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What are good sources of dietary oils?

Oils are not a food group, but they do provide essential nutrients and are therefore included in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommendations for what to eat. Note that only small amounts of oils are recommended. Most of the fats you eat should be polyunsaturated (PUFA) or monounsaturated (MUFA) fats. Oils are the major source of MUFAs and PUFAs in the diet. PUFAs contain some fatty acids that are necessary for health -- called “essential fatty acids.” Because oils contain these essential fatty acids, there is an allowance for oils in the USDA food guide. The MUFAs and PUFAs found in fish, nuts and vegetable oils do not raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition to the essential fatty acids they contain, oils are the major source of vitamin E in typical American diets. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.