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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Allen

Vegetable oils are derived from plants, such as coconuts, sunflowers, soybeans, olives, and peanuts. Unlike animal fats, which are solid at room temperature, vegetable oils are liquid at room temperature. Vegetable oils may contain saturated fats and trans-fats, both which may contribute to health problems.

In the human diet, saturated fats are derived from animal sources, and some plant sources, while trans-fats originate in meat and milk, in addition to partially hydrogenated and refined vegetable oils.

Vegetable Oil Health Effects

Generally, oils are not healthy. Contrary to expectations, even extra virgin olive oil may impair arterial function when consumed. Other oils also have deleterious effects on endothelial function. Research confirms that ingestion of oil, no matter which type of oil or whether it was fresh or deep fried, showed a significant and constant decrease in arterial function.

Saturated and trans-fats contribute to the progression of other diseases, such as autoimmune diseases, cancer, and heart disease. They can also cause insulin resistance, the underlying cause of prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes. The latest research supports the notion that trans-fat intake, irrespective of source (animal or industrial) increases cardiovascular disease risk.

Toxins from Deep Frying in Oil

Foods that are deep-fried in oil produce toxic volatile carcinogenic compounds, and deep-frying foods in an unventilated area in the house can put people at risk from the air pollution it causes. The worst oil to deep-fry with is coconut oil, which should not be used in any case, and the least toxic was found to be canola, with safflower and extra virgin olive oil in between.

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