Olive Oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet. However, in many other parts of the world, this miracle oil is rarely included in the diet. Steaks are fried with butter, fish isn’t seasoned with EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and the oil is all but absent from the kitchen. However, there are extensive studies showing that including EVOO in your meals has several health advantages. In this post, we will be going through the effects of olive oil in reducing cholesterol.
Monosaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA’s) vs Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA’s)
Olive oil is around 75% monosaturated fats, which is said to reduce low-density liprotein count. Butter and other PUFA’s, on the other hand, do not have this LDL lowering effects and are thus considered to be more harmfull to the heart.
This topic, however, has caused much discussion amongst academics. The majority of governmental bodies still recommends limiting saturated fats in your diet though.
Pritkin, for example, has summarized the benefits quite well. The main misconception is that MUFA’s in themselves reduce cholesterol when in reality the biggest contribution lies in the fact that they are not as harmful as PUFA’s. Rather than being proactively solving cholesterol, they simply avoid detereoration.
Therefore, you should still actively try to increase your consumption of olive oil and substitute butter and margarine in your diet with EVOO. Malo clinic recommends about 2 tablespoons per day.
How to include more olive oil in your diet
- Instead of toast with butter, dip bread/toast in olive oil.
- Instead of frying steaks and other meats in butter, use olive oil for cooking.
- Olive oil based soups.
- Instead of seasoning your salads with caesar’s sauce or other vinaigrettes, use EVOO.
- Next time you fry some corn on the hob, why not drizzle it with olive oil?
- Finally, our own favourite: Avocado cubes with EVOO. Avocado is also a PUFA and is good for the heart.
Olive Oils for Cholesterol
We at oliveoiluses prefer to buy 5 litres at a time and have it in our kitchen. Here are a few oils we can recommend: