T Nation

Vegetable Oils?



I know that hydrogenated vegetable oil contains trans fats, so when I see it listed on the ingredients label I avoid the product.

Anyway, what is the verdict when one of the following is listed under ingredients of a product:

vegetable oil
nonhydrogenated vegetable oil
palm oil
sunflower oil




Well, if the bottle also has the words "cold pressed virgin", and there are not other ingredients listed except the oil, and the bottle is glass, then that is OK.

Otherwise you are buying processed food, which is inferior.

Actually I'd like to hear people's opinions on cooking with, say, olive oil. If they think it is a no-no, or if a bit of heat is OK in their opinion.


I' aware of that. I try to avoid processed foods altogether

However, ocassionally I run into products containing one of the beforementioned oils.

I' just interested to know how "bad" they are compared to hydrogenated vegetable oil, which as far I understand, should be avoided completely.


It's not nearly as bad. Not even the same ballpark. That being said, regular processed on the shelf in your supermarket oils still aren't good for you and they throw your omega 3 to omega 6 ratio out of whack with too many 6's.

Bottom line: If you are eating foods out of a box, you shouldn't be eating it. Make it the food an occasional treat or the exception.


A correlation?

In the past hundred or so years, our consumption of meat and butter has fallen, while our consumption of these oils has risen dramatically. We've had a rise of obesity and heart disease. Is there a connection?


...refined oil - much like the stuff you see on supermarket shelves in plastic bottles - not a great choice

See above. This label seems mostly like a marketing strategy, especially if the label says there are no trans fats in the product.

...not altogether bad, but not particularly good. Palm oil is high is saturated fats that aren't the short-chained version in coconut oil that provide quick energy.

Sunflower oil is high in linoleic acid (omega-6).


It depends on what you plan to do with it. I wouldn't bake with it because the strong flavor might make the end product taste different.

Sauteing is not bad, in my opinion. Because olive oil is mostly monounsaturated, it's not as unstable as flax oil or other types of polyunsaturated oils. Just keep the heat under control (to avoid smoking), and there's little worry.