` Consumers Consider Olive Oil Healthiest, But Not Sure Why - Olive Oil Times

Consumers Consider Olive Oil Healthiest, But Not Sure Why

Aug. 29, 2011
Elena Paravantes

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A recent nutri­tion sur­vey con­ducted by the United Soybean Board, revealed that olive oil is seen as the health­i­est cook­ing oil fol­lowed by flaxseed, canola and soy. However only 33 per­cent con­sid­ered monoun­sat­u­rated fats, which are the main type of fats in olive oil, very healthy or some­what healthy, while polyun­sat­u­rated fats were rated as healthy by a much larger num­ber (79 per­cent).

These results are sim­i­lar to the results of the 2011 Food & Health Survey con­ducted by the International Food Information Council (IFIC).

According to the sur­vey, nearly one in five Americans say they do not con­sider any fats to be health­ful, and only 11 per­cent con­sid­ered monoun­sat­u­rated fats healthy. Olive oil is the rich­est source of monoun­sat­u­rated fats com­pared to other veg­etable oils. Monounsaturated fats can help reduce LDL (bad) cho­les­terol lev­els, may pro­tect from cer­tain types of can­cer and pro­vide bet­ter blood sugar con­trol.

In addi­tion monoun­sat­u­rated fatty acids are more sta­ble than polyun­sat­u­rated fatty acids which are found in higher amounts in other plant oils, and there­fore less likely to gen­er­ate dam­ag­ing free rad­i­cals.

Of course the ben­e­fits of olive oil are not lim­ited to its monoun­sat­u­rated fat con­tent, its numer­ous antiox­i­dants are also respon­si­ble for its pro­tec­tive prop­er­ties.

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