The Truth on Olive Oil Health

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food
Hippocrates

 

We’ve all heard countless times that extra virgin olive oil is the core of the Mediterranean diet, and extremely healthy.  But how solid is the science surrounding olive oil?  Medical pundits frequently hold forth about olive oil with faulty facts.  How often have you been warned not to cook with extra virgin olive oil because heat breaks it down – despite the fact that quality extra virgin olive oil actually has a very high smoke point, and is extremely healthy?  Who saw Dr. Oz, in an otherwise fairly useful segment on olive oil real and fraudulent, urge his viewers to use the “fridge test” to find out whether their olive oil was authentic?  (The fridge test is based on bad science, and doesn’t work, as explained by chemist Richard Gawel here.)


Shaky olive oil science isn’t confined to TV health gurus and urban legends:  sometimes it's spread by serious researchers.  Hundreds of medical studies involving olive oil have been performed over the last several decades, but their methods – and the olive oils they've employed – haven’t always been the best.  A recent Spanish study on the cardiovascular benefits of the Mediterranean diet, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, triggered a spate of press coverage including two articles in the New York Times (here and here).  Trouble is, much of the olive oil used was donated by Hojiblanca, Spain’s largest olive oil producer/bottler, which was recently outed by the Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios, the Spanish answer to Consumer Reports, for deceptively selling an inferior grade of olive oil as “extra virgin” (summary in Spanish here).  Just think how heart-healthy the study participants would have been if they’d actually been eating extra virgin olive oil, with its store of anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories and other health-promoting substances!


Things could be worse.  Three weeks earlier, a group of Scandinavian scientists published “Mediterranean Dietary Pattern and Risk of Breast Cancer”.  The study revealed no correlation between Mediterranean diet and reduced incidence of breast cancer, which is surprising until you read the fine print:  the sources of monounsaturated fat in their diet weren't olive oil, but meat, dairy products and “fat for food preparation and sandwiches.”  As far as I can determine, participants in this “Mediterranean diet” study didn’t eat any olive oil at all, though olive oil is of course a key part of this dietary regime.


It’s time to start separating the wheat from the chaff in olive oil health, by building a canon of solid scientific information, and debugging a number of widespread olive oil misconceptions.  Truth in Olive Oil has been in contact with several top medical researchers who really understand olive oil, whose research is helping to clarify how healthy extra virgin olive oil helps fight, and even cure, a number of pathologies – as well as to identify areas where olive oil isn’t actually beneficial at all.  One of these researchers is Mary Flynn, PhD, RD, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island.  Over the last thirty years, while working as a teacher, researcher and outpatient dietitian, Mary has reviewed the existing science concerning the role of olive oil and health; performed her own research on olive oil health; created a weight-loss diet that features extra virgin olive oil; co-authored books about the fallacy of low-fat weight-loss diets (Low-fat Lies, Lifeline Press, 1999) and the health benefits of an olive oil- and vegetable-rich diet for breast cancer survivors and for people in general (The Pink Ribbon Diet, Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2010); and celebrated olive oil in culinary events with prominent chefs.  In the process, she has gained a remarkable appreciation of olive oil not only as a health-promoting substance but as a delicious, uniquely satisfying food.  “The sooner people realize that foods like extra virgin olive oil are medicine, pure and simple, the healthier we all will be,” she told me recently  a phrase worthy of Hippocrates.


Dr. Flynn is joining Truth in Olive Oil this week, to explain how her fascination with extra virgin olive oil was born.  In future posts she’ll talk in more detail about the science behind extra virgin olive oil health, describe the weight-loss and therapeutic benefits of her olive-oil-based diet, and detail her research, past and future, into the beneficial effects of extra virgin olive oil, especially against coronary heart disease and certain types of cancer.


Truth in Olive Oil aims to raise funds for Dr. Flynn’s vital and ongoing research, as well as to help create a working group of internationally-recognized scientists and research institutes interested in exploring the therapeutic properties of high-quality extra virgin olive oil.  (Details on how you can contribute to this cause will be provided in Mary's next post on Truth in Olive Oil.)

