Everyone knows that olive oil is good for you, but no one actually seems to believe it. I hear a lot of people comment on the amount of olive oil I use (think Jamie Oliver).
The reason olive oil – extra virgin olive oil in particular – is said to be good for you is because it increases HDL (“good” cholesterol). But, it turns out that saturated fats increase HDL more than LDL (“bad” cholesterol). Maybe saturated fats aren’t as bad as most people think. I don’t want to turn into a science bozo, so I’ll just skip to the point, where I quote Nathan Myhrvold1 in Modernist Cuisine:
A meta-analysis of all prospective cohort studies published before 2009 finds no significant evidence linking saturated fat consumption to cardiovascular disease.
If you look into this further2, you’ll not only find that saturated fats don’t cause heart disease, but they are actually good for you. So don’t be scared of butter or cheese. Go ahead and put both butter and peanut butter on your toast. It’s not going to hurt you3.
1. Nathan Myhrvold, author of Modernist Cuisine, former CTO of Microsoft, Co-founder of Intellectual Ventures, and all round boss.
3. I’m not saying that these things will help with weight loss. If that’s what you’re concerned about, check out the Slow-Carb Diet, which gives you one “cheat day” per week where you can eat anything!