Olive Oil and a healthy heart

Studies have shown that olive oil, rich in monounsaturated fats, promotes a healthy heart by controlling LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels in the body. LDL cholesterol contributes to the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries. By contrast, olive oil raises the levels of  HDL (good cholesterol) which works to actually remove any buildup in the arteries that has occurred.

Studies have shown that people who consumed 25 milliliters (ml) - about 2 tablespoons - of virgin olive oil daily for 1 week showed less oxidation of LDL ("bad") cholesterol and higher levels of antioxidant compounds, particularly phenols, in the blood.

But while all types of olive oil are sources of monounsaturated fat, EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil, from the first pressing of the olives, contains higher levels of antioxidants, particularly vitamin E and phenols.