Traditionally a low fat diet has been prescribed to prevent various diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. While studies have shown that high fat diets may increase the risk of certain diseases such as cancer and diabetes, it appears that it is the type of fat that counts rather than the amount of fat. We now know that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats such as the ones found in olive oil, nuts and seeds actually protects from many of these chronic diseases.

The health benefits of olive oil are unrivaled, and research reveals more benefits nearly every day. In fact, we are only just beginning to understand the countless ways olive oil can improve our health, and our lives.

Olive oil is the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet — an essential nutritional mainstay for the world’s longest-living cultures.  Many of the health-promoting effects of the Mediterranean diet have been attributed to olive oil consumption.

Replacing butter and other less healthy fats with olive oil has been shown to aid in the prevention of a myriad of diseases and counter effects of aging.  One prominent cardiologist recommends at least two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil each day to enjoy the many ways olive oil can be beneficial to your health and well being.

Olive oil benefits are so extensive that it is considered a functional food with components that contribute to its overall therapeutic qualities including a reduction of risk factors of coronary heart disease, the prevention of cancers, and alterations of immune and inflammatory responses.

However, the association of olive oil with Type 2 diabetes (Diabetes Mellitus Type 2), one of the leading causes of heart disease, is not well understood, and is the reason for this study.


To assess the association between the consumption of olive oil and the incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in women.


Almost 150K women ranging in age from 26 to 65 – all free from diabetes, heart disease and cancer – were followed over a 22-year period.  Olive oil intake was associated with a significantly lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes in women.  Interestingly enough, each additional 8g/day intake of olive oil was linked to a 6% reduced risk of the disease as compared to those participants who never – or almost never – consumed olive oil.  However, this association was not statistically proven for salad dressing olive oil – strictly straight olive oil.

Higher olive oil intake is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes in women. This association could certainly be true for men as well, but the study was purely done on women, which is why the authors cannot state the difference for both sexes.