Mary Flynn, PhD, RD, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island

My interest in olive oil began in 1984, when I joined The Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, a major teaching affiliate of the Brown University medical school.  The American Heart Association had just released a new set of diet guidelines which recommended that patients reduce the fat in their diet to no more than 30% of total calories.  One of my tasks at the hospital was to test these guidelines by designing diets to decrease the risk of heart disease.  From the beginning, I saw that as dietary fat decreased, the lipids of the patients were getting worse, with consistent increases in fasting triglycerides, and decreases in HDL (the so-called “good cholesterol”).


To understand why this was happening, I started exploring the literature on how dietary fat is related to a wide range of diseases.  One of the first studies I read was the Seven Country Study led by Ancel Keys, an American epidemiologist who researched Mediterranean dietary regimes in the 1950s-1980s, and was one of the founders of the so-called “Mediterranean diet.”  Keys looked at heart disease rates around the world and tried to relate them to various factors, including diet.  I remember being intrigued to learn that the men on the island of Crete ate more than 40% fat, but their heart disease rate was over 80% lower than what was seen in the US.  The diet fat for the men on Crete was mainly from olive oil, so I thought, “How can total fat in the diet be a health risk, if Mediterraneans eat so much olive oil and yet have low rates of heart disease?”


In subsequent years I became increasingly interested in olive oil, as I continued to read study after study that showed olive oil’s wide-ranging health benefits.  Nutritional research studies routinely produce apparently conflicting results involving the same foods, often due to the study design, the participants used, or the food source of the nutrient.  Yet somehow, the research on olive oil was different:  studies involving olive oil have consistently revealed health benefits, and a relation to decreasing diseases.  I found this fascinating, especially since at the time US health officials had begun to recommend low-fat diets to fight most chronic diseases, as well as for weight loss.


In fact, I have never supported the use of low-fat diets for any reason.  In 1999 I co-authored a book for laypeople that presented the literature on low-fat diets, showing that they were neither healthy nor effective (Low-fat Lies, Lifeline Press, 1999).  Low-fat diets aren’t effective for weight loss either:  so long as you lower calories, the proportions of fat, protein and carbohydrates aren’t important for losing weight.  What’s more, to keep weight down long-term, people have to stay on the diet, and for this to happen it helps a lot to like the diet.  For me, in fact, the main problem with low-fat diets was the hunger that resulted from reducing dietary fat.  Hunger is one of the main reasons people stop a weight loss diet.


Yet for reasons that I don’t fully understand, the media as well as many health officials and scientists jumped on the low-fat bandwagon, and somehow made “Mediterranean” synonymous with “fat.”  I saw this in a conversation with my editor of Low-fat Lies.  She asked me what diet I would recommend, and I said, “a Mediterranean diet.”  Her response was, “Wouldn’t people gain weight on a high-fat diet like that?”  What’s more, the label “Mediterranean diet” is widely misused, even by serious scientists.  Some researchers term their diet “Mediterranean” if it includes canola oil, or has a ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fats similar to that in olive oil –  even where the main source of monounsaturated fat isn’t olive oil at all, but red meat!  Real Mediterraneans would never recognize such an olive-oil-free diet as their own.


I developed a weight-loss diet based on the basic eating principles observed around the Mediterranean by Ancel Keys and others, and widely practiced by Mediterranean populations today.  To avoid confusion, however, I didn’t call it a “Mediterranean diet,” but a “plant-based olive oil diet” instead.  It contained 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil a day, which are used to cook vegetables, dress salads, dip bread, etc.  Over 40% of the calories in the diet came from fat, primarily from the olive oil (as well as nuts).  I thought that including olive oil at lunch and dinner would help to decrease hunger between the meals and as long as the calories were lowered, there would be weight loss.  I recruited 10 women from the staff at Brown University and asked them to follow the diet for 8 weeks.  From the first week of the diet they started to remark, “I am not hungry, and I am losing weight!”  I invented new recipes so that they could make complete meals of olive oil, vegetables and a starch source (pasta, rice, potatoes, legumes), without having to include meat, poultry or seafood.  (I don’t include meat, poultry or seafood in my recipes as these are not foods that will improve your health.  In fact, their extra protein can actually lead to weight gain, as we do not store protein as protein, but break it down and store it as fat.)


