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Why That Oil Should Be Virgin

Besides containing healthy monounsaturated fat, unrefined olive oils (both virgin and extra virgin) have the highest levels of antioxidants called polyphenols. In a recent study, European researchers found that virgin olive oil increased HDL (good) cholesterol more than other oils. But note: All oils are 100 percent high-calorie fat (approximately 120 calories per tablespoon). "So use virgin olive oil to replace other fats in your diet," says Maria Isabel Covas, Ph.D., of the Municipal Institute for Medical Research in Barcelona, Spain.

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