Fats and Oils Additional Lecture Information
Oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature, like the vegetable oils used in cooking.
Oils come from many different plants and from fish. What are some of the common
vegetable oils you use in cooking?
Common cooking oils include canola, corn, cottonseed, olive, safflower, soybean,
Other oils can be used for flavoring. Walnut oil and sesame oil are both used
to add certain flavors when cooking.
Oils are also found in nuts, olives, some fish, and avocados.
These foods are naturally
high in oils.
Processed foods that are mainly oil include mayonnaise, certain salad
dressings, and soft (tub or squeeze) margarine with no
Fish oils are also known as omega-3-fatty acids, and sometimes called EPA or DHA on
food labels. Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent clogging of the arteries which may help
lower the risk for blocked blood vessels and heart attacks. Additional benefits of omega-
3’s are currently being studied. Some types of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
These include Albacore tuna, Herring, Mackerel, Rainbow trout, Sardines, Salmon,
Trout. Make eating fish a regular part of your weekly meals.
Enjoy fish 2 or 3 times a
Agent Special Note:
(be sure to mention to group) Although women of childbearing
age and young children in particular should include fish or shellfish in their diets due to
the many nutritional benefits, they should avoid fish high in mercury which is unsafe to
Young children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and women of childbearing
age should AVOID fish with high mercury levels such as Shark, Swordfish, King
Mackerel, and Tilefish.
Eat up to 12 oz of a variety of fish per week, no more than 6 oz
of albacore tuna (canned light tuna is fine), and check local advisories on fish from local
Some plant foods are also sources of omega-3 fatty acids such as tofu and other
soybean products, walnuts, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, and canola oil.
The type of
omega-3 fatty acid found in plant sources is different than the type found in fish, which
is EPA and DHA.
Instead, the type of omega-3 fatty acid is called alpha-linolenic acid
(ALA) and is converted to EPA and DHA in the body.
Most oils are composed of monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils contain fatty acids that are necessary for
health – called “essential fatty acids.”
That is why there is an allowance for oils on the
These oils are also the major source of vitamin E in typical American
Plant and nut oils are also low in saturated fat and do not contain any cholesterol.
Why are oils cholesterol free?