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Vegetable Oils

  • By: Jessica A. Grieger & Penny M. Kris-Etherton
  • In: Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine & Health
  • Edited by: James M. Rippe
  • Subject:Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine, Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology

Vegetable oils are purified fats of plant origin that are either liquid or solid at room temperature. Vegetable oils are used for cooking, frying, and baking; for salad dressings; and as dipping oils. Cooking oils typically are liquid at room temperature, including olive oil, canola oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, walnut oil, and other nut oils. Solid vegetable oils, such as palm oil, palm kernel oil, and cocoa butter, are used in food preparation to provide desired textural qualities and flavor. Often, solid vegetable oils are used for manufacturing nonfood products such as cosmetics, soaps, and candles. They also can be hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated to increase resistance to oxidation or to raise the viscosity and melting point of the fat or oil. ...

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