Ever think of olives as a fruit? Not sweet, but rich in healthful fats, olives are more than a savory ingredient and finger food.Why so healthful?
Compared with vegetable oils, olive oil has far more monounsaturated fat (the good kind). And it has a little saturated fat. That’s the key — “monos” may lower total and LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol in blood and perhaps raise HDL, or “good,” cholesterol, while saturated fats raise both total and LDL cholesterol. The risk for heart disease goes up when total and LDL levels are higher and/or HDLs are lower.Because it comes from plants, olive oil has no cholesterol.Before you chug a jigger of olive oil, remember: It’s not calorie-free. A tablespoon of olive oil has 14 fat grams and 120 calories, slightly more than the same amount of butter or margarine.For flavor and health benefits, toss salads with olive-oil vinaigrette.Source: 365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association (Wiley 2004), Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS; Reprinted with permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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