What does extra virgin olive oil contain? An article on this topic recently appeared on Corriere.it, in the section devoted to health and wellness, and once again highlighted the qualities of this oil. Let us start from its chemical composition: 99% of extra virgin olive oil consists of fatty acids, over 70% of which are monounsaturated, and beneficial to our health. The most abundant of these is oleic acid. Only 15% of the fats present in olive oil are polyunsaturated, and consist mainly of linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids.
When part of a balanced diet, monounsaturated fats (which are also found in fish) have been reported to decrease the levels of so-called “bad cholesterol” (i.e. LDL) and raise those of HDL or “good cholesterol”.
In other words, the consumption of olive oil can help fight the effects of bad cholesterol, known to cause coronary problems and raise the risk of heart attack and other heart-related diseases.