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Is olive oil really healthy?

I have always heard that olive oil is good for you, that it lowers LDL levels, that it is a staple of Mediterranean diets. But looking at the label it is all fat, and nothing else. I'm sure it is better than other oils, but isn't fat fat?

Tue. Feb 6, 8:40am

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Olive oil contains a type of fat known as monounsaturated fat that can lower cholesterol levels when eaten instead of saturated fats. However, olive oil contains about the same amount of total fat grams and calories as other types of fats.

Olive oil is almost unique among oils in that it can be consumed in the crude form without refining. This has the effect of conserving all its vitamins, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients. Because it contains all these nutrients, including powerful antioxidants, real extra virgin olive oil is beneficial to health and protects us from damage by free radical oxidation. Cell membranes contain fatty acids that are highly susceptible to free radical damage. This damage produces lipid peroxides that can kill the cell. Real olive oil contains polyphenols, vitamin E, and other natural antioxidants that prevent this damage.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007, 9:06 AM

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The mediterranean diet is a bit of a myth these days. 40 years ago people there worked the fields and such, ate lots of veggies beans and fish. Now they are much less active and their diet has shifted to more meat and cheese. And they have started to gain weight, just like everywhere else in the developed world. Despite the good effect on health, olive oil is a fat, and if you are overweight you gotta take it easy on it.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007, 9:18 AM

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I wouldn't add extra oil to my diet. OTOH, I substituted olive oil for butter, margerine and other oils already in my diet, except when it comes to baked goods like cookies.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007, 9:33 AM

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I read an article on that said olive oil revs up your metabolism.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007, 9:51 AM

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I work with a nutritionist, who actually ADDED fat to my diet. We're in the early stages of this process, and I'm just waiting for her to give me flak for choosing butter over olive oil.

Anyway, I believe the big fuss that puts extra virgin olive oil above all others is that it's mostly monounsaturated, contains more anti-oxidants, and I think Omega fatty acids too. Research is showing that it improves digestive functioning and helps prevent colon cancer, and on a more superficial level, improves skin quality.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007, 11:53 AM

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some foods, like broccoli, need a little fat to be ingested with them in order to properly absorb the plethura of nutrients in them. with such foods, olive oil is way healthier than many other forms of available, digestable fat. grape seed oil and avocado oil also are great choices.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007, 12:03 PM

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you do need some fat in your diet (just like we need carbs, protein, etc!)-and it's the source of fat that is most important. Olive oil is one of the healthiest fats you can ingest-it protects your heart, lowers bad cholesterol levels, contains omega-3's which can raise your good cholesterol, it promotes healthy skin, hair and nails, and tastes great on just about anything. If you use a lot of butter, or other oils, try switching to olive oil. you don't need to use a lot, but if you are someone who avoids fats currently, you will find that adding Olive oil to some of your foods will increase the amount of time you are sated from them.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007, 2:35 PM

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I think the thing with olive oil is make sure you use it sparingly - just a "drizzle" of it.

Thursday, March 08, 2007, 9:13 AM

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Aah, finally at the right blog on olive oil. Found an interesting blog on the way...

I am interested in others opinion or knowledge after reading oilive oil we buy in the market do not have the benefits we thought it had even in expensive extra virgin oil. The reason is an important beneficial ingredient called phenol is removed during processing. It's phenol which gives us the benefit we all think olive oil has. The only time it's intact is when olives are freshly pressed. Freshly pressed oil are not available in ANY store.

So this bring to question: What are we eating here??? If the beneficial phenol is removed, what is the hype on olive oil?

In order to get further information I had to buy the book. Didn't want to buy anything if someone can clearly explain this. Besides, if what I read about phenol is true, then I don't think I need to know further about a product which is fooling all of us.

Friday, July 18, 2008, 8:56 PM

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Olive oil is actually good if you want to get rid of body fat. Like your tummy. Dr. Oz said if we want to lose weight we should eat olive oil with a slice of whole wheat bread not enriched bread! Real 100% whole wheat before eating your dinner . It'll get rid of your fat around the tummy its really good for your heart its also good for your skin. Canola,peanut,olive and flax oils are the best!

Friday, July 18, 2008, 9:08 PM

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What I am confused about is if phenol which is the key ingredient for anti-aging/anti-oxident among benefits known in olive oil and it is removed during processing, then how can it be beneficial for skin, heart or other. Hope someone can explain this more clearly for everyone's benefit.

Friday, July 18, 2008, 9:21 PM

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