There are so many choices now, including:
- virgin olive
- extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- oil infused with herbs or seasonings
The list seems to go on and on. But how do you know which to use? Do they actually taste different? Is one healthier than the others? Here's how to navigate the oil aisle.
Is olive oil healthy?
Different oils have different uses. Olive oil is relatively heat-stable for cooking. It has great flavor for eating unheated. But olive oil has recently started to fall from grace. Is it healthy or not? And if it's OK to use, which type is best?
The main type of fat found in olive oil is monosaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) found in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which are considered a healthy fat. What does "healthy fat" mean, since it sounds like an oxymoron?
It means that if you replace other fats in your diet - trans fats and saturated fats - with MUFAs, you can lower your risk of heart disease. You'll raise your HDL ("good" cholesterol) and lower the oxidized LDL ("bad" cholesterol) in the bloodstream.
The pros of buying extra virgin olive oil:
- It has fewer chemicals and free radicals than regular olive oil.
- It's higher in antioxidants than olive oil.
- It's full of good fats.