Oils without trans fat


Seed oils are better for cholesterol than olive oil

An analysis of data from dozens of studies reveals that replacing saturated fat in the diet with unsaturated fat reduces low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. In addition, of the unsaturated fats, seed oils such as sunflower have the strongest effect.

Share on PinterestIs olive oil or seed oil, such as sunflower, more healthful?

Dr. Lukas Schwingshackl — from the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke — led the new study.

This study was the first to carry out an analysis that allows the impact of several oils and solid fats on blood lipids to be assessed in a single model.

Many have compared the effect of replacing a food rich in saturated fat, such as butter or lard, with one rich in unsaturated fat, such as plant-based olive oil and sunflower. However, the evidence makes it difficult to find out which of the many plant-derived oils have the greatest benefit.

To this end, Dr. Schwingshackl and team used a statistical technique called network meta-analysis, which is gaining ground in health research as a way to glean evidence from enormous amounts of data through the use of “direct and indirect comparisons.”

Network meta-analysis

Investigators use network meta-analysis to find answers that could otherwise only be addressed in “giant studies” that compare the effect of many different interventions on a single result.

“The beauty of this method,” Dr. Schwingshackl explains, “is that you can compare a lot of different interventions simultaneously.”

The end result, he adds, is that “you can say” which of the oils is best for the “specific outcome.”

The method, for instance, allows a comparison of butter with sunflower oil to be inferred indirectly by analyzing the results of two trials: one that tested butter against olive oil directly, and another that tested sunflower against olive oil directly.

The new findings feature in a paper that is now published in the Journal of Lipid Research.

A modifiable cardiovascular risk factor

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), heart disease and stroke are the biggest killers worldwide and have been so for 15 years. In 2016, 15.2 million people died because of these cardiovascular diseases.

In their study background, the investigators explain that dyslipidemia, or abnormal blood levels of lipids such as cholesterol, is a major cardiovascular risk factor that people can modify.

“It is well-established,” they point out, that replacing saturated fatty acids with either mono- or polyunsaturated fatty acids reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the “bad kind,” which is a “strong risk factor” for cardiovascular disease.

For their network meta-analysis, they searched databases going back to 1980 for studies that had compared the effect of different types of dietary fats on blood lipids.

The researchers found 55 studies that matched their criteria for inclusion. These had assessed the impact on blood levels of various lipids of consuming the “same amount of calories” from two or more types of solid fats or oils over a minimum of 3 weeks.

Their analysis compared the effect of 13 oils and solid fats: safflower oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil, hempseed oil, corn oil, coconut oil, palm oil, soybean oil, butter, beef fat, and lard.

Seed oils were the ‘best performers’

Dr. Schwingshackl reports that the “best performers” were safflower oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, and flaxseed oil. In contrast, “solid fats like butter and lard are the worst choice for LDL,” he adds.

He and his colleagues point out that their approach has limitations, and that these should be borne in mind when interpreting the results. For one, they focused on lipid levels and not disease outcomes.

“This is not a hard clinical outcome,” Dr. Schwingshackl goes on to warn. “LDL is a causal risk factor for coronary heart disease, but it’s not coronary heart disease.”

In addition, the authors feel that the method was not robust enough to pick a “winner” from the list of seed oils.

The fact that the oils that showed greatest benefit on LDL cholesterol levels were not necessarily the ones that showed a similar impact on other types of lipid, such as HDL cholesterol and triglycerides, also complicated matters.

Nevertheless, as it would be almost impossible to carry out a trial in which people are required to consume just one type of dietary fat for several years, such methods offer the next best thing.

“Some people from Mediterranean countries probably are not so happy with this result, because they would prefer to see olive oil at the top. But this is not the case.”

Dr. Lukas Schwingshackl

Seed oils are best for LDL cholesterol

Lukas Schwingshackl, a researcher at the German Institute of Human Nutrition, is among a wave of scientists using sophisticated statistical tools to reduce uncertainty about what the mountain of data in the nutrition literature can tell us. In a paper published in the Journal of Lipid Research this month, Schwingshackl and colleagues used an emerging technique called network meta-analysis to extract insight from published studies on the effect of various dietary oils on blood lipids. The researchers found that seed oils were the best choice for people looking to improve their cholesterol.

To get around the fact that there has been no giant study comparing all available oils, Schwingshackl’s team constructed a network meta-analysis showing how different oils and solid fats have in fact been matched up. The researchers rounded up 55 studies dating to the 1980s that assessed the effects of consuming the same amount of calories from two or more different oils on participants’ blood lipids. To be included in the analysis, a study had to compare the effect of two or more oils or fats (from a list of 13) on patients’ LDL, or other blood lipids like total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol or triglycerides, over at least three weeks.

Suppose both butter and sunflower oil had been tested against olive oil. The statistical approaches of network meta-analysis allowed the team to infer a quantitative comparison between butter and sunflower oil, even if they had never faced off in the clinic. Schwingshackl explained, “The beauty of this method is that you can compare a lot of different interventions simultaneously… and, in the end, you get a ranking. You can say, ‘this is the best oil for this specific outcome.'”

In this study, the final ranking indicated that, as your doctor has been telling you for years, solid fats like butter and lard are the worst choice for LDL. The best alternatives are oils from seeds. “Sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, safflower oil and flaxseed oil performed best,” said Schwingshackl. “Some people from Mediterranean countries probably are not so happy with this result, because they would prefer to see olive oil at the top. But this is not the case.”

There are a few important caveats to the research. For starters, it measured only blood lipids. “This is not a hard clinical outcome,” said Schwingshackl. “LDL is a causal risk factor for coronary heart disease, but it’s not coronary heart disease.” However, he said, it might be difficult to conduct a study comparing those clinical outcomes — for starters, someone would need to find study participants willing to eat just one type of fat for years at a time.

Meta-analyses run the risk of misleading by combining several pieces of low-confidence data into a falsely confident-sounding ranking. In this case, for example, there was not enough evidence to choose a “winner” confidently among the seed oils. What’s more, the oils best at lowering LDL were not the most beneficial for triglycerides and HDL cholesterol. However, with the appropriate caveats in mind, Schwingshackl is optimistic about the potential for network meta-analysis to help researchers synthesize disparate clinical studies in the future.

Fats and oils

We all need some fat in our diets. It’s getting the right balance of the different types of fat that will help keep your heart healthy.

Why we need to eat some fats

We need some fats:

  • for energy
  • to absorb some vitamins from food
  • for a healthy immune system
  • for our brains to function.

Types of fats

There are two main types of fat – saturated fats and unsaturated fats and we need some of both. But too much saturated fat will raise your blood cholesterol, while unsaturated fats are more heart-healthy.

Cutting down on foods that contain a lot of saturated fat and replacing them with foods that contain more unsaturated fat can improve your cholesterol levels.

Saturated fats are found in animal foods, such as fatty meat and dairy products. They’re also found in coconut products and palm oil. Read all about saturated fats.

Unsaturated fats are found in plant foods, such as olive and vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, as well as oily fish.

How much fat should I eat?

Fats are very high in energy, so can make you gain weight. To make sure you’re not taking on too much energy, you need to keep an eye on how much fat you eat in total.

About a third of our energy should come from fat. That’s about 70g for a woman and 90g for a man per day.

