How are oils different from solid fats?
All fats and oils are a mixture of saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids. Unsaturated fatty acids include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature, like the vegetable oils used in cooking. Oils come from many different plants and from fish. Oils contain more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Solid fats are fats that are solid at room temperature, like beef fat, butter, and shortening. Solid fats mainly come from animal foods and can also be made from vegetable oils through a process called hydrogenation. Solid fats contain more saturated fats and/or trans fats than oils. Saturated fats and trans fats tend to raise “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood, which in turn increases the risk for heart disease. To lower risk for heart disease, cut back on foods containing saturated fats and trans fats.