Dr. Becky Maes - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Becky Maes

Is Cottonseed Oil Bad For You?



Short answer

Cottonseed oil is one of the worst edible oils you can use. It really is worth it to spend the extra couple bucks and get a better quality oil. As far as nutrition is concerned, cottonseed oil is little better than lard.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

Cottonseed oil is cheaply produced for mass production. Unfortunately, like many cheap things produced en masse, cottonseed oil is incredibly bad for your health. First, the nutritional information - fat. That's it. Cottonseed oil is 100% fat, with a good sized portion of its fat content coming from saturated fatty acids. While it does so at lower levels than lard, cottonseed oil can raise cholesterol levels quite a bit. 

Furthermore, people with allergies to cotton or hibiscus plants may suffer a negative reaction as a result of cottonseed oil. Due to the fact that cotton is not considered a food and thus is not regulated as heavily, farmers spray a wide array of pesticides on the cotton, making it one of the most heavily contaminated crops in the United States. Cottonseed oil may even contain DDT, a particular pesticide that has been linked to negative liver changes. 

Cottonseed oil has also been used as a substitute for olive oil, often being mixed with the real thing to increase volume at a lower cost. When looking for a cooking oil that will not take a toll on your health, steer clear of cottonseed oil.

Possible short-term side effects

  • increased cholesterol levels

Possible long-term side effects

  • weight gain
  • cardiovascular disease
  • various forms of cancer
  • unwanted liver changes

Ingredients to be aware of

Healthier alternatives

  • extra virgin olive oil

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Organic Canola Oil

  • Expeller-pressed extraction
  • Non-GMO canola seeds
  • Pesticide and chemical free
  • High heat stable
  • Neutral flavor profile
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 01-08-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 01-08-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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