Effects of Olive Oil Cholesterol – Good or bad?

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Learn more about the different olive oil cholesterol lowering effects.

One of the goals for people with high cholesterol is to lower their level of saturated fats. It is possible to do this in part by switching to using oil like olive oil instead of animal products or oils that are high in saturated fat. However, the lower levels of saturated fatty acids are not the only reason for the olive oil cholesterol benefits. Here are some facts about consumption of olive oil:

Olive Oil Cholesterol Fact #1:

Studies have shown that diets high in monounsaturated fatty acids, the kind that is most prevalent in olive oil, lowers the blood cholesterol levels.

There was even a study that compared low fat diets and high monounsaturated fatty acid diets to those high in saturated fats, which found that "compared with the saturated fat diet, the mono-unsaturated fat diet lowered cholesterol levels by 13 percent and the low-fat diet lowered them by 8 percent." (1)

So what?

This means that those who can't, or don't want to, follow a low fat diet have an alternative, as long as they keep the overall calories in check so that they don't gain weight.

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Olive Oil Cholesterol Fact #2:

The monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil aren't the only reason for the olive oil cholesterol lowering effects, however.

This type of oil also contains a type of antioxidants called polyphenols, which both lower the levels of oxidation of LDL cholesterol and increases the amount of good cholesterol, according to an Annals of Internal Medicine Study. (2)

So what?

Of course these polyphenols are present more in the types of olive oil that are lightly processed. This means extra virgin olive oil is much better than the highly processed light olive oil.

As you can see, there are a lot of different ways in which olive oil can help you to have lower cholesterol levels. You can replace a lot of other fats with this type of oil so that you can still have a satisfying level of fat in your diet without harming your health.


(1) "Study Finds Olive Oil Eases Cholesterol", New York Times, March 20, 1986. http://www.nytimes.com/1986/03/20/us/study-finds-olive-oil-eases-cholesterol.html .

(2) "Olive Oil's Newfound Benefits", ScienceNews, Raloff, Janet, http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/7833/title/Food_for_Thought__Olive_Oils_Newfound_Benefits

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