Heart failure affects about 900,000 people in the UK, but treating the condition could be as simple as changing one of your cooking habits.
Scientists have claimed that olive oil could reverse a person's heart failure thanks to a fat found within the liquid called oleate.
Researchers at the University of Illinois, Chicago found oleate could help a weak heart pump blood around the body more effectively. It does so by kick-starting the production of new enzymes - these enzymes help the body to break down fat so it can be absorbed by the heart more easily.
The study looked at how the hearts of rats responded to oleate. It discovered that when the fat was pumped into a failing heart, the heart's pumping ability immediately improved.
According to The Telegraph, Douglas Lewandowski from the University of Illinois said: "We saw an immediate improvement in how the hearts contracted and pumped blood.
"The fact that we can restore beneficial gene expression, as well as more balanced fat metabolism, plus reduce toxic fat, just by supplying hearts with oleate is a very exciting finding."
When animal fats were pumped through a rat's failing heart, the heart disease worsened. This suggests that by switching the oil that you use, you could improve your cardiac health.
The study goes some way to explain why the Mediterranean diet, which is high in olive oil, produces health benefits that other diets do not.