There are many scientific studies that suggest that olive oil helps prevent and treat heart disease. Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels while raising HDL (“good” cholesterol) levels. No other naturally produced oil has as high as a percentage of mono-unsaturated fat as olive oil. It appears that people who consumed 23ml – about 2 tablespoons – of virgin olive oil daily showed less oxidation of LDL cholesterol and higher levels of anti-oxidant compounds, particularly phenols, in the blood. But while all types of olive oil are sources of mono-unsaturated fat, extra virgin olive oil (and especially the higher quality ones) contains higher levels of anti-oxidants, particularly vitamin E and phenols, because it is less processed.