Keep the amount of saturated fat you eat down by swapping foods which are high in saturated fats for foods which are either high in unsaturated fats or low in fat altogether. But don’t simply eat more unsaturated fats – so that you’re not eating too much in total.

Check the labels. Check the labels on foods to see how much fat and saturated fat they contain. Some are colour-coded which helps you to make a quick decision.

Unsaturated fats

There are different types of unsaturated fat which do different jobs in the body. They are known as “mono – unsaturated” and “poly – unsaturated”. For a heart-healthy diet, it’s good to eat a range of foods so that you get both.

Foods which are high in unsaturated fats include:

  • oils from vegetables, seeds and nuts, such as sunflower, safflower, rapeseed, olive, walnut and corn oil
  • spreads based on these oils
  • nuts and seeds
  • oily fish such as herring, pilchards, mackerel, salmon and trout
  • avocado.

Unsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature, unlike saturated fats which are usually hard.

One type of mono-unsaturated fat which are particularly good for you are omega 3 fats, which are the type found in oily fish.

Trans fats

Like saturated fats, trans fats are bad for our health. They raise LDL cholesterol and also lower HDL (good) cholesterol.

Trans fats are made when unsaturated fats such as vegetable oils are heated to high temperatures by the food industry. Most food companies have now stopped adding trans fats to our food. So, most of us don’t eat a lot of trans fats.

Trans fats are sometimes present in pastries, cakes, biscuits, crackers, fried foods, takeaways and hard margarines. A sign that they are there is when you see the words ‘partially hydrogenated fat’ on the label. It’s best to avoid these foods as much as possible.

Some trans fats are present in dairy foods and red meats, but only in small amounts, and these are thought to be safe to eat.

Simple swaps

Use these simple swaps to replace some of the foods that you eat which are high in saturated fat with other foods that contain more unsaturated fat. Plus get ideas for other ways you can eat less fat and saturated fat.

Eat less Swap for
Butter, ghee, lard, suet, goose fat, hard margarines. Coconut and palm oil. Oils made from vegetables and seeds such as olive, rapeseed, sunflower and soya oil, and fat spreads made from these.
Fatty meat and processed meat products such as sausages, bacon, salami and canned meat. Lean meat, chicken or turkey with skin removed, white fish, oily fish at least once a week. Have meat-free days – try dishes based on beans, pulses, Quorn, tofu, nuts or soya meat alternatives.
Full fat dairy foods (milk, yogurt, cream, cheese). Lower fat milks such as semi-skimmed, 1% fat or skimmed milk and calcium fortified alternatives to milk. Low fat yogurts. Low fat cheese such as half fat cheddar and cottage cheese.
Cakes, sweet, filled or coated biscuits. Plain buns such as currant or hot cross buns, scones, semi-sweet biscuits.
Crisps. Hummus and vegetable sticks.
Coconut – fresh, dried and desiccated. Dried fruit and nuts.
Cream or pastry-based desserts. Fresh, baked or poached fruit, milk puddings and custard made with low fat milk, low fat yogurts, fruit crumbles made with unsaturated spread.
Pastry, sausage rolls, savoury pies. Potato topped pies.
Cream-based curries e.g. kormas. Cheese and cream based pasta dishes. Extra cheese or meat topped pizzas, sandwiches with cheese fillings.
Cream-based soups and sauces.
Tomato and vegetable based curries and pasta dishes. Thin crust pizzas with vegetable toppings, sandwich fillings such as hummus, lean chicken, egg salad and falafel. Vegetable and tomato based soups and sauces.
Roasting or frying with butter, lard, other animal fats or coconut oil. Use small amounts of vegetable oil or try other cooking methods e.g. casseroles, boiling, grilling, steaming, roasting bags.
Milk chocolate, toffee, fudge, crisps and fried salty snacks. Dark chocolate, chewing gum, nuts, seeds, popcorn. Lower fat crisps or baked savoury snacks.
Creamy salad dressings such as ranch and Ceasar dressing, and mayonnaise. Salad dressings made with olive oil, rapeseed oil or a seed or nut oil, or low fat mayonnaise.

Choosing cooking oils

Published: 24 October 2018

How do you choose the right oil for your cooking and which oils are best for our hearts? Here you’ll find everything you need to know about vegetable oils to help you make the best choice from olive though to rice bran oil.

No matter what style of food you cook you’re bound to have a bottle of cooking oil lurking in the cupboard. Whether it’s used to roast a tray of vegetables or make a tasty salad dressing, vegetable oil is a kitchen staple.

The reason there are so many different types of oils is because they can be extracted from a wide range of seeds, nuts, legumes, plant fruits and grains. E.g. sunflower seeds, walnuts, soybeans, olives and grains like rice can all be used to produce vegetable oils.

What are the healthiest oils?

Not all oils are created equal. Importantly, each oil can vary in the type and ratio of different fats that they contain.

The healthiest oils are those which mostly contain heart-healthy poly- and mono-unsaturated fats. Foods which are rich in these heart-healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avocado, olives and vegetable oils help to reduce levels of harmful cholesterol (low density lipoprotein – LDL) in the blood.

In comparison, palm oil and coconut oil are high in saturated fat which increases LDL cholesterol and risk of heart disease. In recent years, coconut oil has become more popular and although using small amounts to add flavour is ok, it’s a good idea to choose another oil like olive oil as a main cooking oil.

Oils rich in polyunsaturated fats

Oils rich in monounsaturated fats

Oils rich in saturated fat

Eat least and replace with oils rich in poly and monounsaturated fats

Flaxseed Olive Coconut
Grapeseed Avocado Palm
Safflower Peanut Palm kernel
Sesame Rice bran
Sunflower Canola
Wheatgerm Almond

How are oils produced?

‘Cold-pressing’ is when the oil is extracted without any heat and is used to produce oils like extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil. ‘Hot-pressing’ is similar but the oil is extracted with heat and pressure. These processing techniques result in a less-processed oil which is higher in antioxidants with most of the flavour and colour retained. Although these oils are nutritionally better, they are also more expensive because they are costly to produce.

‘Refined oils’ are extracted using a solvent which is then followed by a refining, bleaching and deodorising process1. These steps reduce the flavour, odour and colour of the original oil and also partially remove some of the antioxidants. These oils are usually cheaper and are often more stable at higher temperatures. Many of the oils on supermarket shelves are refined oils like soya bean, canola, rice bran and grapeseed oils.

What are the best oils to cook with?

High temperature cooking methods (like frying and deep-frying) can cause the oil to break down and produce chemicals like peroxides and aldehydes which are potentially harmful to our health.

Oils that are rich in polyunsaturated fats like flaxseed oil and sunflower oil (see table above) are particularly unstable when heated at high temperatures. Therefore, when shallow frying, barbequing or stir-frying at home, it is best to use an oil that is lower in polyunsaturated fat and saturated fat. The best choices from a nutrition, affordability and availability perspective are olive, rice bran and canola oils.

You can be a lot more flexible with the type of oil you use for salad dressings, sauces or for drizzling over pasta because the oil isn’t being heated. Good choices include olive oil, flaxseed oil, sesame oil and avocado oil – choose an oil that you can afford and like the taste of, for these dishes.

Look after your oils

All oils will deteriorate over time with exposure to light, heat and air. The good news is there are lots of ways you can prevent and minimise damage to your oil2.

