In March 2009 BNF published a new Briefing Paper on Culinary oils and their health effects.
The paper begins by introducing the worldwide and UK situation of the production, processing and consumption of plant-based oils, including ideal storage of oils. The paper then considers the fatty acid composition of culinary oils and highlights the fatty acids which are associated with specific benefits or risks effecting cardiovascular health. This is followed by current dietary recommendations on fat for cardiovascular health and shows the contribution of culinary oils to nutrient intakes in the UK diet.
The paper then describes the production and processing, nutrient composition and food uses for common culinary oils including rapeseed, sunflower, soybean, palm, olive, peanut, sesame, corn and flaxseed oils and other less common oils such as walnut and coconut oils. It also summarises the evidence for these individual oils and their relationship to health. Comparisons have been made between the fatty acid profiles of the individual culinary oils. In addition, the paper considers plant breeding and modifications to traditional oilseeds and the future developments in plant breeding to favourably modify oil fatty acid profiles to benefit heart health.
Finally, the paper considers culinary oils in a healthy, balanced diet and concludes by highlighting that all oils, regardless of whether they contain ‘good’ or ‘bad’ fats, are almost 100% fat and therefore, should only be included in the diet in small amounts.
For more information, the paper is attached below.