My further research supported these initial findings.  Around the year 2000 I set up two studies, one involving overweight people in a cardiac rehabilitation program (all had heart disease), and the other with Brown University employees who were overweight but otherwise healthy.  For both studies, I randomly assigned half of the participants to my plant-based olive oil diet, and half to a conventional lower fat diet (< 30% fat).  I was intrigued by the differences in the study meetings.  The people on my diet were actually enthusiastic at each meeting, discussing different recipes they had tried and remarking on how delicious their meals were.  Not so for the low-fat groups.  One of the recurring comments from the group on my diet was again that they were not hungry and were losing weight.  For both studies, my diet resulted in significantly greater weight loss than the lower fat diet.  In a separate study, women on my plant-based olive oil diet lost more weight than with a lower fat diet.  In addition, they had lower levels of triglycerides and higher HDL, ate significantly more vegetables, and their blood levels of carotenoids – plant pigments such as beta- and alpha-carotene and lycopene that have been linked to health benefits in humans – were significantly higher in my diet, meaning that they had more of these cancer-protective phytonutrients of these vegetables in their blood.


I teach nutrition at Brown University in the undergraduate program, and lecture on nutrition in the medical school.  One of my undergraduate courses explores the literature on how food is related to chronic disease development and treatment, and the core food in the course is olive oil, because certain studies show that olive oil decreases the risk of all of the diseases we cover.  This course is a lot of fun to teach, because I see students rapidly become more adept at understanding the health benefits of food, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of scientific studies, and comprehending how food can be used as medicine.  It also keeps me current with the literature, especially studies of the health benefits of olive oil.


In addition to research and teaching with olive oil, I also use my olive oil diet in clinical work.  In 2005 I started working with the chef of the hospital to develop recipes for the employee cafeteria, following my plant-based olive oil diet.  The recipes all contained 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 servings of vegetables, together with whole-wheat pasta and brown rice.  The meals were a success, and the chef dubbed them “Mary Meals.”  Anthony Mega, MD, a medical oncologist at my hospital, liked them and subsequently asked me to develop a diet study for his patients with recurrent prostate cancer, who were being treated with androgen deprivation, a therapy that causes weight gain and the development of the Metabolic Syndrome (also known as “pre-diabetes”).  We did a pilot study of 20 men who used my diet for weight loss.  The average weight loss in 8 weeks was just over 11 pounds (6% of baseline weight).  The majority of the men reported that they loved the diet, and were eating vegetables like spinach and broccoli that they had not eaten in years (if ever).


In several of my studies, participants had remarked on how inexpensive it was to eat my diet.  I am on the board of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, and asked the CEO if I could develop a study to see if food pantry clients who used my diet would spend less on groceries.  The results of this study showed that they did in fact spend less when they used my recipes for 2 to 3 meals per week.  They also improved their food security, diet quality and there was a significant weight loss for the group.   This study refutes the notion that a healthy diet is expensive; it also shows that including extra virgin olive oil daily instead of meat/poultry or seafood is a very economical as well as healthy way to eat.  I have also recently completed a small pilot study teaching 10- to 13-year-olds who are children of food bank clients to make meals with my recipes.  The results are showing that the kids can easily make the recipes and the families are reporting eating more vegetables and whole grains, plus using extra virgin olive oil for several meals a week.


I am just starting a program to use my olive oil meals at McAuley House, a congregate meal site (a.k.a “soup kitchen”) that serves low-income and homeless individuals.  The plan is to serve one olive oil meal a week and study their acceptability, cost, and ease of preparation as compared with the current meals.  I’m now interviewing guests and working with the staff to lay the groundwork for our kick-off meal, which is on May 10th.  I’ll be posting pictures from this event here on Truth in Olive Oil and on the McAuley House website.


I’ve been studying and working with extra virgin olive oil for thirty years, and am just beginning to sense how much we still can learn about it.  Yet already I’ve come to believe that extra virgin olive oil is an amazing – indeed a near-miraculous – food.  In future posts, I’ll be exploring some of its specific health benefits described in published studies, including my own research.  I’ll also be detailing studies that I feel need to be done in the future, for which I’m pursuing funding.  If you don’t believe it already, I hope to convince you with solid scientific evidence that including high-quality extra virgin olive oil in your diet will significantly decrease your risk of chronic disease.

Comments

As a result of watching the

As a result of watching the Dr. Oz segment on olive oil a friend and I conducted the fridge experiment based on one of the olive oils that has received a bad review - Emma - and one that received a good review - Kirkland. Emma failed, less than 1/3 of the bottle became cloudy. Within hours the Kirkland brand was solid. I got my friend to buy me a bottle of Kirkland EVOO next time she went to her favorite store.

