By. Tricia Stefankiewicz
Fats come in a variety of forms including ones that are room temperature and some that are liquids.
Room temperature fats include butter, margarine, lard, and shortening and are high in saturated fat,
which have been associated with increased bad cholesterol levels and increased overall risk of heart
disease. These fats tend to be more pro-inflammatory when it comes to inflammation risk. Oils, on the
other hand, are fats that at room temperature are liquid. Oils are different in that they are higher in
monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and offer heart healthy benefits, including a lower
risk of heart disease.
Since we need fats in our diet, the goal is to shift from solid fats to liquid fats, not to increase overall fat
intake. Oils provide essential fatty acids and vitamin E. Since oils are fats, they also help absorption of
fat- soluble vitamins: A, D, E, K. Oils can be characterized by the amount of monounsaturated,
polyunsaturated, and saturated fats they contain. Each of the oils have a different combo of those fats.
Some oils have high omega 3 fatty acids while other have higher 6 fatty acid content.
Omega 3 fatty acids are associated with decreasing inflammation risk while omega -6 fatty acid have
been associated with increasing inflammation.
Oils that have a higher omega 3 content and may help decrease risk of inflammation include:
Olive Oil: stable of a Mediterranean diet, offers heart healthy benefits
Extra Virgin (EVOO)
Refined Olive Oil
Flaxseed Oil: should not be used for cooking
Hemp seed oil
Walnut Seed oil
Smoke point: temperature at which oils burn and smoke. Once oils are heated beyond this point the oil
can break down and cause harmful free radicals. High smoke point oils include refined olive oil, canola
oil, and avocado oil.
Other oils chock full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are: These oils may be higher
in the pro-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids include:
Are there any oils that are high in saturated fat????
Yes. Coconut and palm oils have a higher saturated fat content than other oils. Saturated fats are
typically what you would find in animal products. The research on coconut oil is unclear. Some studies
suggest an increase in bad cholesterol, some show an increase in good cholesterol. If you are using
coconut oil and notice an increase in your cholesterol, consider changing to another oil that is lower in