The Mediterranean diet has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and mortality. Olive oil has been thought to be the main reason for these benefits. In a new study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Spanish researchers compared the eating habits of over 12,000 Spanish adults and followed them for over 10 years. They found that common, refined olive oil provided no benefit for mortality. On the other hand, regular consumption of virgin olive oil led to a 34 percent reduction in all-cause mortality and 57 percent reduction in cardiovascular mortality. Virgin olive oil appears to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and benefits our blood vessels and blood pressure.