Scientists debate constantly about which fats are best for eating and cooking. Years ago, people were a little wary about cottonseed oil because of pesticide use. That association has stuck, despite the fact that heavy pesticides are no longer used in cotton farming. And that fear is a shame, because the oil has some pretty amazing health and cooking benefits.
A Look at the Benefits
Ever since the early 1900s, cottonseed oil has been enjoyed for its mild flavor and high stability. That high stability aspect means the oil doesn’t need to be hydrogenated, which means it contains no trans fats. In fact, many world-renowned chefs have been using cottonseed oil for many years for these reasons.
Now the oil is making an even bigger comeback. What’s more, recent research shows that it can be a healthy part of your well-balanced diet, provided you eat it in moderate amounts. For example, research conducted at Texas Woman’s University indicates that consuming cottonseed oil can increase your vitamin E levels. This can help prevent such health problems as heart disease, cancer and age-related mental issues.
Cottonseed oil contains heart-healthy fats in the form of polyunsaturated fat, according to the American Diabetes Association. That means that it can help protect your heart and keep it ticking like it should, preventing heart disease and the risk of heart attack.
The most common recommendation from health professionals is to replace as much saturated and trans fat as possible with healthy fats, which makes cottonseed oil a great choice for many people. In addition, cottonseed oil contains monounsaturated fats and essential fatty acids, both of which offer health benefits.
Cottonseed oil should be eaten in moderation just like any other food item. Currently, the most popular use of cottonseed oil in the home is used for turkey frying. Bottles of cottonseed oil aren’t widely available to home chefs yet, largely because the oil is in such demand by food manufacturers and restaurant chefs. But if you look at your favorite packages of potato chips and other snacks, you’ll often find cottonseed oil in the ingredients panel.