While the refrigerator test

While the refrigerator test is subject to multiple sources of error, it can yield insight to the oil. While it fails in many ways, it also succeeds in many ways. And it succeeds in the most important thing at this point in time - getting the general uneducated public to accept that there is a significant problem. Thus, it is considerably better than nothing as a tool to distinguish between different types of oils as well as to check if the purchased olive oil was adulterated with an oil that has a much different melting point. I think that attacking the Oz media article actually hurts your goal of increasing public acceptance that there is a problem with olive oil fraud. Don't put the cart before the horse because first it has to be widely accepted that there actually is BOTH fraud AND that it is significant. I think Oz does a good job in getting consumers to do something, as little as it is, to check on their oil and thus become personally aware and concerned enough to then come to your site or buy your book investigating olive oil fraud. Without widespread public awareness AND understanding that there is a significant problem, saying that Oz is wrong about olive oil only sets your goal backwards. You need to look at how the public perceives things in an oversimplified non-scholastic way: Oz says there is olive oil fraud and shows you a basic way to see; Tom Mueller says Oz is wrong. <-- note the period. PERIOD. The rest of the details are not absorbed by the public and your real point about the test being faulty is totally lost and actually the opposite of your ultimate desired effect can result.

The "talk discussion section" of the wikipedia article on olive oil has additional insight into oil testing methods by consumers. The URL is included for your convenience. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Olive_oil

Since original research (research by consumers) is not allowed in wikipedia articles, the related content was included in the talk section. There was another discussion in the olive oil adulteration article's talk section at wikipedia, but someone removed it out of fear that mentioning a name brand could result in lawsuit against wikipedia due to many corporations using wikipedia articles as one of their public relations tools.

It looks like your book is finally mentioned as one of the "further reading" items at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_oil_regulation_and_adulteration

Thank you for this article.

Thank you for this article. It is one of the most noteworthy from many i have read on the "olive oil". It is confirming, ratifying, comforting to hear that olive oil is really being taken seriously by more and more each day. It IS as is always WAS a super food. alexmarin@daniolo.eu

Great read. I'm looking

Great read. I'm looking forward to seeing more from Mary on this site. The only thing that gave me pause, though, was that Mary doesn't include seafood in her diet. It seems fish are consistently touted as a healthy source of fat, not unlike olive oil, in studies. I can understand abstaining from any animal products for ethical reasons, but is dumping fish really a health-positive decision?

Hi Alex ~ you are correct

Hi Alex ~ you are correct that fish is "consistently touted as healthy", however I do not think that fish is actually that healthy. White fish (cod, haddock, flounders) and shellfish have very little fat or nutrients that would improve your health. I think the health benefits associated with white fish are really due to the substitution of not eating meat as there are not health benefits in the composition of white fish. Fatty fish contain omega 3 fatty acids, which can be healthy due to what they produce in the body. However, the health benefits of omega 3's are due to the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 in the blood. A ratio that is higher in omega 3 is healthier versus one higher in omega 6. Omega 6 fatty acids are found primarily in vegetable oils (soybean, safflower, corn) and in red meat. A diet high in vegetable oils and red meat (a typical American diet) creates a less healthy ratio. Adding fatty fish to the diet helps the ratio, but I would prefer people consumed less omega 6's as both omega 3 and omega 6 are sources of polyunsaturated fat. As polyunsaturated fats all increase oxidation, which increases the risk of aging and many diseases, I would prefer people minimized their intake of either fatty acid family.

I believe you are forgetting

I believe you are forgetting the other (and I would argue, more important) reason that fish and seafood (or other meat & eggs) should be included in a human nutritional program. There are nutrients essential to health that cannot be sourced from plants. Omega-3 EPA and DHA - most easily found in seafood - and Vitamin B12, to name a few. While it is true that we shouldn't over eat protein, we shouldn't under-consume it, either. What should be limited (or eliminated) from a healthy diet are processed foods, especially grain-based, like wheat products, breads and cereals, and yes, even pasta.

