Oil in the Family

Confused about fats and oils? Here’s a handy guide.

All fats are a mix of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (though people usually categorize each by the fatty acid that predominates). Odds are, you get mostly soybean oil in prepared foods (like salad dressings, mayonnaise, and margarine) and restaurant foods. So you’ll probably end up with a good mix of unsaturated fats if you use canola oil and olive oil (when you want its flavor) for cooking.

Concerned about canola oil? Check out our post that deals with many common canola complaints.

Unsure about unsaturated and saturated fats? Read our interview with world-renowned expert on diet and cardiovascular disease Martijn Katan.

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5 Replies to “Oil in the Family”

  1. Wish you had more information on the safety of coconut oil. Many seniors are being pushed by their children to ingest “healthy” coconut oil. Many have heart problems and I am concerned for them. What is the truth?

  2. Please tell people not to use palm oil or products containing that oil because the people who grow palm oil trees have to cut down the trees that orangutans need to live in.

    1. Based on the Nutritional Information on the bottle of grapeseed oil in my refrigerator, it consists of 7% saturated fat, 22% monounsaturated fat, and 71% polyunsaturated fat. If ranked by % saturated fat, that would put grapeseed oil at the top of the chart with canola oil (though its other fats would put it closer to flaxseed and walnut oils).

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