Healthy fats and oils are the ones that don't oxidize, or that are typically consumed prior to the oxidizing process. Those fats and oils that are oxidized are either:
- not available for use as energy or for structural purposes because they are either in a polymerized not viable form or
- they contain toxic components.
Fats and oils to be avoided, in addition to partially hydrogenated vegetable fats, include any rancid or overheated fats and oils that have breakdown products such as oxidized fatty acids, oxidized sterols, peroxides, acrolein, hydrocarbons, and aromatic compounds. These types of abused fats and oils are not secure. Free radicals are derived from the decomposition of unsaturated fatty acids, particularly polyunsaturated fatty acids. Ozone-induced reactive free radicals can interact with sulfhydryl groups in proteins as well as with unsaturated fatty acids and are negative to membranes. Oils, especially the polyunsaturated oils, that have been thought to be good, because they decrease serum cholesterol levels, actually proved to increase cholesterol in tissues; the reason being that the polyunsaturated fatty acids are deposited into the membranes and the body requires to put more cholesterol into these membranes to alleviate them and to preserve the melting point characteristics of the membrane.