Seven ways to get the most out of your vegetable oil:

  1. Avoid stock-piling oil. Keep an eye on the ‘use by’ date and ideally use within 12 months.

  2. Oils prefer cool, dark places. Where possible choose oil in a dark glass bottle or tin and store it away from direct light.

  3. Use the right oil for higher heat cooking. Olive, canola and rice bran oils are all good choices.

  4. Avoid overheating oil when cooking. When an oil is over-heated it produces unwanted chemicals. An oil’s smoke point is the point at which the oil starts burning and smoking, which signals that damage to the oil has started.

  5. Avoid reusing heated oils. As the oil darkens it develops off-flavours and becomes rancid.

  6. Avoid deep-fried foods. If you do need to deep fry, corn and sunflower oils are unstable at high temperatures. Refined olive oil (light olive oil) and rice bran oils are better choices.

Take home points

The best sources of heart-healthy poly- and mono-unsaturated fats are from whole foods that are close to how they are found in nature like nuts, seeds, avocado, olives and oily fish.

When vegetable oils are used sparingly, they can be included as part of a heart-healthy diet alongside plenty of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains. We recommend choosing the right oil for your budget and taking good care of it to prevent damage.

2. Choe E, Min DB. Mechanisms and factors for edible oil oxidation. Crit Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2006;5:169-186.

Lily Henderson, NZRD

National Nutrition Advisor

I am passionate about improving the health of all Kiwis from young through to old. I have enjoyed working in nutrition in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

When Vegetable Oil Isn’t as Healthy as You Think

One of the first things doctors tell people who want to get healthier is to change their diet. And most will say that the less animal fat you eat, the better. Getting rid of the butter and shifting to olive, corn and other vegetable oils, many doctors said, is better for heart health.

They had their reasons. Countless studies have shown that people who eat more vegetable oils have lower cholesterol than people who eat a lot of saturated fats. And other studies connected lower cholesterol with lower risk of heart troubles. The other elements central to the popular Mediterranean diet, such as nuts and fresh produce and fish, are highly nutritious, to boot. But in a study published in the BMJ, researchers re-analyzed data from older unpublished studies and found the link between vegetable oil and heart health may not hold. They revealed that it’s possible that too much vegetable oil could actually increase the risk of heart disease — rather than decrease it.

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Christopher Ramsden, a medical investigator at the National Institutes of Health, and his colleagues delved into the data from the Minnesota Coronary Experiment, conducted from 1968 to 1973. They learned that only part of the trial’s results were published, and other data, suggesting the contrary idea that switching animal fats for vegetable fats didn’t protect the heart, was left out. “We saw that they didn’t publish a lot of things they planned to,” says Ramsden.

MORE: Confused About Fat and Heart Disease? This Study Explains Why

Until now. In the study, more than 2,300 men and women were randomly assigned to a diet in which all the oils were replaced with vegetable oils, or a control diet high in animal fats and margarines. Ramsden found that those who ate more vegetable oils (primarily corn oil) did indeed lower their cholesterol by nearly 14% compared with those who did not, but that after a year or more, they did not see any lower rates of heart disease or dying from heart events. In fact, for every 30mg/dL drop in cholesterol, there was a 22% increased risk of death. So people who ate animal fats tended to live longer than those who switched to vegetable oils.

MORE: The FDA Finally Caught Up to Science on Trans Fats

“The diet-heart hypothesis predicts that the more you lower cholesterol, the better your outcomes are going to be,” says Ramsden. “Basically we found the opposite.” (The researchers say it’s unlikely that the people who switched to vegetable oils ate more unhealthy trans fats, which are known to be terrible for heart health.)

MORE: This Is the Worst Kind of Fat for Your Heart

Of course, this does not mean doctors have been misleading us about the benefits of vegetable oils. While the study didn’t explore what could account for the contrary results, there are some theories about how the vegetable-oil group could have lower cholesterol but not fewer heart problems than people eating animal fats. The unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils, when they’re heated, tend to oxidize. In this form, they’re more dangerous to body tissues and can trigger inflammation, a known risk factor for making blood-vessel plaques unstable enough to cause a heart attack.

It’s also possible that the sheer amount of oils that the people ate reversed any advantage for the heart. Ramsden says the amount in the study was about double what the average American tends to eat, and in this case, it might be a situation where those people got too much of a good thing.

MORE: Why Cutting Back on Fat Isn’t Enough to Help the Heart

He also found that the effect was strongest among people over age 65. Older people tend to be more prone to oxidative stress, and it’s possible that with age, eating too much vegetable oil may backfire, and undo some of the benefits they may have on the heart. Similarly, people who smoke and engage in other behaviors that are known to promote oxidation, including getting exposed to certain environmental pollutants, might also show little benefit from switching to vegetable oils.

All of these explanations, for now, are just speculation, since this is among the first studies to direct compare head to head what happens to people who give up animal fats and move to vegetable oils to those who stick with animal fats. It doesn’t mean that bacon and butter should now make up the bulk of the diet, but it does suggest that loading up on vegetable oils isn’t such a great idea either.

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Estimation of Cholesterol Level in Different Brands of Vegetable Oils


Many vegetable oils are consumed directly or used as ingredients in food. Reports show that approximately 75% of the World’s production of oils and fats come from plant sources (Raven and Johnson, 1999). Although many plant parts yield oil, in actual commercial practices, oil is extracted primarily from seeds of oilseed plants and according to the USDA (WASDE-320, 1996), the oilseed plants commonly used worldwide include; soybean, cotton, palm, rape and groundnut. Cholesterol, contrary to popular belief, is present in plants (Behrman and Venkat, 2005). Cholesterol has been detected in vegetable oils, where it could make up to 5% of the total sterols and a relatively high amount of cholesterol was described in camelina oil (about 200 mg/kg) (Shukla et al., 2002). It has also been found to be a major constituent of the chloroplasts, shoots, pollens, seeds and leaf surfaces (Behrman and Venkat, 2005, Noda et al., 1988).

Cholesterol, a lipid, plays a vital role in the physiological regulation of membrane fluidity and proper functioning of cells. It is also a major precursor in the production of bile acids, steroid hormones as well as vitamin D. Cholesterol found in the cell membrane of all cells, has been of great medical importance in recent years, because its high level in the body has been associated with coronary heart diseases (CHDs) (Laker, 2003). Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in most industrialized countries and its importance as a major public health problem is increasing in developing countries (Murray and Lopez, 1996).

However, what is becoming clearer and clearer is that it is not the amount of fat in the diet that matters but the type of fat (Hu et al., 2001). Metabolic studies have shown that Trans fats have adverse effects on blood lipid levels, increasing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol while decreasing HDL (“Good”) cholesterol. This combined effect on the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol is double that of saturated fatty acids (Mensink et al., 2003).

Industrial processing especially catalytic hydrogenation of vegetable oils affects their fatty acid composition (Gur and Harwood, 1991). Processing increases saturated fatty acids component of oils. Saturated fatty acid rich diets have been found to increase the level of cholesterol (Keys et al., 1965).

Thus, we are concerned by the fact that Nigerian markets are flooded with assorted processed vegetable oils from different parts of the world all labeled to be cholesterol free. In this study, cholesterol content was determined by three different methods, in 21 brands of vegetable oils sold in Lagos metropolis in order to ascertain this claim. The acid and iodine values of some of the samples were also determined.

