Myths and Facts: Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil has been under attack for some time by critics claiming that it has ill effects on health. Many of these people favor oils like canola oil and olive oil in its place, however, when eaten in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, vegetable oil poses no more risk than any other oil on the market.

Most commercially available vegetable oil is made from soybean oil. One serving of vegetable oil, or 1 tablespoon, contains 120 calories and nearly 14 grams of fat. Nearly 10% of the fat content is comprised of saturated fat, while the rest is the healthier, unsaturated fats. Here are a couple myths surrounding vegetable oil and its use in cooking:

Vegetable Oil Myth #1: Vegetable Oil Lowers Cholesterol

There are many claims that vegetable oil is heart healthy and helps bring down your cholesterol levels. However, vegetable oil is rich in saturated fats, adding to cholesterol problems. Though vegetable oil may be better for your heart than other animal fats, vegetable oils should always be used in moderation as part of a healthy diet.

Vegetable Oil Myth #2: Vegetable Oil Is Dangerous to Your Health

There is much reported about how the levels of omega 6 in vegetable oils are much more than the body needs and can cause adverse health affects like depression, obesity and hyperactivity. However, if you eat a healthy diet without a lot of processed food, instead favoring home cooked meals, your omega 6 intake should be within a healthy range, even if you do use vegetable oil for cooking.

Making informed decisions about your nutrition is easy to do by researching your options and cooking a wide variety of foods from all the food groups. For more information, talk to your doctor about your specific situation.

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