New Delhi: Olive oil helps prevent cancer and increases life expectancy, an official of the Indian Olive Association (IOA) said Saturday, predicting that olive oil consumption in India would go up by 125 percent this year.
"India has the highest number of patients suffering from cardiac disease. It is high time that a switch to more healthy oils like olive oil is made," IOA president V.N. Dalmia said here.
Speaking at the IOA annual session, he said that in 2009 India had imported 2,600 tonnes of olive oil and from January to June this year, India has already imported 2,950 tonnes.
"Even the consumption of table olives, which is a favourite snack and a popular pizza topping is growing rapidly... It has a projected growth rate 174 percent.
"Olive oil is considered the world`s healthiest oil... It has the highest number of antioxidants, amongst all oils, which help prevent cancer, especially breast cancer and increase life expectancy," Dalmia added.
Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who also attended the session, said: "It is important that people are encouraged to use healthy oils and olive oil is well known for health benefits."