Materials and Methods

Samples of 21 brands of vegetable oil produced from a variety of oil seeds (oil palm. Soya bean, rapeseed, sesame seed, cottonseed and peanut) were purchased from various markets in Lagos Metropolis. The label on each sample container was “NO CHOLESTEROL”.

Chemicals, reagent and equipment: All chemicals were supplied by BDH chemicals Ltd, Pool. England. Spectrophotometer is Spectronic Genesys Tim8, HPLC analysis carried out using Agilent 1100 series, C18 column (250*4.0 mm, 5 μm).

Determination of cholesterol content:
Method 1: As described by Ojiako and Akubugwo (1997).

Total 0.1 mL of sample oil each and standard cholesterol dissolved in chloroform in ratio 1:10 was evaporated to dryness in a water bath at 50oC. Glacial acetic acid (3.0 mL) and 3.0 mL of colour reagent (a solution of ferric chloride/glacial acetic acid/sulphuric acid), was added to each sample and the standard, then shaken vigorously to dissolve the oil. Blank contained 2.0 mL of chloroform, 3.0 mL glacial acetic acid and 3.0 mL of colour reagent. After cooling for 30 mins at room temperature, absorbance of standard and samples were read at 560 nm. Cholesterol content was estimated with the formula:


AB = Absorbance of oil sample.
AS = Absorbance of Standard cholesterol.
CS = Concentration of Standard cholesterol.

Method 2: Liebermann- Burchard method as described by Bloor, 1916.

The Liebermann-Burchard reaction method is a colorimetric method in which cholesterol is treated with chloroform, acetic anhydride and concentrated sulfuric acid to produce a green colour which is measured spectrophotometrically.

Method 3: High Performance Liquid Chromatography.

The oil samples were first saponified with 3% ethanolic KOH and the resulting nonsaponifiable lipids were then dissolved in chloroform and the analysis was carried out immediately. The HPLC analysis was done using an Agilent 1100 series, C18 column (250*4.0mm, 5 μm), acetonitrile/water (1:1) mobile phase and a UV detector at 239 nm at a flow rate of 0.4 ml/min.

Determination of iodine and acid values: The methods of British Pharmacpoeia (2000) were used to determine the Acid and Iodine value of the samples.

Iodine value: Chloroform (2%, 2.0 mL) and 5.0 mL of WIJ’s solution (8.5g iodine/7.8 g iodide trichloride/450 mL glacial acetic acid in 1 liter acetic acid) were added to sample from a burette and mixed thoroughly. Blank contained 2 mL of chloroform and 5 mL of WIJ’s solution. The test samples and the blank were left in the dark for 5 min and 3.0 mL of 7.5% w/v potassium iodide was added to all test samples and blank. Starch indicator (0.1 mL) was added to each sample and blank and titrated to a colorless end point using 0.1N sodium thiosulfate solution. Iodine value was calculated using the formula:

Acid value: Each oil sample (1.0 g) was weighed and neutralized with 50 mL of fat solvent. 2 drops phenolphthalein indicator were added and titrated to pink end point (which persisted for 15 mins) with 0.1 N potassium hydroxide solution. Acid value was calculated using the formula:

V = Volume of 0.1N KOH used.


The analytical data for cholesterol content of twenty-one oil samples from the retail markets are shown Table 1. Seventeen of the samples had cholesterol levels lower than 1 mg/ml while cholesterol levels of seven of them ranged between 1-4 mg/ml. Paradoxically, HPLC method did not detect cholesterol in Lesieur oil brand and Coconut oil. Ojiaku and Akubugwo and Liebermann-Burchard, methods detected cholesterol (0.907±0.095mg/ml and 3.116±0.266mg/ml) respectively in Lesieur oil while Liebermann-Burchard method detected cholesterol (1.642 ± 1.198) in Coconut oil. Sesame seed oil brand which had the highest cholesterol content according to the methods of Ojiako & Akubugwo and Liebermann-Burchard however showed a moderate amount of cholesterol from our HPLC observations.

Table 1: Concentrations of cholesterol of oil samples
*nd- not determined

Fig. 1: Elution profile of standard cholesterol and Turkey brand of vegetable oil

Table 2 shows that the iodine values of seventeen of the oil samples including century, laser, sesame and Lesieur brands of vegetable oils were relatively high but lower than the values obtained for Oki, Havop and Envoy. The elution profiles of Turkey brand of vegetable oil and standard cholesterol are shown in Fig. 1. The profile shows that there is cholesterol (1.9 mg/ml) in Turkey oil brand. This is also the case in all other brands except Lesieur and coconut oil brand (profile not shown).

Table 2: Iodine and acid values from 18 brands of vegetable oil samples


We have used three different methods in our quest to find out if there is any Cholesterol in vegetable oils processed in or imported into Nigeria. There are so many different varieties of vegetable oil brands in our markets and all of them claim to be cholesterol free. Due to increasing awareness on the health implications of high cholesterol in our diets, most people now prefer to purchase cholesterol free vegetable oils.

Our findings from this study supports previous work by Shukla et al. (2002), which showed that cholesterol is present in vegetable oils, although in small proportion, (up to 5% of the total sterol). Indeed, an unusually high amount of cholesterol was detected in Camelina oil (about 200 mg/kg). Furthermore, cholesterol has been detected as one of the major sterols in the surface lipids of higher plants especially in the leaves of rape (Noda et al., 1988). Our results may substantiate this claim as all the samples analysed by the three methods led to the detection of cholesterol in varying proportions. This contradicts the label claim by most of the producers of these vegetable oils.

As earlier stated, what is important in oil consumption is not the amount of fat but the type of fat. Lichtenstein et al. (1999) showed that consumption of products low in trans fatty acids has beneficial effects on serum lipoproteins. In his review Wilson et al. (2001) opined that trans fat is moderately hypercholesterolemic.

Cholesterol has been known as the ‘oily killer’ since the early-mid 60s, especially since several works then showed that it is the main cause of atherosclerotic lesions which are the major causes of coronary heart disease (Anthony, 2000; Hayden and Tyagi, 2005; Nicolosi et al., 2004; Jaquish, 2007). Works done by Brown and Goldstein (1986) report on individuals with familial hypercholesterolemia (a rare genetic disorder characterized by a high cholesterol level), showed that the rate of LDL uptake and degradation affects the level of cholesterol in the body.

Some of the oils (Century, Sesame, Lesieur and Laser) had high iodine values suggesting that these oil brands have a high content of unsaturated fatty acids. The lipid profile of oils is considered contributory to the risk of Cardiovascular diseases and some oil seeds possess a higher ability to lower the level of low density lipoproteins than others as shown in Corn oil or olive/sunflower oil mixture (Wagner et al., 2001); in soybean oil (Lichtenstein et al., 2006); in sunflower oil (Binkoski et al., 2005) and in Corn oil (Cuchel et al., 1996). Almendingen et al. (1995) showed that serum level of total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol was elevated in hydrogenated fish oil diet compared to soybean oil diet.

High acid values indicative of high free fatty acids obtained from Sesame and Kings oil brands showed rancidity. Long storage of the oil seeds before or after processing may have been responsible. Kalua et al. (2008) showed that there were changes in oil quality during cold temperature storage of the fruit.

