According to the latest findings from the American Heart Association.

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Stock up on extra-virgin olive oil, because that tasty ingredient might be even healthier than scientists previously thought (and they already thought it was pretty darn healthy!)

There was already a good body of research suggesting that extra virgin olive oil could help reduce the risk of heart diseasestroketype 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. If you recall what your doctor may have told you about cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is the good kind of cholesterol. Healthy fats like those found in avocados, nuts, fatty fish, and olive oil can have a positive effect on your body's HDL levels. Now, Eat This Not That points us to a new study by the American Heart Association (AHA) and published in Circulation, which finds that there may be yet another benefit. Turns out that HDL can also fight inflammation, which may be able to help prevent dangerous cardiac events like heart attacks.

Olive Oil Pouring Into Dish
Credit: Getty/fcafotodigital

Among other things, the study showed that when HDL particles were able to suppress inflammation, they decreased the likelihood of cardiovascular events. While that "increased HDL anti-inflammatory capacity was higher in women than in men," it's good news for everyone concerned about heart health. While doctors may not be prescribing olive oil shots to ward off heart attacks any time soon, there is a growing body of evidence, including this new study, showing that olive oil can help you stay healthy.

Even though the study's authors aren't ready to start making food recommendations yet, it can't hurt to keep dipping your bread in olive oil or serve broiled salmon with lemon and olive oil for dinner tonight—maybe even with a little lemon olive oil cake for dessert, though we might have to ask the doctor about that one.