By Elena Paravantes
Olive Oil Times Health Editor | Reporting from Athens
Olive oil truly is liquid gold with its many health benefits. Considered the most important component of the traditional Mediterranean diet, this extraordinary fruit juice and its effects are still not fully understood. Yet some of the ways olive oil can preserve and improve human health have been firmly established. Here are the five most scientifically supported health benefits of olive oil today.
1|It Can Help Lower Your “Bad” Cholesterol
Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL), also known as the “bad cholesterol” transports and deposits cholesterol in the tissues and arteries, which can eventually cause plaque and block the artery. Monounsaturated fats can lower LDL thus protecting against atherosclerosis. Plus, this type of fat does not affect the levels of High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) known as the “good cholesterol,” which carries all cholesterol away from the arteries, and high levels of which are associated with a decreased risk of heart disease.
Olive oil is one of the best sources of monounsaturated fats and has the advantage of being less susceptible to oxidation. In addition, oleic acid, a fatty acid abundant in olive oil, appears to also protect from oxidation of LDL.
It is important to note that to achieve this reduction in bad cholesterol you cannot just add olive oil to a diet rich in saturated and trans fats and expect a miracle. You must replace the unhealthy fats with olive oil in combination with a Mediterranean-style diet.