Moreover, the nutritional value of processed oils is lowered by processing, as nature designed foods so that both unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E complex occur together in the same foods (Gur and Harwood, 1991). Processing destroys this vitamin. There was a modification of the volatile compounds in virgin olive oil after treatment with hot water (Perez et al., 2003). Vega-Lopez et al. (2006) reported that plasma fatty acid profiles are altered when palm and partially hydrogenated soy oils are compared to soy and canola oils. Trans fatty acids are formed during dehydrogenation of oils and this is done to improve oxidative stability and functionality of oils (King and White, 1999). Several workers have associated changes in lipid profile of oils, to processing (Wilson et al., 2005; Pedersen et al., 2005). Ortiz et al. (2004) also showed that mode of extraction of oil has an effect on the microstructure of Avocado pulp.

Apart from processing technique, variability may reflect the differences in the growing season of the oilseed plant source. Some plant characteristics are affected by season of harvest. All the oil sample brands used for the study showed that the concentration of cholesterol depends on the sensitivity of the method. While the Libermann-Burchard method gave the highest cholesterol values, followed by Ojiako and Akubugwo, the HPLC method however, shows that only Lesieur and coconut oil brands have no cholesterol. The HPLC, due to its sensitivity confirms that there is really no cholesterol free oil in our markets as advertised. It is pertinent that oil producers and marketers should label their products correctly with the quantity of cholesterol in the oil brand no matter how minute the quantity therein. It is then left to the consumers to make up their minds which oil brand satisfies their culinary needs.

These days, the shelf of the cooking-oil section of the supermarket is a crowded spot. This abundance of oil options can cause confusion about which oils may be the healthiest ones to use.

Over the past 10 years, the landscape of cooking oils has changed, said Jo Ann Carson, a professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She pointed to the increased availability of high-oleic oils, the fairly recent arrival of coconut oil, and the wider availability of lesser-known oils such as grapeseed oil.

With so many cooking oils out there, it can be difficult to make sense of the latest health headlines about dietary fat in general, Carson said.

Many consumers are confused about which types of dietary fat experts encourage or discourage in order to promote heart health, said Alice Lichtenstein, a professor of nutrition science and policy and director of the cardiovascular nutrition laboratory at the Tufts University Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston. Further complicating matters, there’s been hype about coconut oil, and claims have circulated that “butter is back,” Lichtenstein said.

Lichtenstein was part of an advisory panel for the American Heart Association that wrote a report on dietary fats and cardiovascular disease. For the report, which was published in June in the journal Circulation, the panel did a careful review of the scientific literature to clarify some of the controversies surrounding dietary fat, she said.

After evaluating the evidence, the panel recommended that Americans decrease levels of saturated fats (fats that come from meats, poultry, cheese, dairy products and tropical oils, such as coconut and palm oils) to reduce their risk of heart disease. People should replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats, which include polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats, Lichtenstein said.

The overall message is to encourage healthy fats in the diet by replacing animal fats with vegetable fats, Lichtenstein told Live Science.

She said the bulk of the evidence favors polyunsaturated fats — found in fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds, as well as sunflower, safflower, soybean and corn oils — rather than monounsaturated fats, found in other types of nuts and seeds, avocados, and olive, canola and peanut oils. The data showed that if people replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats, they reduce their risk of heart disease somewhat more than if they replace saturated fats with monounsaturated fats.

In other words, polyunsaturated fats may be a little healthier, especially for people concerned about heart health, Lichtenstein said.

The panel’s analysis of four so-called randomized, controlled trials — considered the “gold standard” of scientific evidence — showed that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat resulted in a 29 percent drop in the risk of heart disease. This reduction is comparable to that seen when people take statin drugs, according to the report.

Replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats is good for the heart because it decreases the levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and as well as fats in the blood called triglycerides, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.

Selecting oils

So what do the findings of the report suggest about how you should use cooking oils?

The main points are to use cooking oils in moderation, Lichtenstein said. The government’s U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that Americans include a small amount of oils in their diets every day to supply essential fatty acids, because the body can’t make these acids and thus must get them from food. There are two such fatty acids, and both are polyunsaturated fatty acids: linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid.

But all cooking oils are composed of three different types of fatty acids: monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and saturated fats. Each oil is categorized based on which type of fatty acid is the most prominent in it. For example, olive and canola oils are considered mostly monounsaturated fat, while corn and soybean oils contain mainly polyunsaturated fat. Coconut oil is predominantly saturated fat.

To help you select some of the healthiest oils while still pleasing your taste buds, here is a rundown of 10 cooking oils. Some oils have been well studied for their health benefits, while others have too little research from which to draw firm conclusions about their effects on heart health. (Story continues below infographic.)

(Image credit: Jacob Van Dyke/Purch)

Avocado oil

Avocado oil is rich in monounsaturated fat (70 percent of the fats in the oil are monounsaturated), and it has one of the highest levels of monounsaturated fat among cooking oils, second only to olive oil. Like olive oil, avocado oil is also low in polyunsaturated fats (10 percent of the fats in the oil are polyunsaturated).

Compared with other vegetable oils, avocado oil has a higher saturated fat content (20 percent), but this percentage is much smaller than the percentage of saturated fat in butter, lard or tropical oils, such as coconut or palm oils.

Avocado oil is a fine oil to use, although it tends to be more expensive than other oils and may be harder to find, Lichtenstein said. It has a mild flavor similar to avocado, and the oil can withstand high cooking temperatures, making it suitable for sautéing, grilling, roasting or using in salad dressings.

Canola oil

Canola oil also has relatively high monounsaturated fat content, Carson said. But although it contains a higher proportion of monounsaturated fat (62 percent of the fats in this oil are monounsaturated), canola oil is also a good source of polyunsaturated fat (32 percent).

In addition, canola oil has the lowest level of saturated fat among cooking oils (7 percent). It is also one of the few oils that contain a good plant-based source of omega-3 fats, a beneficial type of polyunsaturated fat.

A 2013 review of studies published in the journal Nutrition Reviews found that when people use canola oil to replace saturated fat in their diets, it can help to reduce their total cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol levels, which can reduce people’s risk of heart disease.

This neutral-flavored oil comes from a plant called the rapeseed, which is widely cultivated in Canada and is responsible for its name, a derivative of “Canadian oil, low acid.” (The “low acid” refers to versions of the rapeseed plant that are bred to have low erucic acid content. High levels of erucic acid can be toxic.)

Canola oil is a versatile and practical cooking oil that’s not very expensive and can be used in a variety of ways, from baking and grilling to stir-frying and making salad dressings, Carson said.

Coconut oil

Made from the fruit of the coconut palm tree, coconut oil has been promoted as a better alternative to butter. It is a white solid at room temperature with a consistency resembling that of butter or shortening rather than a liquid oil.

Consumers seem to have bought into the hype that it’s among the healthier options, and vegans, who eat no animal fat, may use it as a butter substitute. In a 2016 survey published in The New York Times, 72 percent of consumers rated coconut oil as a “healthy food” compared with 37 percent of nutrition experts.

Nutrition experts, in contrast, noted that coconut oil is high in saturated fat (92 percent), and recommended using it only sparingly. In fact, coconut oil has more saturated fat than the same amount of butter or lard.

There is also limited science to back up marketers’ claims that coconut oil is much better for the heart than butter is. After evaluating all of the studies available, a 2016 review published in the journal Nutrition Reviews found that people who consumed coconut oil had higher total and LDL cholesterol levels than those who consumed unsaturated fats, although the levels were a bit lower than in the people who used butter.

