Most delicacies around the globe are prepared using various types of oil. This smooth-flowing liquid enhances the organoleptic property and flavor of the food. Cooking oil comes from a variety of sources, many come from plant sources such as palm oil, olive oil, canola oil, and groundnut oil, while others like butter and lard have animal origins.

Many around the world are cooking with the wrong oil and studies have found a significant correlation between high consumption of unhealthy oil and low-density lipoprotein concentration which has been identified as a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. A long-term study conducted in the United States involving more than 120,000 individuals reported that switching from saturated fat and/or Trans fats to polyunsaturated fat could reduce the risk of dying by 27%.

Saturated Oils

  1. Cheese: Cheese is a dairy product made from the curd of milk. It contains saturated fats, which are solid at room temperature. Saturated fats have been associated with an increased risk of heart disease when consumed in excess.
  2. Butter: Butter is a popular dairy product made from churning cream or milk. It is rich in saturated fats and is commonly used in cooking and baking. Due to its high saturated fat content, moderation is recommended in its consumption.
  3. Palm Kernel Oil: Palm kernel oil is extracted from the seeds of the oil palm fruit. It is a highly saturated fat, with about 80% of its fatty acids being saturated. It is widely used in various food products, cosmetics, and industrial applications.

Unsaturated Oils

  1. Canola Oil: Canola oil is derived from the rapeseed plant and is considered a healthy option due to its low saturated fat content and high levels of monounsaturated fats. It is widely used in cooking and as a salad oil.
  2. Groundnut Oil (Peanut Oil): Groundnut oil, also known as peanut oil, is extracted from peanuts and is a good source of monounsaturated fats. It is commonly used for frying, roasting, and in various Asian cuisines.
  3. Olive Oil: Olive oil is extracted from olives and is a staple of Mediterranean diets. It is rich in monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, which is associated with various health benefits, including heart health.
  4. Sesame Oil: Sesame oil is extracted from sesame seeds and is popular in Asian cuisine. It contains a mix of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, making it a healthier choice compared to saturated fats.
  5. Soybean Oil: Soybean oil is derived from soybeans and is one of the most widely consumed vegetable oils globally. It is a good source of polyunsaturated fats, particularly omega-6 fatty acids.

Regarding Palm Oil

Although palm oil is classified as a highly saturated fat due to its chemical structure, recent research has revealed some unique aspects of its effects on cholesterol levels in the body. According to the publication by the University of California, lab research has shown that despite being a saturated fat, palm oil may act more like an unsaturated fat when it comes to its impact on blood cholesterol levels.

Specifically, studies suggest that palm oil, when compared to other sources of saturated fats like butter or cheese, does not raise LDL cholesterol (commonly known as “bad” cholesterol) as significantly. It is believed that certain components in palm oil, such as tocotrienols and other antioxidants, might counteract the cholesterol-raising effect typically associated with saturated fats. However, it is essential to note that this research is still relatively new and more studies are needed to fully understand the implications.

Despite these findings, it is crucial to consume all oils, including palm oil, in moderation as part of a balanced diet. The American Heart Association recommends limiting the intake of saturated fats to reduce the risk of heart disease, and it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist for personalized dietary recommendations. Choosing healthier unsaturated oils, like olive oil and canola oil, as primary cooking oils can contribute to a heart-healthy diet.


Best Oil for Frying

The best oil for frying are unsaturated oil because they are friendly to the heart and does not increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases like saturated oils. Frying with  Sesame oil, Canola oil, Groundnut oil, Olive oil, Soya oil and other unsaturated oils  is a healthy choice as it significantly lowers your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases as compared to saturated oils.


Why Saturated Oil Is Bad For Your Health

Why Saturated Oil Is Bad For Your Health?

Saturated oils are considered bad for your health due to their adverse effects on cardiovascular health. Here are some reasons why saturated oils should be consumed in moderation:

  1. Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases: Consuming saturated oils has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart disease and stroke. Saturated fats raise the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, commonly known as “bad” cholesterol, in the blood. High levels of LDL cholesterol can lead to the formation of plaque in the arteries, narrowing them and reducing blood flow to the heart and other vital organs. This buildup of plaque, known as atherosclerosis, can increase the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular events.
  2. High Blood Cholesterol Levels: Saturated oils are a major dietary source of saturated fats. When these fats are consumed, they can raise both LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels in the blood. Elevated blood cholesterol levels are a well-established risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. It is crucial to manage cholesterol levels to reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
  3. Impact on Blood Vessels and Blood Pressure: Research has indicated that diets high in saturated fats can negatively affect blood vessel function and blood pressure regulation. High consumption of saturated fats may impair the ability of blood vessels to dilate and constrict properly, leading to increased blood pressure and a strain on the cardiovascular system.
  4. Association with Obesity and Diabetes: Diets high in saturated fats have been linked to an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Obesity is a risk factor for various health conditions, including heart disease. Moreover, people with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular complications, and saturated fats can exacerbate insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, contributing to diabetes risk.
  5. Replacing with Healthier Alternatives: While saturated fats have been vilified for their negative effects on health, it is important to note that not all fats are created equal. Replacing saturated oils with healthier alternatives, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in olive oil, canola oil, and fatty fish, can have positive effects on heart health. These healthier fats can help lower LDL cholesterol levels and improve overall cardiovascular health.

In conclusion, excessive consumption of saturated oils is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke. Reducing the intake of saturated fats and replacing them with healthier options can be beneficial for heart health and overall well-being. Maintaining a balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, combined with regular physical activity, is essential for promoting cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.


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Public Health Ng

Public Health Nigeria an Interdisciplinary public health movement focused on health education, advancing fair public health policies, promoting fitness, healthy diets, responsible behavior, community health and general well-being.

Public Health Ng
Public Health Nigeria an Interdisciplinary public health movement focused on health education, advancing fair public health policies, promoting fitness, healthy diets, responsible behavior, community health and general well-being.

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