Saturated Fat in Oils

Oddly, ingesting cholesterol will not raise the blood cholesterol nearly as much as eating a type of fat called “saturated fat.”   Like cholesterol, saturated fat is primarily found in animal products like cheese, butter, cream, whole milk, ice cream, lard and marbled meats.

Don’t believe that if you just change to vegetable oil you can eliminate the problem.  Some vegetable oils are also high in saturated fat.  Palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter are also very high in saturated fat.  Unfortunately, these are also most often used in commercially baked goods, coffee creams and nondairy whipped toppings, so make sure you read labels.

Here is a chart showing the comparisons of different oils.

 Product    

Saturated 

Cholesterol 

 Polyunsaturated

 Monounsaturated

 Canola Oil

 7% 

0 mg 

35% 

58% 

 Safflower Oil

 9% 

0 mg 

78% 

12% 

 Sunflower Oil

 11%

0 mg

42% 

47% 

 Corn Oil

 13%

0 mg 

62% 

25% 

 Olive Oil

 14%

0 mg 

12% 

74%

 Hydrogenated Sunflower Oil

 14%

0 mg 

40% 

48% 

 Sesame Oil

 15% 

0 mg 

44% 

42% 

 Soybean Oil

 15%

0 mg

60% 

24% 

 Margerine, bottled

 17%

0 mg

47% 

36% 

 Margerine, tub

 17%

0 mg 

37% 

46% 

 Peanut Oil

 18%

0 mg 

33% 

49% 

 Margerine, stick

 19%

0 mg 

33% 

47% 

 Cocoa Butter

 62%

0 mg 

3% 

35% 

 Butter

 66%

31 mg 

4% 

30% 

 Palm Kernel Oil

 87%

0 mg 

2% 

11% 

 Coconut Oil

 92%

0 mg 

2% 

6% 

Although all of the oils listed above (except butter) contain no measurement of dietary cholesterol, to lower your own cholesterol level, you must use oils low in saturated fat.  Canola oil (7% saturated fat) is one of the best available cooking oils.  Olive oil (14% saturated fat) is also good to use.

One more rule that makes this chart just a bit misleading.  Any fat that is hard at room temperature, such as stick margarine, is not good for your cholesterol.  Margarine has been hydrogenated (hardened) and that process adds trans fatty acids. 

Trans fatty acids may be as bad for you as saturated fat, so stick margarine is equal to butter as far as your cholesterol is concerned.  Diet and soft margarines are a better bet.  Also look for brands of margarine or shortening that top the ingredient list with oils rich in monounsaturated fat, like canola oil.

Cholesterol Information
What is Cholesterol?
Diagnosing High Cholesterol
Causes of High Cholesterol
Cholesterol Medication
Statins
Bile Acid Sequestrants
Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitors
Fibrates
Reducing Cholesterol With Your Diet
Foods That Reduce Cholesterol
Saturated Fat in Oils
Changing Your Diet to Reduce Cholesterol
Cholesterol and Impotence
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