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oils: nutrition facts

“Oils” are not a food group, but they do provide essential nutrients, which is why they are included. Most people consume enough oils in the foods they eat, such as cooking oil, fish, nuts, and salad dressings.

MyPlate recommendation for oils is 4-11 tsp/day (for a 1200- to 3200-calorie diet). When choosing oils, look for those that are liquid at room temperature, such as vegetable oils. Some common oils are:

  • canola oil
  • corn oil
  • olive oil
  • soybean oil

Besides being available on their own for cooking and eating, oils may also be present in foods. Choose foods that are sources of unsaturated fats (mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats), such as fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. Some ready-made foods that contain mainly oil include mayonnaise, salad dressings and soft (tub or squeeze) margarine with no trans fat. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

If foods made with fats and oils are frequently a part of your family meals or recipes, try some reduced fat or low fat versions such as reduced fat salad dressing or light mayo. Limit foods that contain solid fats such as butter, lard and shortening or substitute vegetable oils for solid fats.

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