The review authors concluded that there is little evidence that coconut oil has any benefit to heart health compared with other types of saturated fat, such as butter or palm oil.

After conducting a similar review, the 2017 advisory report from the American Heart Association did not recommend the use of coconut oil. The panel concluded that coconut oil “increases LDL cholesterol, a known cause of heart disease, and has no known offsetting favorable effects.”

Summing it up, Lichtenstein, who served on the AHA’s panel, said that coconut oil does not have any unique heart-health benefits, and its “halo effect” — meaning its perception by the public as a healthful food — is probably not justified from a scientific perspective. There is not any reason to use coconut oil rather than unsaturated oils, and there are potentially disadvantages from its high content of saturated fat, she said.

Grapeseed oil

This versatile cooking oil is extracted from grape seeds left over from wine making, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A favorite of chefs and foodies, grapeseed oil has a mild flavor that can be combined with other, stronger flavors. It’s considered a good all-purpose oil that can be used for sautéing and roasting, or in salad dressings. Store grapeseed oil in the refrigerator to prevent it from becoming rancid, food experts say.

Grapeseed oil has a high percentage of polyunsaturated fat (71 percent polyunsaturated, 17 percent monounsaturated, 12 percent saturated), with a similar fatty acid profile to soybean oil (61 percent polyunsaturated fat, 24 percent monounsaturated, 15 percent saturated), Lichtenstein said.

According to a 2016 review of studies published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolic Insights, little is known about the effects of grapeseed oil on human health. Few studies have looked at the heart-health benefits of this mostly polyunsaturated fat.

Extra-virgin olive oil and pure olive oil

Because of its prominent role in the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is a popular cooking oil.

Extra-virgin olive oil comes from the first pressing of the olives. This results in an oil that has more flavor and a fruity aroma, and is less processed, meaning it is considered “unrefined.” It is also typically more expensive than other types of olive oil and contains the most antioxidants. Refined versions of olive oil, called “pure,” are lighter in color and milder in flavor than extra-virgin oils.

Olive oils typically have the highest percentage of monounsaturated fats among cooking oils (although some high-oleic versions of other oils may have artificially boosted levels of monounsaturated fats).Olive oil is also rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, beneficial plant compounds that some evidence suggests may improve heart health.

A study done in Spain of about 7,500 men and women at high risk of heart disease found that people who were advised to consume a Mediterranean-diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or mixed nuts had a lower rate of heart attack, stroke and death from heart-related causes, compared with people who were advised only to follow a generally low-fat diet. These findings appeared in 2013 in The New England Journal of Medicine.

From a heart-health standpoint, there is no real significant difference between extra-virgin olive oil and other kinds of olive oil, Carson told Live Science.

There are better choices than extra-virgin olive oil for cooking at high temperatures, such as when frying, because the oil cannot withstand very high heat before it starts to burn and smoke, Carson said. Refined, or pure, olive oil may be more suited for high-temperature cooking.

Because extra-virgin olive oil offers more flavor than other types of olive oil, it’s a good option for sautéing vegetables, dipping bread or preparing salad dressings and marinades, Carson said.

Peanut oil

Among cooking oils, peanut oil has the highest monounsaturated fat content — about half (49 percent). Peanut oil has a similar percentage of polyunsaturated fat (33 percent) to canola oil, another mostly monounsaturated fat.

Its percentage of saturated fat (18 percent) is higher than that of other vegetable oils, but not to the point that it’s a concern for heart health, and it still has less saturated fat than coconut or palm oils, Lichtenstein said.

A flavorful oil with a pale color and nutty aroma, peanut oil can withstand high heat and is a good choice for cooking Asian-inspired meals and stir-fries, according to food experts.

Sesame oil

Often used in Asian, Indian and Middle Eastern cooking, sesame oil is a good mix of polyunsaturated fat (46 percent) and monounsaturated fat (40 percent), Lichtenstein said. The remaining 14 percent is saturated fat. It’s not usually used as a cooking fat and is used more for its intense flavoring, she noted.

Sesame oil lends a nutty flavor to any dish, especially toasted sesame oil, which has a darker color and bolder flavor. Refrigerate sesame oil after opening it.

Sunflower oil

Light in color and neutral in flavor, sunflower oil has one of the highest concentrations of polyunsaturated fat (69 percent) among cooking oils. It supplies some monounsaturated fat (20 percent) and is low in saturated fat (11 percent), making it an overall heart-healthy option. Sunflower oil is a good all-purpose oil because it can withstand high cooking temperatures.

Shoppers may also see “high-oleic” versions of sunflower or canola oils on supermarket shelves or high-oleic oils listed on the ingredient lists of processed foods. These oils have been modified to be richer in oleic acid, which boosts their levels of monounsaturated fat.

High-oleic sunflower oil, for example, would have a fatty acid profile that would more closely resemble an oil that is mainly monounsaturated fat, like olive oil, than it would conventional sunflower oil.

Food manufacturers are turning to high-oleic oils as replacement for trans fats, which are hydrogenated oils that can extend processed foods’ shelf life, according to nutrition experts. As manufacturers eliminate their use of unhealthy trans fats, high-oleic oils have taken their place because these mostly monounsaturated fats are more shelf-stable than polyunsaturated fats.

Four studies have compared the heart-health effects of a diet rich in conventional sunflower oil, a polyunsaturated fat, with a diet rich in canola oil, which has more monounsaturated fat. The researchers concluded that sunflower oil and canola oil had similar effects: Both reduced people’s levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, according to a 2013 review of those studies, published in the journal Nutrition Reviews.

Vegetable oil

Historically, vegetable oil has typically been soybean oil, Carson said. But these days, the term also may be used for a blend of different oils, she noted.

Soybean oil is primarily a polyunsaturated oil (61 percent polyunsaturated fat, 24 monounsaturated fat and 15 percent saturated fat). As a bonus, soybean oil contains some omega-3 fats, which are heart-healthy fats often found in salmon and sardines, but are less common in plant-based sources of food.

Vegetable oil made from soybeans is a neutral-tasting oil that does not have much flavor, Carson said. Nevertheless, it’s a versatile, all-purpose cooking oil for sautéing and frying, or making salad dressings, she said.

Originally published on Live Science.

10 Best and Worst Oils for Your Health

Flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil is a good source of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), one of three omega-3 fatty acids (olive and canola oils also contain omega-3s). You need dietary omega-3s since your body cannot make them on its own. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, and thus may help lower the risk of cancer, according to the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Flaxseed oil may also help reduce symptoms of arthritis, but avoid it if you’re on a blood thinner since flaxseed oil may increase bleeding, advises the Arthritis Foundation. Flaxseed oil should not be heated, so it’s best to use in cold dishes like smoothies or salads, Warren says.

Avocado oil. Avocado oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids and can promote healthy cholesterol levels and enhance absorption of some nutrients, according to a review of avocado benefits published in the May 2013 Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. Avocado oil also has a high smoke point and is therefore one of the best oils for high-temperature cooking. It can be used for stir-frying, sautéing, or searing, Haas says.

Walnut oil. While expensive, walnut oil contains heart-healthy omega-3s in addition to other nutrients, Haas says. Walnut oil is ideal for desserts and other recipes that benefit from a nutty flavor, adds Warren.

