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What's the Deal With Olive Oil?

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Every single time I read a recipe that really appeals to me, and that I really want to try--and not just one I should make because my children, who have the taste buds of gnats, want to try--it calls for olive oil. It doesn't matter if it's an upscale, fancy European cookbook or a "light eating" menu on the internet; if it's a famous Food Network Chef on television or a blog I passed over and then went back to.

Olive oil is always, ubiquitously "on" and I'm a huge fan although I stopped, about 10 years ago, trying to wrap my head around whether or not it was actually good to use and to eat, in terms of, well, you know, health.

So from all my years of trying and then not trying to figure this out, reading and re-reading (because I tend to forget), here's what I've learned:
* Olive oil can be very beneficial because it can help raise good (HDL) cholesterol levels and lower bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.
* Olive oil is tasty and usually tolerated well by most people's digestive systems.
* Extra virgin olive oil contains the most antioxidants of all the olive oils.
* Olive oil can protect against heart disease.

For more on this, please follow this link to a very helpful website: http://www.healingdaily.com/detoxification-diet/olive-oil.htm

What I know is that the Mediterranean diet is one that incorporates olive oil into its daily consumption. However, using olive oil and not following other components of the diet such as lots of fruits and vegetables, would render the health benefits of olive oil greatly reduced. As with any fat, care should be taken to avoid vast amounts--moderation is the key--and using that olive oil to cook broccoli will always be better than using it to fry marshmallows.

Wait - that actually sounds really good.

Aimee Boyle lives with her disobedient dog, her somewhat feral cat, two maddening children and a patient, kind, loyal and loving husband on the beautiful shoreline of CT. She is a regular contributor to EmpowHER.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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