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Does olive oil lower cholesterol?

Olive oil is a nutritional superstar—rich in antioxidants and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that help lower "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and increase "good" high-density lipoprotein (HDL). In fact, in a study of people with high cholesterol, blood samples showed less potential for harmful clotting just two hours after the study subjects ate a meal with olive oil. That's because olive oil is rich in phenolics, plant substances that makes blood less likely to clot. All you need is about 2 tablespoons a day for benefit (use it in place of other fats).

In a sense, olive oil can help to lower your cholesterol. Olive oil is rich in polyphenols, which have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in the body. 

These antioxidant-rich polyphenols help protect the LDL “bad” cholesterol from being oxidized in the body.  Oxidized LDL is thought to be damaging to the walls of your arteries, paving the way to atherosclerosis. A study in Clinical Nutrition of 200 individuals showed that the olive oil with the highest amount of polyphenols did a better job of protecting the LDL cholesterol against oxidation than the olive oils with lower amounts of these antioxidants.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.