Sesame oil. A staple in Asian and Indian cooking, sesame oil makes the AHA’s list of heart-healthy cooking oils. Use light sesame oil for stir-frying, and dark sesame oil when making dressings or sauces.

Grapeseed oil. Grapeseed oil is low in saturated fat and has a high smoke point, which makes it a healthy choice for all kinds of cooking and grilling, says Warren. Its nutty but mild flavor also works well in salad dressings, or drizzled over roasted veggies.

Oils to Use With Caution

Coconut oil. This oil is a controversial one. A solid at room temperature, coconut oil is a saturated fat — but not all saturated fats are created equal. “This isn’t the same as the saturated fat found in red meat that clogs your arteries,” says Warren. Coconut oil has a high amount of medium-chain fatty acids, which are harder for the body to convert into stored fat, she adds. However, the AHA advises those with high cholesterol to avoid coconut oil. “It would be difficult to get your LDL cholesterol into healthy ranges eating a lot of coconut oil,” agrees Kimberly Gomer, MS, RD, director of nutrition at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami.

Palm oil. Palm oil is also high in saturated fat. Because they’re at risk for heart disease, people with diabetes should pay close attention to their saturated fat consumption and avoid sources of the fat like palm oil, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Oils labeled as “partially hydrogenated.” Most partially hydrogenated oils are made from vegetable oils like soybean or cottonseed, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Partially hydrogenated oils are trans fats — fats that the FDA claims have been shown to increase your risk for heart disease. Recently, the FDA ruled that manufacturers must remove all trans fats from their products by 2018. You should remove partially hydrogenated oils from your diet, too, Warren says.

SINGAPORE – The Ministry of Health (MOH) will be introducing a ban on partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), a key source of artificial trans fat, in all foods sold in Singapore from June 2021.

On Thursday (June 6), the MOH said that the ban will include fats, oils and pre-packaged foods, whether manufactured locally or imported.

The new ban will also apply to packaged food, like noodles and cookies.

Here are seven things to know about trans fat.

1. What are trans fats and PHOs?

Trans fats are unsaturated fatty acids that can come from natural or industrial sources.

Naturally occurring trans fats come from cows and sheep, while industrially produced or artificial trans fats are formed in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

This converts the liquid into a solid, resulting in partially hydrogenated oils, which increase the shelf-life of products.

Around 10 per cent of oils, fats and pre-packaged food products in Singapore currently contain PHOs. These products include peanut butter spreads, potato chips, cookies and instant noodles.

Foods such as fried doughnuts and baked goods may contain trans fat. PHOTO: ST FILE

2. Where is it found?

Trans fat occurs naturally in very small amounts of animal and dairy foods, but the majority of trans fat consumed are from commercial products, said Ms Jaclyn Reutens, a dietitian from Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants.

Many might be disappointed to hear that some favourites such as fried doughnuts, baked goods including cakes, pies, and cookies, and stick margarine and other spreads contain trans fat.

But not all hope is lost.

While baked and fried street and restaurant foods often contain industrially produced trans fat, all of these products can be made without it, said the WHO.

It has to be noted that even if a food item is labelled as trans fat free, it may not be so. Under labelling guidelines, if a product has less than 0.5g of trans fat per 100g, it can be labelled as trans fat free.

3. Why is it bad for you?

Trans fat increases the risk of developing heart disease and stroke, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). It is also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Trans fat also raises your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels.

Approximately 540,000 deaths each year can be attributed to the intake of artificial trans fat, said the WHO in 2018.

It said that high trans fat intake increases the risk of death from any cause by 34 per cent, coronary heart disease deaths by 28 per cent, and coronary heart disease by 21 per cent.

Trans fat has no known health benefits, the organisation added.

4. If it is so bad, why do companies use it?

“Trans fats are easy to use, inexpensive to produce and last a long time,” said the AHA.

They also give foods a desirable taste and texture. Many restaurants and fast-food outlets use oils with trans fats for deep frying because these oils can be used many times in commercial fryers, added the association.

PHOs are solid at room temperature and prolong the shelf life of products. They were first introduced into the food supply in the early 20th century as a replacement for butter and lard, said the WHO.

“They are not a natural part of the human diet and are fully replaceable,” the organisation emphasised.

5. How much trans fat can you take in before it has adverse effects on your health?

The daily limit is 1 per cent of the total calories consumed in a day, said Ms Reutens.

The average consumption of trans fat globally was estimated to be 1.4 per cent of total energy in 2010, with a range of 0.2 to 6.5 per cent of total energy across countries, according to the WHO.

6. How to reduce intake of trans fat?

Some tips from the AHA include encouraging the use of naturally occurring, unhydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower or olive oil more often, and looking for processed foods made with unhydrogenated oil rather than partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated vegetable oils or saturated fat.

On a more macro level, the WHO said that mandatory national limits on industrially produced trans fat are the most effective way to reduce trans fat in the food supply.

Countries like the United States, Canada and Thailand have banned PHOs.

The World Health Organisation suggested using other oils like sunflower oil, olive oil, and others. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

7. What are the alternatives to trans fat?

Ms Reutens suggested alternatives such as butter, which has saturated fats, and other vegetable oils high in saturated fats such as palm oil or kernel oil.

The WHO advised that PHOs can be replaced by oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids such as safflower oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, and oils from fatty fish, walnuts and seeds.

Oils rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids are also an alternative. These include canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil and oils from nuts and avocados.

SOURCES: The Straits Times, World Health Organisation, American Heart Association

Is Peanut Oil Healthy? The Surprising Truth

Peanut oil is a great source of vitamin E.

It has also been linked to some health benefits, including reducing certain risk factors for heart disease and lowering blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Peanut Oil Is High in Vitamin E

Just one tablespoon of peanut oil contains 11% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E (1).

Vitamin E is actually the name for a group of fat-soluble compounds that have many important functions in the body.

The main role of vitamin E is to function as an antioxidant, protecting the body from harmful substances called free radicals.

Free radicals can cause damage to cells if their numbers grow too high in the body. They have been linked to chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease (2).

What’s more, vitamin E helps to keep the immune system strong, which protects the body from bacteria and viruses. It is also essential for red blood cell formation, cell signaling and preventing blood clots.

This powerful antioxidant may reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, cataracts and may even prevent age-related mental decline (3, 4).

In fact, an analysis of eight studies that included 15,021 people found a 17% reduction in the risk of age-related cataract in those with the highest dietary intake of vitamin E compared to those with the lowest intake (5).

It May Reduce Heart Disease Risk

Peanut oil is high in both monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fats, both of which have been researched extensively for their roles in reducing heart disease.

There is good evidence that consuming unsaturated fats can lower certain risk factors associated with heart disease.

For example, high levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood have been linked to a greater risk of heart disease. Many studies have shown that replacing saturated fats with MUFAs or PUFAs may reduce both LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels (6, 7, 8).

A large review by the American Heart Association suggests that reducing saturated fat intake and increasing your monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat intake could lower the risk of heart disease by as much as 30% (6).

Another review of 15 controlled studies had similar findings, concluding that reducing saturated fats in the diet had no effect on heart disease risk, although replacing some saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat may reduce the risk of heart events (9).

Yet these benefits were only seen when replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. It is unclear if adding more of these fats to your diet without changing other dietary components will have a positive effect on heart health.

