Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Substituting extra-virgin olive oil for saturated fats can help lower bad cholesterol, or LDL, which can clog arteries with fatty deposits. Olive oil contains more good monounsaturated fat, or HDL, per serving than any other cooking oil. A monounsaturated fat like olive oil can help lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol, which can therefore cleanse the arteries.
Has No Trans Fats
Many processed foods contain harmful trans fat, which can be doubly harmful because trans fats raise bad LDL cholesterol levels. Extra-virgin olive oil does not contain any harmful trans fat, and instead boosts good HDL cholesterol levels.
Healthier than Butter
Butter has 7.2 grams of saturated fat in just one tablespoon. Nutritionists recommend that daily intake of saturated fat reach no more than 20 grams a day. Olive oil has only 1.8 grams in a tablespoon.
Helps Lower Heart Disease Risk
From the very first press of the olives, extra-virgin olive oil contains the highest level of antioxidants, which are known as polyphenols. These antioxidants help increase good cholesterol in the blood. Other more ordinary oils don’t have the same benefits because the polyphenols are removed during the refining process.
Enhances Skin, Hair, and Nails
To help repair split ends and add some shine to your hair, try massaging a few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil into the scalp, and cover it with a plastic shower cap. This treatment can be left in for 30 minutes or even overnight, then shampoo as usual. If you need help with rough or cracked areas of skin, or stretch marks, gently rub a small amount of extra-virgin olive oil into the skin.