Why is olive oil considered so healthy?

Compared with other vegetable oils, olive oil has far more monounsaturated fat, which is the good kind of fat. Monounsaturated fats may lower total cholesterol and LDL or "bad" cholesterol and possibly raise HDL or the "good" cholesterol. Saturated or bad fats raise both total and LDL cholesterol. But remember, olive oil is not calorie free or fat free! A tablespoon of olive oil has 14 fat grams and 120 calories, slightly more than the same amount of butter or margarine. Eat your good fats, but continue to watch portion sizes.

For information contact sports and lifestyle nutritionist Julie Fortenberry, LDN, RD, at 504.457.3100 at The Fitness Principle with Mackie Shilstone at East Jefferson General Hospital, or go to www.ejgh.org/thefitnessprinciple.