What is... Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil?


Deciphering ingredient labels on your favorite foods

Seen on: Graham crackers
This oil is an inexpensive ingredient common to processed snacks. Even when it’s not hydrogenated (to produce more shelf-stable, heart-harming trans fats), cottonseed oil isn’t your healthiest choice. Per tablespoon, it packs triple the saturated fat of canola and safflower oil; it also has a high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio (often cited as a contributor to chronic inflammation, associated with various diseases). Need-to-know: In small amounts (as shown here), its health impact is probably negligible. Still, you might want to consider paying slightly more for a product that’s made with more nutritious oils, such as canola.

—Sylvia Geiger