Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, olive oil is always a good choice in healthy cooking. And so nutritionists and cardiologists have long encouraged using it in place of butter and other animal fats. Yet newer studies suggest the oil contains a powerful mix of antioxidants that can lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. When possible, opt for the extra-virgin variety; minimal processing helps keep more of its antioxidants intact.
How much is good? Two tablespoons of olive oil per day. The FDA recommends using it as a replacement for other fats like butter.