Shop with a Doc: Olive Oil

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- "Mediterraneans have proven they live a longer and greater quality of life," said Dr. Pete Sulack, America's Leading Stress Expert.

Dr. Pete thinks it might be because of all that olive oil.

Many times we're told fat makes you fat, but Dr. Pete said olive oil is full of the good kind of fat. It's a monounsaturated fat full of oleic acid and that's what you want on a regular basis.

"Olive oil doesn't actually increase cholesterol levels," said Dr. Pete. "It's actually great at reducing inflammation. It's great for your brain health. It's great for the heart simply because it reduces inflammation."

You want to make sure you buy an Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is squeezed right from the olive.

"I want to get the olive oil that has the most minimal processing," said Dr. Pete. "I want it organic. I want to know when they got it from that olive there's very little that was done to it."

You can't always trust what you get on the labels, so you have to know how to buy it.

Dr. Pete told Local 8 News you want to buy an olive oil in a darker bottle -- one that doesn't let too much light in.

That's because light and heat can turn those good fats into a trans fat and that's not good for you. The best way to consume it is raw.

"Put it on your salads. Put it in your sauces. Drizzle it over some of the food you just prepared," said Dr. Pete.

Dr. Pete said you can also sauteed it on a very low heat.

He added all you need is one to four tablespoons a day. It's anti-inflammatory in nature so it's going to help your heart and your brain.

"Simply because your brain consists of primarily fats and anytime we can begin to break down fats compared to sugar, it can be great for cognitive functioning, for our moods, and even for our sleep patterns," said Dr. Pete.

He said it's also rich in vitamin E and vitamin K, which is great for your skin.