"Dietary fats are highly controversial, with debates about animal fats, seed oils, and everything in between in full force.
That said, most people agree that extra virgin olive oil is incredibly healthy.
Part of the Mediterranean diet, this traditional oil has been a dietary staple for some of the world's healthiest populations.
Studies show that the fatty acids and antioxidants in olive oil can offer some powerful health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease.
This article reviews why extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest fats.
What is olive oil and how is it made?
True extra virgin olive oil is 100% natural and very high in antioxidants. Many of the lower quality olive oils have been processed and adulterated with cheaper oils.
Nutrient composition of extra virgin olive oil
Olive oil is very high in monounsaturated fats and contains a modest amount of vitamins E and K. True extra virgin olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, some of which have powerful health benefits.
Extra virgin olive oil contains anti-inflammatory substances
Olive oil contains oleic acid and oleocanthal, two nutrients that can fight inflammation. This may be the main reason for olive oil's health benefits.
Extra virgin olive oil and cardiovascular disease
Olive oil may be one of the healthiest foods you can eat for heart health. It reduces blood pressure and inflammation, protects LDL particles from oxidation, and may help prevent unwanted blood clotting.
Other health benefits of extra virgin olive oil
Preliminary evidence suggests that olive oil can help fight cancer and Alzheimer's disease, although human studies need to confirm this.
Can you cook with it?
Overall, olive oil seems to be very safe even for cooking at a fairly high heat.
The bottom line
All the best Jan