1. great web site, keep it up

1. great web site, keep it up!
2. i thought you mentioned in your book that heating (even high quality) olive oil destroyed much of the health benefit? perhaps i am incorrectly recalling that
3. is there some place that mary publishes recipes based on her diet? would be great to access those.

Thank you, Tom and Mary, for

Thank you, Tom and Mary, for all your hard work and dedication. There are a lot of things I'd enjoy discussing with you. I'm fortunate enough and blessed to have the means and opportunity to plant my own olive trees in about a month. Research led me to Extra Virginity. Now I'm obsessed!

There is one issue that keeps nagging at me. The last poster brought it up: how does heating change the chemical composition and health benefits of olive oil? I'm just not clear on this. The oil wouldn't have to reach the smoke point to change. I will attempt to do my own research, but I would like to suggest/request this as a future topic on the website.

A point by one doctor, Dr. Miles Hassell, was that if people have been doing it for hundreds of years, it's probably not a bad practice. People have been cooking with olive oil as well as using it as a condiment and other uses for ages. This is part of the Mediterranean diet.

Also, I bring up Dr. Hassell because he advocates the Mediterranean diet and the use of good fats like olive oil. Also, in the cookbook, Good Food, Great Medicine, which he co-authored with his sister, Mea Hassell, he uses the same quote by Hippocrates that you use at the beginning of this article. Nice.

Again, thank you so much!

Hi, Tom,

Hi, Tom,
I work in an analytical lab. I spoke with a co-worker about the possible composition changes, analytical methods and our capability. We don't have the best instrumentation for the job, but it would be a start. If we get some free time soon, a little experiment would be a fun "educational opportunity". I'll let you know if we make any progress. Have a great weekend!

I have been asked many times

I have been asked many times if it is ok to heat olive oil. I don’t know where people are reading or hearing this, but I classify this under “nutrition rumor”, in that there is a thread of truth to it. The studies I have read show that you can have loss of some of the phytonutrients (components in plant products that have health benefits) and/or their activity after at least 90 minutes of cook-ing at a minimum of about 350°F; some tests used over 400°F, some heated the olive oil for 25 hours. I do not know of any food one would cook for this long. Studies that have data for shorter periods show minimal to no loss of phytonutrient activity. As phytonutrients protect plant products, I have wondered if heating produces phytonutrients not found in unheated olive oil, similar to how fermentation of grapes produces phytonutrients which make wine healthier than the grape. I will be talking more about studies that testing the heating of olive oil in future posts so please stay tuned.

Thank you for this article. I

Thank you for this article. I wrote about Mary's research which was wonderful. I'm a Greek-American Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and writer and there are several misconceptions about olive oil and the Mediterranean diet even among fellow dietitians/nutritionists. The issue of not frying with olive oil is probably one of the most common. The standard advice given by most US based dietitians is this: "Use olive oil on salads or as dressings, use canola oil for cooking etc.". It comes as no surprise that at the yearly conference & expo of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (former American Dietetic Association) olive oil made an appearance for the first time last year, until then only canola oil was present-promoting its benefits as the heart healthy oil, it seems that people (and many dietitians) believe that using canola oil instead of olive oil will provide the same benefits. So, while the general may have many questions about olive oil, nutrition professionals need also to be educated about olive oil, because they are the ones giving nutrition and cooking advice. I grew up on a traditional Greek-Mediterranean diet and still eat this way, all cooking and most baking was done with olive oil, even most desserts. So, I share these experiences with my readers not only from a personal perspective but also a professional one. Olive oil in the context of a Mediterranean diet will not result in weight gain, we have to remember that most meals consisted of vegetables, so the total caloric value of the meal was still pretty low even with the olive oil.

Excellent work Tom in

Excellent work Tom in bringing this into an open debate and an exchange of research in order to dissolve the misconceptions around EVOO and its many uses and health benefits. I read your article Mary and find it extremely informative and look forward to reading more about your work. Very interested in your views on fish consumption. More specifically are there some types of seafood that you would recommend over others; especially for people that are more active and involved in daily physical fitness or training? I look forward to reading your books as well. There are a couple of scientists here in Greece that I am familiar with, Dr. Magiatis Dr. Eleni Melliou that you and Tom may be interested in as well. I have written about their work and interviewed Dr. Magiatis. They have developed a fast and easy way to measure the levels of oleocanthal and oleacein, found primarily in olive oils made from unripened olives. http://bestoliveoil.ca/in-search-of-the-best-olive-oil/

