A new study has found that cooking oil has a range of health benefits.
The results were published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.
“We found that high-fat and high-cholesterol cooking oil is less harmful than the saturated fat in other cooking oils,” said Dr Daniel J. Boulanger, who led the research.
“This is a major finding,” he said.
“It shows that cooking oils with more saturated fats and less trans fats are not harmful.”
High-fat cooking oils such as canola, soybean, sunflower, rapeseed and rapeseed oil have all been linked to cardiovascular disease.
“Cooking oils containing high levels of saturated fats, which are generally higher in trans fats, may increase your risk of heart disease and stroke,” said Prof Paul Tovey, from the University of York, UK.
“Our study shows that it may be important to consume a mixture of cooking oils that have a similar amount of trans fat.”
Prof Boulangers team found that saturated fats are associated with inflammation in the body, particularly inflammation in heart and kidney cells.
“Higher levels of inflammation in a population have been associated with higher cardiovascular disease risk,” he added.
“The effect of cooking oil on inflammation was greater in patients with type 2 diabetes than in patients without.”
The research also found that the amount of dietary fat in the diet was associated with more inflammation.
“Trans fats, in particular, were associated with lower inflammation in our study population,” Prof Bousanger said.
But he stressed that the findings did not prove that eating trans fats increases inflammation.
Trans fats, for example, have been shown to have a role in the production of the inflammatory cytokines TNF-alpha and IL-6.
Trans fat can also increase the risk of type 2 heart disease, stroke and other conditions.
“People should be aware of the different types of fats in their diet,” he told BBC News.
“If we want to get to the root cause of heart diseases, we need to look at the whole body.”
The team’s study also found a positive relationship between dietary trans fats and the development of obesity.
They found that higher consumption of cooking and cooking oil had a positive effect on body weight and waist circumference, but not the other way around.
They also found trans fats were associated significantly with the risk for type 2 obesity.
“What we are seeing in the research is that trans fats actually increase the risks of type 1 obesity,” Dr Boulangler said.
He explained that if the trans fats in cooking oil were to have the same effects as the trans fat in trans fat, they would probably be considered the same as the type 2 trans fats.
“I think that there is a bit of a disconnect between the data from the literature and the data we have,” he explained.
“There is a lot of confusion in the literature on what trans fats really are.”
However, Prof Boubanger said that if cooking oils are really as unhealthy as some people have made them out to be, then the answer is not to avoid them.
“They could be an important source of essential nutrients for people to have in their diets,” he noted.
“So, there is no harm in eating them.
I think people need to be aware that there are still a lot more things we need food to do in our bodies than just cook oil.”
What’s your take?
Have you tried cooking oil?
If so, share your experiences in the comments below.
The Independent’s advice is simple – don’t eat or drink anything that comes into contact with oil.
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