Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil High in Oleic Acid is Beneficial to Health

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Because of its high degree of resistance to attack by oxygen free radicals, higher levels of oleic acid in an olive oil help keep it fresher for longer, by preventing the formation of peroxidized (rancid) fats. And because your body will absorb any peroxidized fats that you consume and incorporate them into your cells, oleic acid’s superior resistance to free radical attack also protects your cell membranes, proteins, and DNA from being damaged, even as it protects the oil from spoiling. Also, substituting oleic acid for saturated fatty acids in animal fats improves cholesterol balance, [i] and research also suggests that oleic acid may also have more specific health benefits, such as the ability to help regulate healthy blood pressure by altering cellular signaling. For these and other reasons, the US FDA has approved the health claim that “Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil.

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