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Olive Oil Is Your "Frenemy"

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Nine times out of ten, when we get ready to make a healthy dinner, we reach for that bottle of oil next to the stove. Often times that one minor ingredient can turn a nutritious dinner into...well, a not so nutritious one. Studies have found Extra Virgin Olive Oil is packed with heart-healthy anti-oxidants that can literally fight off heart disease, however when used moderately.

The recommended dose to help lower your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and increase your "good" (HDL) cholesterol is 4 tablespoons a day. Believe it or not, EVOO is packed with tons of calories. A sample nutrition label shows there are 14 grams of fat and 119 calories in only a tablespoon. To put things into perspective...A Hershey's Kit Kat Bar is 14 grams of fat as well. Although the two are of very different varieties, it's important to notice the numbers. A good source of healthy fats include, nuts, avocado and fish. These too can help lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Cooking Tip: It's a bad idea to cook with EVOO on high heat, because all of the nutrients are immediately stripped once temperatures reach more than 365 degrees. A good substitute for high heat cooking is safflower oil. When it comes to salad olive oil is best, but if used in moderation.

Shopping Tip: Try to take the time to read labels and make sure you're not purchasing the best deal to sacrifice health benefits. Don't buy an olive oil that is packed with preservatives and artificial coloring. Also, a green bottle is best! This helps to keep light from entering the bottle. Therefore preserving the beneficial components of the oil.

Here's to a healthier heart! <3

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