Chips, French fries not as bad as you may think

Experts say vegetable oil is important for heart health

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Giving up chips and fries might not be so good for you after all.

A new study suggests adults should make sure they get a daily dose of vegetable oil that chips are often cooked in. The research says that basic cooking oil, mostly used for frying fish, cooking chips and fries, is healthier than previously thought.

It showed that everyone should be getting up to four tablespoons a day to protect their heart. Vegetable oil, they say, contains an omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid, which reduces cholesterol levels, and lowers the risk of heart disease.

Lead researcher, nutritionist Professor Kevin Fritsche, said humans respond differently to vegetable oil.

"We're not saying that you should just go out and consume vegetable oil freely. However, our evidence does suggest that you can achieve a heart-healthy diet by using soybean, canola, corn and sunflower oils instead of animal-based fats when cooking."

The tests looked at the bodily reactions to consuming a variety of different fats and oils. It found the type of inflammation that leads to heart disease was most likely to be a result of too much animal fat, and not too much vegetable oil.

"While limiting the overall fat intake is also part of the current nutrition recommendations, we hope people will feel comfortable cooking with vegetable oils."

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