Olive oil, according to many studies, helps reduce high cholesterol thanks to its high content of healthy fats. What are these properties and how to take it?
Why is olive oil so good against cholesterol?
The olive oil is a healthy oil whose consumption is particularly recommended in our diet and daily food. The World Health Organization (WHO) itself, for example, maintains it as a recommended food, and of vital importance within the Mediterranean diet, considered in fact by it as one of the most appropriate when it comes to caring for and protecting our Health.
Its richness in healthy fatty acids (such as omega-3 and omega-6), make the wonderful olive oil an excellent option to take care of our cardiovascular system. Specifically, 100 grams of olive oil provide 14 grams of saturated fatty acids, 11 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids and 73 grams of monounsaturated fatty acids, according to data provided by the USDA.
The wonderful benefits of olive oil against cholesterol and triglycerides
Today there are many scientific studies that have investigated the benefits and properties of olive oil with respect to cholesterol, since, in a much summarized way, olive oil helps lower cholesterol.
According to these same studies, it seems that the key is found in its monounsaturated fatty acids. In fact, as we mentioned before, 100 grams of olive oil provide around 73% of monounsaturated fatty acids.
Not in vain, a North American investigation assured some years ago that adults who, in general, consume about 25 ml. (two tablespoons) of virgin olive oil daily for a week show much higher blood concentrations of antioxidant substances (particularly polyphenols ), and less oxidation of LDL cholesterol (also known as bad cholesterol).
In addition, it has been known for a long time that the daily consumption of olive oil helps to increase HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), between 3 and 6% approximately.
In fact, as found in a study published in the specialized journal “Circulation”, extra virgin olive oil is capable of improving the functions of HDL cholesterol , also known medically as high-density lipoproteins.
This means that, in addition to reducing high levels of LDL cholesterol, olive oil positively helps to prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases , among which are especially heart attack, thrombosis and stroke.
This is caused not only by the above monounsaturated fatty acids, but its high content of antioxidants and vitamin E.
Benefits of eating raw olive oil
What is the cholesterol content of olive oil?
You probably think that olive oil, despite being a food of plant origin but an oil after all, has a certain amount of cholesterol. However, you may be surprised to find that olive oil does not actually contain or add cholesterol.
In fact, 100 grams of olive oil provide 0 mg. cholesterol. That is, its cholesterol content is zero; does not provide cholesterol.
How to eat olive oil to enjoy its benefits against cholesterol?
When it comes to enjoying the different heart-healthy qualities that olive oil offers us, there are very varied and diverse options. In the first place, we must have something very clear: the most advisable thing is to always try to consume extra virgin olive oil, since it is one of the healthiest and most recommended types of olive oil.
Why? Fundamentally because it is the best olive oil, the highest quality, as it is obtained exclusively through mechanical cold pressing processes. This means that, as no heat application method is used, its nutritional qualities and properties remain intact.
Regarding its way of consumption, the most common is to add it to our dishes and recipes. For example, it is ideal to add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to our salads or cooked vegetables.
However, if what we want is to consume it as it is, individually and raw, we can choose to take between 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil a day.