%; and respiratory diseases by 18%.
Mamma mia! It’s time to prepare your tuna sandwich with olive oil instead of mayonnaise; drizzle EVOO over your bagel and smoked salmon (also add chopped basil) and baked potato; switch to non-dairy cheeses; and sauté and cook with olive oil instead of other fats.
For a great selection of olive oil recipes, check out my “What to Eat When” cookbook. There is the Smokin’ Baba Kalamat (a version of the baba ghanoush), the artichoke cream (Crema Di Carciofi) and the linguine with mushrooms “Bacon”, onion and tomato (When Way Amatriciana); and wood-grilled wild sockeye salmon.
Stairways to better glucose and insulin levels
Last September, the Honolulu City Council voted to remove the city’s famous Haiku Staircase – a dangerous 3,922-meter climb up the side of the Koolau Mountain Range. At the top, there is a secret radio station which was set up by the US Navy during World War II. Closed to the public for years, the stairs still see 4,000 hikers a year.
Now, I’m not saying that climbing that many stairs is necessary (or even a good idea) for most people – but moderate-intensity stairs? According to a new study published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, it’s a great idea. Researchers have found that climbing stairs daily can improve glucose and insulin levels after eating (by doing three minutes a day) and insulin sensitivity (with 10 minutes a day). Participants took approximately 90 to 110 steps per minute while ascending and descending 21 steps.
If you’re having trouble managing your blood sugar and want to increase your insulin sensitivity (which allows you to reduce or even stop your diabetes treatment), try walking the stairs. Smart technology:
— Keep your feet pointed straight out in front of your body as you transition from step to step and place each foot flat on the stair with your weight slightly on the inside of your foot and your big toe.
— Maintain good posture by holding your stomach and keeping your shoulders above your hips. Avoid leaning forward.
— Engage your whole body, not just your legs. Active abdominal muscles can relieve some pressure on your hips and knees.
One more reason to control your blood pressure through your lifestyle
Barry White’s bass-baritone voice can raise blood pressure (he’s quite provocative), but his heart and kidneys have paid the price. He tipped the scales at 375 pounds and died in 2002 of kidney failure related to high blood pressure.
Now, a new mouse lab study, published in JCI Insight, finds a link between long-term use of ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers to control blood sugar. high blood pressure and hardening of the kidney vessels, which can cause permanent kidney damage. And even though this is an animal study, it makes you think about the benefits of using non-pharmacological interventions to lower high blood pressure.
A major article in the journal Hypertension in 2017 presented the most science-based lifestyle approaches to managing high blood pressure – “particularly for the prevention of hypertension, including in adults with high BP, and for management of elevated BP in adults with milder forms”. of hypertension”. They are:
— Losing weight
— Follow the DASH diet and reduce sodium intake
— Take potassium supplements (ask your doctor)
— Weekly exercise: 90 to 150 minutes of aerobics at 65% to 75% of your maximum heart rate and 90 to 150 minutes of low-impact, high-intensity strength training with isometric resistance exercise — using a handle.
— Limit alcohol consumption to two servings a day for men and one for women.
If lifestyle intervention isn’t enough and your doctor recommends medications to lower your blood pressure and protect your heart and brain, take them! Just be sure to carefully monitor your kidney and heart function so you can protect both organ systems safely and effectively.
Health pioneer Michael Roizen, MD, is director emeritus of wellness at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four New York Times #1 bestselling books. His next book is “The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow”. Do you have a topic that Dr. Mike should address in a future column? If so, please email [email protected] (c)2022 Michael Roizen, MD and Mehmet Oz, MD Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.