Table of Contents Hide
- Vegetable Oil Nutritional Profile
- Vegetable Oil Nutrients in This Food
- How To Serve Nutritious Food
- Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food
- How To Buying This Food
- How To Storing This Food
- What Happens When You Cook This Food
- How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food
- Amazing Medical Uses and/or Benefits
(Coconut oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, olive oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil)
See also Butter, Nuts, Olives.
Vegetable Oil Nutritional Profile
• Energy value (calories per serving): High
• Protein: None
• Fat: High
• Saturated fat: Moderate
• Cholesterol: None
• Carbohydrates: None
• Fiber: None
• Sodium: None
• Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin E
• Major mineral contribution: None
Vegetable Oil Nutrients in This Food
• Vegetable oils are low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, including the essential fatty acid linoleic acid.
• The polyunsaturates are a good source of vitamin E, the collective name for a group of chemicals called tocopherols.
• The tocopherol with the most vitamin E activity is alpha-tocopherol; the RDA for vitamin E is stated as milligrams of alpha-tocopherol equivalents (mg a-TE): 10 mg a-TE for a man, 8 mg a-TE for a woman.
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How To Serve Nutritious Food
• In moderation.
Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food
• low-fat diet
How To Buying This Food
Tightly sealed bottles of vegetable oil, protected from light and heat.
How To Storing This Food
• Store vegetable oils in a cool, dark cabinet to protect them from light, heat, and air. When exposed to air, fatty acids become rancid, which means that they combine with oxygen to form hydroperoxides, natural substances that taste bad, smell bad, and may destroy the vitamin E in the oil.
• The higher the proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the oil, the more quickly it will turn rancid. Many salad and cooking oils contain antioxidant preservatives (BHT, BHA) to slow this reaction.
What Happens When You Cook This Food
• Heat promotes the oxidation of fats, a chemical reaction accelerated by cooking fats in iron pots. Cooked fats are safe at normal temperatures, but when they are used over and over, they may break down into components known as free radicals which are suspected carcinogens.
• Most fats begin to decompose well below 500°F, and they may catch fire spontaneously with no warning without boiling first. The point at which they decompose and burn is called the smoking point. Vegetable shortening will burn at 375°F, vegetable oils at close to 450°F.
• Safflower, soybean, cotton-seed, and corn oils have higher smoking points than peanut and sesame oils.
How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food
Margarine and shortening.
Margarine is made of hydrogenated vegetable oils (oils to which hydrogen atoms have been added). Adding hydrogen atoms hardens the oils into a semisolid material than can be molded into bars or packed in tubs as margarine or shortening.
• Hydrogenation also changes the structure of some of the polyunsaturated fatty acids in the oils from a form known as “cis fatty acids” to a form known as “trans fatty acids.”
• Questions have been raised as to the safety of trans fatty acids, but there is no proof so far that they are more likely than cis fatty acids to cause atherosclerosis. Margarines may also contain coloring agents (to make the margarine look like butter), emulsifiers, and milk or animal fats (including butter).
• Margarine should be refrigerated, closely wrapped to keep it from picking up odors from other foods. It will keep for about two weeks in the refrigerator before its fatty acids oxidize to produce off odors and taste.
• Shortening can be stored, tightly covered, at room temperature.
Amazing Medical Uses and/or Benefits
Lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
A diet high in cholesterol and saturated fats increases the amount of cholesterol circulating through your arteries and raises your risk of coronary artery disease (heart attack). To reduce the risk of heart disease, the National Cholesterol Education Project recommends following the Step I and Step II diets.
• The Step I diet provides no more than 30 percent of total daily calories from fat, no more than 10 percent of total daily calories from saturated fat, and no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day. It is designed for healthy people whose cholesterol is in the range of 200–239 mg/dL.
• The Step II diet provides 25–35 percent of total calories from fat, less than 7 percent of total calories from saturated fat, up to 10 percent of total calories from polyunsaturated fat, up to 20 percent of total calories from monounsaturated fat, and less than 300 mg cholesterol per day. This stricter regimen is designed for people who have one or more of the following conditions:
• Existing cardiovascular disease
• High levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs, or “bad” cholesterol) or low levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs, or “good” cholesterol)
• Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes, or diabetes mellitus)
• Metabolic syndrome, a.k.a. insulin resistance syndrome, a cluster of risk factors that includes type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent diabetes)
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