Q:

Is vegetable oil bad for you?

A:

Quick Answer

Vegetable oil is a heart-healthy fat, especially when used as a substitute for saturated fats such as butter and shortening. The vegetable-oil classification comprises all plant-based oils, and maximizing their health benefits requires balancing the types consumed.

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Full Answer

Vegetable oils include oils such as corn, olive, peanut, coconut and safflower, as well as nut oils such as walnut and cashew. Oils labeled "vegetable oil" are typically mostly soybean oil.

Vegetable oils can be monounsaturated, which are high in omega-3s, or polyunsaturated, which are high in omega-6s. Both are important to heart health, but reaping the benefits requires consuming 80 to 90 percent more omega-6-rich oils than omega-3-rich varieties. Corn and safflower oil are high in omega-6s, and soybean, olive and canola are higher in omega-3s.

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