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Smart Choices: Cooking Oils

There's no reason to fear fats. Here's how to choose cooking oils that contribute to good nutrition and a balanced meal plan.

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Factors to Consider

A cruise of the cooking-oil aisle at your local market may reveal as many as 130 bottles. Besides the veritable sea of oils -- corn, sunflower, olive, canola, and vegetable -- there are a variety of sprays and multiple brands of shortening.

With so many choices, it's often hard to know which ones to put in your shopping cart. Here are six factors to consider when choosing and using cooking oils:

  1. Amount of fat

  2. Type of fat

  3. Flavor

  4. Shelf life

  5. Heat tolerance

  6. The label

Let's explore each factor.

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