Dr. Kim Mulvihill reportingA new cooking and salad oil is on store shelves. The label says it's a fat that fights fat.
Dr. Kim Mulvihill takes a closer look at what it really offers.
At Clown Alley at San Francisco, the french fries are cooked the old fashioned way and deep-fried in hot oil. That's one reason they taste so good.
"I do love french fries, but I do know they're bad for me."
Bad, in part because that oil - a fat - can add unwanted calories to a meal--a concern for a nation already facing a serious weight problem.
Too much fat in your diet and on your body can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease and certain kinds of cancers. Now a new oil promises to fight that fat, instead. It's called Enova. It's a cooking and salad oil. The label on the bottle says more is "burned as energy" and "not stored as fat."
Alison Eastwood is a registered dietician and nutritionist in the bay area. She was also hired by the company to talk about Enova.
Alison Eastwood: "Consuming about a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half of this a day instead of other oils has shown a decrease of one to three percent of body fat."
So how would you lose weight eating an oil? The company says it's processed in a special way - so less of the fat gets into the blood stream to be stored as fat.
Marc Hellerstein, M.D./ Human Nutrition & Metabolism: "I think the data for that are unfortunately very weak."
Dr. Marc Hellerstein is a professor of human nutrition at U.C. Berkeley, and a professor of endocrinology and metabolism at UCSF. He says while this oil is probably safe - it's been sold in Japan for the past five years-- the study he reviewed involved very obese individuals and that their weight loss was modest.
Marc Hellerstein, M.D.: "So we're talking about maybe a pound, a pound and a half."
In fact, tablespoon for tablespoon, this oil contains the same amount of calories and the same grams of fat as any other cooking oil.
Alison Eastwood: "I don't want consumers to walk away with the message that this is an oil that I can eat tons of and cook with all the time, because it is an oil."
So, the best message for all of us is one you've heard before, but still true: eat fewer calories and exercise more.
Enova oil has the same amount of fat as other oils, but less saturated fat.