Are some oils good for you... or are they just less bad?

Do the likes of olive oil improve your health by their presence, or by virtue of substitution for unhealthy fats such as lard?

I’m pretty sure that the Omega Fatty Acids that you get from fresh fish are good for you, period. AFAIK, olive oil is healthier than other oils 'cause it has no cholesterol.

IANA Food Scientist though.

ALL vegetable oils are cholesterol-free; cholesterol is only present in animal fats (although soybeans do contain sterols, it ain’t cholesterol).

Yes, there are positive benefits from omega-3 and omega-6 oils, as well as polyunsaturated oils. They’re still triglycerides, and eating too much of them has the same effect that eating too much of any fat has: weight gain, heart disease, and skidmarks.

The idea is to restrict the amount of fat you eat to a reasonable amount, and to make sure that the majority of that fat is unsaturated.

This is another lay response, but yes, some oils are better than others. It has to do with the the amounts of mono-unsaturated, poly-unsaturated and saturated fats in the oils. Different fats have different amounts of these types these in them. As we have been told over and over again, saturated fats are the bad ones. They tend to raise the levels of the “bad” cholesterol (LDL, right?). The unsaturated fats tend to raise the level of the “good” cholesterol (HDL).

Then there are the evil trans fats (partially hydrogenized vegetable oil) that raise the bad AND lower the good.

A simple rule of thumb that I learned is that if a fat is solid at room temperature, it tends to be high in either trans fats or saturated fats.

Most edibles are not ‘bad’ or ‘good’, but the amounts are.

Implying that consuming more olive oil is ‘good’ doesn’t mean olive oil is inherently good. It means that there are benfits to consuming more if you aren’t consuming the recommended amount (and recommended am’ts of many things get revised).

Sugar is not bad, nor is fat, but many diets exceed the recommended am’ts, or are tailored in a way such that it is easy to consistently exceed the recommended am’ts.

Protein can be bad for you when consumed in excess amounts, if it leads to stones or other ailments that come from the body having a consistent and disproportionate am’t opf protein.

Tuna is good for you, but consumed in excess you might encounter too much mercury (which occurs naturally in many fishes).

People need fat in their diets to survive. Extremely low fat diets are dangerous, especially for children who are still developing. Fats are generally the only source of “essential fatty acids” (like linoleic acid), which are building blocks for many cell structures, especially nerve tissue. Mono and poly unsaturated fats provide these essential fatty acids without providing nearly as much of the molecules that the body tends to turn into unhealthy compounds. Saturated fats and trans fats generally have the essential fatty acids too, but are more rife with molecular metabolites that raise the “bad” cholesterol and promote atherogenesis (plaque in the arteries).

Of course it’s all more complicated that I have outlined in the above paragraph, but that’s not a completely incorrect summary.

Recent research suggests that the body may need a minimum amount of fat in order to fully absorb most of the nutrients from raw vegetables. cite It’s making me rethink my habit of eating raw spinach with only basalmic vinegar for dressing…