Decades ago, processed-food makers began switching from “evil” saturated fats (like those in butter and cheese) to plant products like soybean oil, which is mostly polyunsaturated.
Cut to today, and soybean oil makes up 60% of all U.S. oil consumption. The change wasn’t for the better.
A new University of California-Riverside study on mice has found that soybean oil—which ends up containing the truly villainous trans fat when it’s partially hydrogenated for use in processed foods—causes 25% more weight gain, larger fat deposits, and fattier livers than coconut oil, a saturated fat whose popularity has been skyrocketing because it contains fewer calories and may even lower cholesterol.
“Soybean oil in our diet,” says study head Poonamjot Deol, Ph.D., “has increased 1,000-fold in a few decades”—just as obesity rates have soared. Coincidence? Not a chance.
So if the label lists partially hydrogenated oil, hands off!