- There has been a strong correlation between the rise of industrial seed oils and the rise of chronic diseases
- Consuming foods with vegetable oils promote inflammation and obesity
- The process to make industrial seed oils is anything but natural
- Vegetable oils are found in many common foods, especially processed foods
- Olive oil, butter or ghee, coconut oil, and avocado oil are healthier alternatives
If optimal health is your goal, it’s time to get your oil changed. Industrial seed oils, AKA vegetable oils, simply put, are not good for you. Vegetable oils include canola, soybean, corn, safflower, cottonseed, sunflower, grapeseed, and ricebran. Dr. Cate Shanahan dubs these dangerous oils as the “hateful eight.” Industrial oils wreak havoc on your health, and it should not be a surprise that as the consumption of vegetable oils has risen, so has the number of chronic diseases. The problem is that these oils are everywhere; in fast foods, fancy restaurants, packaged foods, processed foods, and foods considered “healthy.” How will you and your family avoid consuming these oils? It will take some diligence transitioning away from the toxic oils, but it’s not as bad as you may think, as you most likely already have the much healthier alternatives in your pantry or fridge.
Starting with how these industrial oils are made might motivate you to avoid ingesting them. First, the seeds are gathered. Then they are heated at extremely high temperatures, oxidizing the acids in the plant, causing dangerous byproducts for human health. Next, the oil is processed with hexane and then deodorized with bleach to eliminate the awful smell the oil processing emits. Lastly, more chemicals are added to improve the color of the oil. Vegetable oils are stripped of any of their saving nutritional grace that could compensate for their fragile chemical structure during the production process. Ingestion of these free radicals will, as Mark Sisson puts it in his book, Primal Blueprint, “disrupt healthy hormone and immune function upon consumption, and over time lead to more cellular damage throughout the body.” Yikes!
There is plenty of research indicating that industrial seed oils are making us sick. Let’s start with Dr. Chris Kresser’s article stating how the industrial seed oils represent an evolutionary mismatch. Today linoleic acid found in industrial oils accounts for 8 percent of our total calorie intake. In comparison, it accounted for 1 to 3 percent of the total calories for our hunter and gatherer ancestors. Industrialized vegetable oils have also caused the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in our diet to skyrocket. In his book, Eat Smarter, Shawn Stevenson explains how humans before vegetable oils would have consumed a ratio around 3:1 omega-6 to omega-3. Today, the ratio is approximately 17:1 on average, while some US areas are consuming upwards of 50:1 omega 6s to omega 3s! Diets with excessively heavy ratios of omega 6s are pro-inflammatory and pro obesity. Inflammation and obesity dramatically increase one’s likelihood of chronic disease. Lastly, industrial seed oils are highly unstable. Heat and light cause significant oxidative damage to these oils. Studies have shown that eating french fries can cause an immediate disruption in the normal dilation of arteries for up to 24 hours. Even cooking healthy foods like broccoli in vegetable oils such as canola oil can cause more degradation than good for your body.
There’s a high chance of seeing vegetable oils in these products
As stated earlier, industrial oils are everywhere in our food products! They are hidden in almost all processed foods, from baked goods to condiments. Salad dressings, cake frostings, mayonnaise, fried foods, margarine, coffee creamers, pastries, peanut butter, crackers, and potato chips are all usual culprits that you’ll find seed oils lurking. To avoid ingesting these oils, you’ll have to read labels. You will be stunned at the unexpected foods these oils pop up. A diet of whole, unprocessed foods is another sure way to prevent dangerous vegetable oils from entering your body. When it comes to healthy oils that have not been unadulterated, stick with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, grass-fed butter or ghee, coconut oil, or avocado oil. When cooking at higher temperatures, butter, and animal fats are the way to go as the heat won’t cause them to oxidize. As with anything regarding health, you got to start somewhere, and eliminating vegetable oils from your diet just may be priority number one.
To MÁS health,
Eat Smarter by Shawn Stevenson
Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
Super Fuel by James Dinicolantonio and Dr. Joseph Mercola