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Extra Virgin or Virgin: Which Olive Oil is Best?

Jun 29, 2011

When it comes to changes to make in your diet, substituting olive oil for saturated fats is a good choice. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fat, which is a healthier type of fat that can actually help to lower your risk of heart disease by helping to reduce the total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or 'bad') cholesterol levels in your blood.

While in comparison, saturated and trans fats, like butter, animal fats, tropical oils and partially hydrogenated oils actually help to increase your risk of heart disease, by increasing your total and LDL cholesterol levels.

The FDA states that consuming about two tablespoons (or 23 grams) of olive oil per day can reduce your risk of heart disease. And of course, you get the best result when you replace the unhealthy fats in your diet with olive oil, as opposed to just adding olive oil to your current diet.

So what kind of olive oil is the best? Olive oil is commonly found in three types, extra-virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil, and olive oil. All types of olive oil contain monounsaturated fat, the difference is in the processing. Extra-virgin and virgin olive oils are the least processed and have higher levels of polyphenols, the powerful antioxidant that can also promote heart health.

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