This is a repost from 2009. Still applies. The belief that olive oil is “heart healthy” is a triumph of marketing.
Here is the Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Lipidology, Dr. W. Virgil Brown, speaking in 2009:
Dr. Karmally: Because of the way the Mediterranean diet has been promoted, olive oil is in the center of that pyramid.
Dr. Brown (Editor-in-Chief of this journal): It’s viewed as healthful and as you pointed out, the Lyon Diet Heart Study really found that the one fat that correlated best with reduction in events was not monounsaturated oleic acid, the major fat of olive oil, it was linoleic acid. And so I’m afraid that this has become a great hoax applied to the American diet and that we have not paid as much attention to the data as we should have in order to make a better decision about the content of fat in our diet.
Clinical Lipidology Roundtable Discussion: Discussion on Dietary Fat, Journal of Clinical Lipidology, October 2009
Our fat should come from whole food sources. By the way, almonds are an excellent source of linoleic acid, the omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid that “correlated best with reduction in [heart] events.”