Olive oil is fat in the real sense of the word. But the fat that it contains is the monounsaturated fatty acid or MUFA considered to be the healthy type.
There are several health benefits to be gained from olive oil consumption. Firstly, it lowers the risk of heart disease together with the polyunsaturated fat. It is able to do this by cutting total cholesterol levels. Some studies have found that MUFAs also control insulin and blood sugar levels.
Olive oil can be a good alternative to your butter or stick margarine. Do remember it’s never appropriate to use them together.
When shopping for this item, pick the one that is less processed as it still contains the nutrients. The extra virgin oil, which is more expensive, goes through the first pressing only and therefore, retains the most flavor. The cold pressed ones and virgin oil are okay as well as they are not heated up beyond room temperature. What you should avoid are the regular or pure olive oil which normally undergoes refining and filtering. Generally, they have lower nutrients.