Study questions health value of switching from butter to vegetable oil.
Vegetable oil is widely known for its health benefits and there would be many people who have stopped using animal fat such as butter and cheese and replaced them with vegetable oil which is low in saturated fat. But a new research suggests that vegetable oil may help lower cholesterol levels but it cannot reduce the risk of heart disease.
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Prevention from heart disease is something people expect from vegetable oil but not every kind of oil extracted from seeds contributes in achieving this goal. Vegetable oils that are rich in linoleic acid such as soybean, canola and corn oil are in fact having adverse effects on your heart health.
A team of researchers led by medical investigator Chris Ramsden examined data from a trial carried out from 1968 to 1973 that involved more than 9,000 people living in nursing homes and mental hospitals.
The participants were divided into two groups. During the course of almost four years, one group took a diet high in saturated fat while other group received linoleic rich oil diet. At the end of the clinical trial, researchers found that linoleic rich oil failed to reduce heart disease or overall death rate even though it reduced cholesterol levels. Surprisingly, participants who had lower cholesterol levels were actually at high risk of death.
“Available evidence from randomized controlled trials shows that replacement of saturated fat in the diet with linoleic acid effectively lowers serum cholesterol but does not support the hypothesis that this translates to a lower risk of death from coronary heart disease or all causes.” Study concludes.
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The latest research is not conclusive and has its own limitations but it certainly challenges the popular assumption that vegetable oils reduce the risk of heart disease. Further researches are required to fill the gaps and to find more conclusive evidences.