Vegetable oils come from oil-bearing seeds such as olive, soybeans, corn, peanuts, cotton seed and palm nuts. Vegetable oils contain 100 percent fat, and they usually remain liquid even at fairly low temperatures. Most vegetable oils come in a light yellow color and produce a mild, tolerable odor. The most common uses of vegetable oil include as shortening for baked goods, pastries and breads; to improve food texture; as a medium for cooking procedures such as frying; and as a base for flavored content.
Improvement of Metabolism
The intake of vegetable oil, particularly olive oil, may increase metabolism in obese people, according to a study conducted in São Paulo State University, Brazil, and published in the October 2010 issue of the “Nutrition Journal.” As stated in this study, olive oil contains phenolic compounds, substances that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-blood clotting properties, which may possibly increase the body's metabolic rate.
Decrease in Risk for Heart Disease
Vegetable oil may decrease the risk for developing heart diseases, according to a study conducted in State University of New York, Buffalo, and published by “The Journal of the American Medical Association” in February 1990. The researchers of this study also observed that the factors associated with the development of cardiovascular diseases, such as increased blood sugar level, increased blood pressure and increased serum cholesterol level, normalized in participants who included vegetable oils in their regular diet.
Decrease in Risk for Breast Cancer
A study conducted in Universita di Milano, Italy, and published in the November 1995 issue of the “Cancer Causes and Control” suggests that the regular use of olive oil and other vegetable oils may be beneficial in decreasing the risk for the development of breast cancer. People who use butter and margarine, on the other hand, have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who use vegetable oils.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Vegetable oils, particularly flaxseed oil, nut oil and canola oil, contain omega-3 fatty acids, an essential fatty acid that cannot be synthesized within the body. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, omega-3 plays an important role in the preservation of healthy heart and brain function and the normal growth and development of the body. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends the regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Vegetable Oil
- “Nutrition Journal”; Effects of Olive Oil and Its Minor Phenolic Constituents on Obesity-induced Cardiac Metabolic Changes; G.M. Ebaid, et al.; October 2010
- “The Journal of the American Medical Association”; Consumption of Olive Oil, Butter, and Vegetable Oils and Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors; M. Trevisan, et al.; February 1990
- “Cancer Causes and Control”; Olive Oil, Other Dietary Fats, and the Risk of Breast Cancer; C. la Vecchia, et al.; November 1995
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Omega-3 Fatty Acids