When people hear about vegetable oil, many would immediately think about its plant-based health benefits. It has been one of the widely used cooking oils around the world.
Vegetable oil comes from different plants, including canola, coconut, corn, olive, palm, safflower, soybean and sunflower. Consumers opt for this product because of widespread availability and lower price.
The use of vegetable oil for food increased by 48 per cent between 1995 and 2011, according to Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. Aside from cooking and baking, the oil is also widely used in making condiments, margarine, salad dressings, biodiesel production and other industrial products.
Palm oil, soybean oil, rapeseed oil and sunflower seed oil are the most common products across the world. But coconut oil and olive oil are also getting more attention because of their reported health benefits.
Studies linked the coconut-derived product to higher levels of good cholesterol. Researchers previously discovered olive oil could help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, according to DrAxe.com.
However, some vegetable oils may not always promote better health. Experts warned that the products are highly refined and processed, which involved exposure to a number of chemicals.
Bad effects of vegetable oils
Vegetable oils contain high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, which have been linked to inflammation. The oil also easily deteriorates when exposed to heat and produces free radicals that could trigger inflammation and damage cells in the body.
Hydrogenated vegetable oils have been associated with different health conditions. The high levels of trans fats in the products could contribute to development of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and certain types of cancer.
Memory loss and more
Brominated vegetable oil is another form of the product that is soft drinks. Health experts said this additive can be incredibly harmful. Previous studies showed that the oil could cause memory loss, impaired development and problems with the heart, liver and thyroid health. Researchers also found that in both animals and humans brominated vegetable oil causes headaches and fatigue.
Vegetable oil alternatives
There are a number of safe and healthy options to put in your kitchen. You can use extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and ghee to replace the potentially harmful vegetable oils.
These products are known for promoting heart health, increased metabolism and better brain function. Ghee is also linked to a lower risk of cancer cell growth.
Source: Medical Daily