hi Athan ~ thank you for your

hi Athan ~ thank you for your kind words! I do not recommend any type of fish/ seafood. I tell patients I think it is fine if they consume it but not in large quantities or at the expense of olive oil and vegetables. Your need for protein does not change/ is not influenced by physical activity or training. Protein needs are based on the amount of lean tissue you have and for most people their need is quite a bit smaller than what they consume. Training and physical activity increase your need for carbohydrate, which is found in vegetables, fruits, starch (grains, bread/ bread products, legumes), dairy and in any form of sweetener. Fatigue with training is often related to a diet that does not have sufficient carbohydrate and unrelated to protein in the diet. Thanks for writing!

Hi Dr. Flynn, thank you for

Hi Dr. Flynn, thank you for your response. Could you please point to the book you have written that illustrates this point in more detail? I am doing research on Hellenic period gastronomy of the Athenians and I am finding some similarities with your work. Thanks

hi Athan ~ Sounds like very

hi Athan ~ Sounds like very interesting research! My comments are based on nutrients needed for physical activity. My Masters of Science was in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and I teach a course in this at Brown University. It is a common misperception that protein needs go up with training/ physical activity. They may go up slightly to build more muscle, but the data is not consistent, and if you are eating any animal products you are getting more protein than you need. Carbohydrate foods keep your blood glucose levels up and glucose is the preferred energy source for exercising muscles. You do not use protein (amino acids) for physical activity until you are very low in glucose (end of a long exercise bout like a marathon). The extra protein does not lead to larger muscles; that is from working the muscle.

Mary, the "paleo" way of

Mary, the "paleo" way of eating is at odds with what you're saying about animal foods. Not only does it seem unlikely that vegetarianism is optimal for us (there have been very few all-vegetable societies, especially in colder climates, and the most salient one I know of, that of South India, makes significant use of dairy products, so not vegan!) and I would argue that seafood was absolutely foundational for our evolutionary success (far more so than the hoof animals everyone focuses on), both freshwater and saltwater. To me it wouldn't make any sense for people not to eat the abundant fish in rivers, lakes, and seas in favor of starch--which is NOT available for the gather-and-eat the way fruits, vegetables, and fish might be. It requires quite a bit of processing as well. Properly raised meats, along with their saturated fats and/or omega-3s, certainly wouldn't have been ignored in favor of rice, for instance.

In addition, fat is meant to be the baseline fuel we burn, not glucose. (Marathons are also pretty unnatural if you think about it.) It's true that we don't need *as much* protein as the old meat-and-potato-head believes we do, but I wouldn't at all say that any is too much! It just doesn't make any evolutionary sense.

So, in the spirit of respectful debate about the fraught topic of nutrition, I think your work on olive oil is fantastic, but I think you could be a little off the mark with respect to the rich nutritional history of properly raised meats. Olives also require processing and anciently were only available to a very small part of the human population, so surely we had to get our healthy fats somewhere else most of the time. ("Vegetable oils" are largely a modern invention and, as you do see, the polyunsaturated ones are the worst of the lot.)

It would be great if someone as smart and knowledgeable as yourself would tackle these trains of evolutionary nutritional thought. Thanks!

Thank you Dr. Flynn and Tom

Thank you Dr. Flynn and Tom for posting this article on your site. It is one of the most informative and well written articles I have read regarding the merits of evoo and the Mediterranean diet. I received the article from a friend shortly after it appeared in the Alumni magazine and immediately posted on our site and have shared it with countless number of customers. A recent article in the Chicago Tribune, Prescription for Nutrition highlights the need for more nutrition classes for physicians. " What patients need most is coaching and support that can help them make lasting behavioral changes, but that's no easy task, Yancy said. We (physicians) may lead the team, but it does take a village and requires having access to good information and an expert dietitian." Thanks Dr. Flynn for providing both. Looking forward to your future posts.

Very informative article.

Very informative article. When I traveled to Europe, I have learned that olive oil that is being sold in North America is completely different. It is not as fresh, it has a distinct taste to it. Olive oil in Spain, Greece and Italy is always kept in the dark bottles and fresh oil has rather light green color to it, and it taste amazing! Do you happen to know if nutritional benefits are the same?

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