Why it’s good for you: Olive oil is a staple in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. It’s high in monounsaturated fats that can help lower cholesterol. Health experts recommend cutting the amount of saturated fats in your diet and incorporating more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in order to decrease your risk of heart disease.
Extra-virgin olive oils are a better option than other olive oils, since they’re less refined. Extra-virgin olive oil contains antioxidant compounds as well as vitamin E and oleocanthal, which can reduce inflammation.
How to eat it: A little olive oil goes a long way, so just use a small amount in cooking or for roasting vegetables.
Serving size: 1 tablespoon
Recipe: Dr. Janet’s Raspberry Olive Oil Vinaigrette
1/3 cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon water
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons shallots, chopped
In a blender or food processor, combine all dressing ingredients except the oil and shallots and process until smooth. Slowly add in the oil and blend until dressing has a thick consistency. Stir in shallots. Chill dressing until ready to serve salad.
Recipe excerpted from Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, December 2006). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com