Seed oils are the best choice for people looking to improve their cholesterol
01/14/2019 // Zoey Sky // Views

According to a study, if you want to effectively lower your low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL or "bad" cholesterol) you must replace saturated fats with unsaturated fat. You can do this by switching from other kinds of cooking oil to healthier options such as seed oils.

The study was published in the Journal of Lipid Research.

What kind of cooking oil is good for your health?

Since there are many kinds of cooking oil to choose from, it can be hard to decide on a healthy option. A lot of studies which suggest both mono- and polyunsaturated fats are better for blood lipids than saturated fats replaced one food source at a time, and this can make it harder to identify which vegetable oils are good for heart health.

Blood lipids refer to all the fatty substances found in your blood, like cholesterol and triglycerides. If you have too much cholesterol (fat) in your blood, you have a greater risk of having a heart attack.

To address this dilemma, Lukas Schwingshackl, a researcher at the German Institute of Human Nutrition, has turned to sophisticated statistical tools to verify the findings of research concerning cooking oils.

For the study, the researcher team used network meta-analysis. This emerging technique helped "extract insight from published studies on the effect of various dietary oils on blood lipids."

The study findings imply that seed oils are the best choice for individuals who want to improve their cholesterol.

Because of the lack of a large study comparing all available oils, Schwingshackl et al. constructed a network meta-analysis to illustrate how different oils and solid fats have been matched up. To do this, they collated 55 studies from the 1980s that analyzed the effects of consuming the same amount of calories from two or more different oils on the blood lipids of volunteers.

The studies included in the analysis must compare the effect of two or more oils or fats (from a list of 13 options) on participants’ LDL, or other blood lipids (e.g., total cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins [HDL-cholesterol], or triglycerides) for at least three weeks or longer.

Schwingshackl said that using this method, the researchers were able to compare various interventions simultaneously. The results produced a ranking that made it easier to say which was the best oil for a specific outcome.

The final ranking in the study confirmed that solid fats (e.g., butter and lard) are the worst choice for LDL. It also revealed that the best oils are made from seeds such as flaxseed, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds. (Related: Black Cumin Seed Oil – The Most Powerful Oil for Your Health.)

Schwingshackl said that there were some things to consider for the results of the study. Since it only measured blood lipids, the study doesn't present "a hard clinical outcome." He added, "LDL is a causal risk factor for coronary heart disease, but it’s not coronary heart disease."

He also explained that meta-analyses may be misleading, especially since they tend to combine "low-confidence data into a falsely confident-sounding ranking." To illustrate, for this study there was a lack of evidence to determine a clear "winner" out of all the seed oils. While seed oils can help lower LDL, they may have adverse effects on triglycerides and HDL cholesterol.

Despite these factors, Schwingshackl believes that researchers can use network meta-analysis to successfully synthesize disparate clinical studies for future research.

You can read more articles about seed oils and how they can improve your cholesterol at

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