10 of 'The World's Healthiest Foods'
In the past few years, the public has learned that olive oil is more heart-healthy than many other types of fats, because it's monounsaturated (as opposed to saturated fat, such as butter and oils, which are polyunsaturated). In addition, olive oil contains a wide range of antioxidants that help ward off diseases by inhibiting oxidation in the body's cells and tissues. In the culinary world, antioxidants help prevent food from becoming rancid or discolored. In the body, antioxidants are thought to help prevent cancer and heart disease.
"We should use it in more of our preparations," says Askew. "We need oil to cook, and it's very healthful. It has calories but is not atherogenic (heart-disease forming)."
"Olive oil is super because it increases the good cholesterol and decreases the bad," Lamb says. "Use it in place of margarine. Use it with balsamic vinegar and dunk bread in that. It's the oil of preference for the base of salad oil and dressing."
If the oil is extra-virgin (processed without using heat), you're adding more antioxidants.
Askew warns it will go rancid if it's not kept cool.
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