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Vegetable Oil Myths and Facts

May 24, 2010

Vegetable oil has long been the oil of choice for cooking by both professionals and at-home cooks. However, it has recently come under attack by accusations that it is highly unhealthy and there are better oil options out there. But not all of the speculation regarding vegetable oil is accurate. Here are some common myths regarding vegetable oil and the true facts that you may not already know.

Myth #1: Vegetable Oil is Highly Unhealthy

One common myth is that vegetable oil, in any amount, is extremely unhealthy for your body. Many believe that the polyunsaturated fats in vegetable oil can cause many health problems, including heart disease. Some even speculate that vegetable oil can lead to breast cancer in postmenopausal women. However, sufficient studies have not been conducted in order to prove these findings.

Fact #1: Vegetable Oil Can Be Healthy

When consumed in moderation, as any oil should be, vegetable oil can be just as healthy for you as any other oil. Studies have shown that vegetable oil poses no higher health risk to you than any other oils on the market.

Myth #2: Vegetable Oil is More Fattening Than Other Oils

Many people believe that vegetable oil is more fattening for them than other oils, such as canola oil or olive oil.

Fact #2: Vegetable Oil is No More Fattening Than Other Oils

In reality, vegetable oil is not any more fattening than other oils available on the market. In fact, only 10% of vegetable oil is made of the "bad" saturated fats. This percentage is equivalent to many other available oils. Therefore, the other 90% of vegetable oil is made up of the healthier unsaturated fats that the body actually requires to operate properly. Also, one serving of vegetable oil, which is one tablespoon, only contains 120 calories.

Myth #3: Too High Levels of Omega 6

Some have claimed that vegetable oil is too high in omega 6 fatty acids. They say that vegetable oil contains much more omega 6 fatty acid than the body needs to operate. The claim is that these excess omega 6 acids can create many health problems, including obesity, hyperactivity and even depression.

Fact #3: Omega 6 Levels are Tolerable

If you are consuming a well balanced diet on a day to day basis, using the recommended dosages of vegetable oil for cooking should not pose any problems due to the omega 6 fatty acid levels. When used in moderation with a healthy diet, there is no reason that your omega 6 levels should not be within a healthy range for the average person.

Myth #4: Vegetable Oil Can Be Used to Lower Cholesterol

Some believe that vegetable oil is great for the heart and can be used to lower your cholesterol levels. This is one of the myths that actually favor vegetable oil. However, it is just that, a myth.

Fact #4: Vegetable Oil Does Not Lower Cholesterol

The fact is, vegetable oil can not be used adequately to lower cholesterol levels in the body. This is because vegetable oil does contain some of the bad, saturated fats which can create cholesterol issues.

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