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Friday, May 7, 2010

Olive Oil

Olive Oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise your HDL (good) cholesterol. It also contains antioxidants that have anti-aging and other disease-fighting properties and polyphenols that aid in lowering blood pressure. New varieties with added omega-3s help maintain a healthy heart. 

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - Produced from the first cold pressing of olives that have been picked the same day. Best used for salads and as a condiment. This is the most expensive category and has the most pronounced flavor. Dark green in color.

Pure or Regular Olive Oil - Made with subsequent pressings of olives with some additional filtering and refining. Can be blended with extra-virgin olive oil to boost flavor which may be decreased during processing. Less expensive; good choice for cooking. Golden yellow with green hues.

Light Olive Oil - Does not mean light in calories (which is the same for all oils) but light in color, fragrance and flavor; it has been finely filtered. Suited for high-temp frying due to its smoke point. Very pale yellow color. (Note: For best cooking results, go with the Pure or Extra-Virgin varieties.

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