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.
For more information on heart health, visit goodhousekeeping.com, where you
* Find out whether your body shape puts you at greater risk for heart problems
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* Learn about the best heart tests for women
* Get info on the risks of secondhand smoke—and how to fight it in your community
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