Additionally, it is important to note that other major studies have shown little or no effect on heart disease risk when reducing saturated fat or replacing it with these other fats.

For example, a recent review of 76 studies including over 750,000 people found no link between saturated fat intake and the risk of heart disease, even for those with the highest intake (10).

While peanut oil has a good amount of polyunsaturated fats, there are many other nutritious options that are higher in this type of fat like walnuts, sunflower seeds and flaxseeds.

Peanut Oil May Improve Insulin Sensitivity

Studies have shown that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes.

Consuming any fat with carbohydrates helps slow the absorption of sugars in the digestive tract and leads to a slower rise in blood sugar. However, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, in particular, may play a bigger role in blood sugar control (11).

In a review of 102 clinical studies that included 4,220 adults, researchers found that replacing just 5% of saturated fat intake with polyunsaturated fats led to a significant reduction in blood sugar levels and HbA1c, a marker of long-term blood sugar control.

Additionally, replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat significantly improved insulin secretion in these subjects. Insulin helps cells absorb glucose and keeps your blood sugar from getting too high (12).

Animal studies also suggest that peanut oil improves blood sugar control.

In one study, diabetic rats fed peanut oil experienced significant reductions in both blood sugar levels and HbA1c. In another study, diabetic mice given diets fortified with peanut oil had significant reductions in blood sugar (13, 14).

Summary Peanut oil may reduce heart disease risk factors. It may also help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. It is also a great source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage.

Oils That Lower Cholesterol and Heart Attack Risk

Which oils can help lower my cholesterol and risk of heart attack? How are coconut oil, olive oil, and fish oil for example?
Lowering intake of saturated fats (and oils, which are fats) in your diet and replacing them with unsaturated fats, particularly polyunsaturated fats, can reduce cardiovascular disease by about 30%, similar to the reduction achieved by statin treatment, according to the American Heart Association (AHA) (Sacks, Circulation 2017). This will lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
Ideally, this should be done as part of an overall healthful dietary pattern such as the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) or Mediterranean diet. Note, however, that reducing saturated fats in the diet only to replace them with carbohydrates from refined grains (as opposed to whole grains) and added sugars does not prevent coronary heart disease.
Here are the foods high in saturated fat that the AHA recommends reducing in the diet, followed by foods containing primarily unsaturated fats which should replace foods in the first list in order to lower LDL cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease:
Sources of saturated fat (to be decreased in the diet):
The main sources of saturated fats in the diet are dairy fat (butter), lard (pork), beef tallow, palm kernel oil, and, yes, coconut oil. In fact, 82% of coconut and palm kernel oil is saturated fat. The AHA advises against use of coconut oil because it has been found to increase LDL (“bad”) cholesterol with no favorable offsetting effects. (Note: The AHA acknowledges that coconut oil can increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol, but changing HDL “… can no longer be linked to changes in CVD , and therefore, the LDL cholesterol-raising effect should be considered on its own.”) Hence the AHA recommends substituting unsaturated fats for coconut oil and other sources of saturated fats. Like all fats, coconut oil is a source of energy and it has been argued that, because a high proportion of its saturated fat is the medium-chain variety, it may provide energy faster that other fats. While that may be true, it will increase LDL cholesterol relative to oils higher in unsaturated fats.
Sources of unsaturated fats (to replace foods above):
Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, and walnuts, are foods containing mainly unsaturated fats which are predominantly polyunsaturated. Olive oil (see our Review), avocados, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, and pecans also contain mainly unsaturated fats, but these are predominantly as monounsaturated fat, which, according to the AHA, is better than saturated fat and almost as good as polyunsaturated fat, although replacing monounsaturated fat with polyunsaturated fat may further lower LDL cholesterol. Safflower and sunflower oils fall somewhere between the two groups because although both are very low in saturated fat, the most commonly available products on the market are higher in monounsaturated fat (as oleic acid — the same found in olive oil) than older varieties of these oils which were higher in polyunsaturated fat (as linoleic acid).
Keep in mind that these sources of unsaturated fat will help your cardiovascular system if they are replacing saturated fat but not if you are just adding them to your existing diet. It takes about 2 years to achieve 60-70% of the full cardiovascular beneficial effects of these changes to your diet (Sacks, Circulation 2017).
Of course, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease is not the only potential benefit of oils. Olive oil, particularly extra virgin olive oil, contains polyphenols and may improve blood sugar control and even reduce the risk of breast and colorectal cancers.
Other fats/oils:
The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA found in fish oil may help treat inflammatory conditions, but they don’t reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease when taken as a supplement — although eating non-fried fish twice a week, instead of other meats, can, and high-dose, highly concentrated EPA and DHA can lower elevated triglycerides although it has not been directly proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in flaxseed oil does not reduce the overall risk of cardiovascular disease when taken as a supplement, but a diet rich in ALA appears to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and has been associated with a lower risk of fatal heart attacks.
Also see ConsumerLab.com’s Reviews of Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements and Red Yeast Rice Supplements.

Learn More About Supplements and Oils to Lower Cholesterol

Which supplements can help lower cholesterol and keep my heart healthy? Are there any to avoid? >>
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How can I find the best quality extra virgin olive oil? >>
See other recent and popular questions >>
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If you have moderately high cholesterol, or want to keep your cholesterol low or normal, dietary control is a less expensive alternative to medication and also has fewer side effects. Using vegetable-based cooking oils like organic Peanut oil is one option for vegetable oil cooking.

History of organic peanut oil to kill your cholesterol level

All polyunsaturated fats help lower total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, but generally, have no effect on HDL. A brief study from India published in 2006 in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine did show that feeding diabetic rats groundnut oil lowered the animals’ total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides and also raised HDL (“good”) cholesterol, but that’s the only study I’ve found showing that peanut oil increases HDL. Most of the studies that have looked at the effect of peanuts and Organic peanut oil on human heart health have shown that the oil and peanuts help lower total cholesterol and LDL but do not increase HDL which is bad for human health.

Benefits of cold-pressed peanut oil

HDL is called “good” cholesterol because in this form cholesterol travels away from the arteries and back to the liver for eventual elimination from the body. The higher your HDL, the lower your risk of heart disease. Studies on cholesterol and heart disease have suggested that each increase of 4 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dl) in HDL results in a 8 percent decrease in the risk of adverse coronary events. In contrast, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol can combine with other substances and build up in the walls of arteries to form “plaque.” Over time, this plaque damages arterial walls, causing them to narrow and harden. Also, the rough surface of plaque can provide a site for blood to clot, sometimes completely blocking an artery, or forming an embolus that can travel elsewhere in the body and cause a stroke.

Cold pressed Peanut oil contains saturated fat, but at a rate of just 1 gram of saturated fat for nearly 4 grams of unsaturated fats. This means that, although it does stimulate your body to produce harmful LDL cholesterol, it stimulates much more production of unsaturated fats. It’s much better than butter or other animal oils for cholesterol.

These are just a handful of benefits of Using Organic Ground nut oil. The fast and easiest way to get Organic grountnut oil is through an online store. You can always select the quantity of oil as per your requirements. Do you need some assistance on buying cold press oil? Feel free to contact us through +91 9880 43 8368 / 9880 20 6045 or purchase your own pack on online through www.parambariyam.in.

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