If there was one thing I would say to drop from your diet immediately, it would be seed & vegetable oil.
I'll get into the why's shortly, but it is shocking to see how these oils are in so many "health" foods, and people are unknowingly consuming these silent killers thinking they are good for them. They are so insidious and can be found in nut and oat milks, health bars and most processed food.
So next time you are out shopping and you are buying a product with an ingredient list on the back, do yourself a favour and put it back if it contains seed or vegetable oil.
What are Seed Oils
Seed oils, such as canola (rapeseed), soybean, sunflower, vegetable and corn oil, have become increasingly popular in the Western diet over the past few decades. These oils are often marketed as healthy alternatives to traditional cooking oils, such as butter and lard, due to their low levels of saturated fat.
However, recent research suggests that seed oils may not be as healthy as they seem, and that they may actually be contributing to a number of health problems.
One of the main issues with seed oils is their high levels of omega-6 fatty acids. While omega-6 fatty acids are an essential nutrient that our bodies need to function properly, the Western diet tends to contain much higher levels of omega-6s than are necessary. This is due in part to the widespread use of seed oils in processed foods and restaurant cooking.
When we consume too many omega-6s relative to omega-3s (another essential fatty acid), it can lead to inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a number of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders.
Another problem with seed oils is that they are highly processed. In order to extract the oil from the seeds, they must be subjected to high heat and chemical solvents. This processing can destroy some of the nutrients in the oil and create harmful compounds, such as trans fats and advanced glycation end products (AGEs).
Trans fats are a type of unsaturated fat that have been chemically altered to be more stable and less likely to spoil. While this makes them useful for industrial food production, trans fats have been linked to a number of health problems, including heart disease and diabetes. While many food manufacturers have stopped using trans fats in their products, some seed oils still contain small amounts of naturally occurring trans fats.
AGEs are compounds that form when sugars react with proteins or fats in the presence of heat. They are found in a variety of processed foods, including fried foods, baked goods, and roasted meats. While our bodies produce some AGEs naturally, consuming large amounts of them in our diet can contribute to inflammation and other health problems.
Seed oils may seem like a healthy choice on the surface, their high levels of omega-6s and processing methods make them a potentially harmful addition to our diets. By being more mindful of the oils we use and the foods we eat, we can take steps to reduce our intake of seed oils and improve our overall health.
How Do Seed Oils Cause Disease?
Seed oils have been associated with several health problems due to the way they can interact with the body's natural processes. Here are some ways that seed oils can cause disease:
Inflammation: as mentioned above, inflammation is a natural response to injury or infection, but when it becomes chronic, it can lead to a host of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders.
Oxidative stress: The processing of seed oils can create free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to oxidative stress. This can also lead to inflammation and an increased risk of chronic diseases.
Insulin resistance: Seed oils have been shown to impair insulin sensitivity, which can lead to insulin resistance and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Dyslipidemia: Seed oils can alter blood lipid levels, including raising levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is known as "bad" cholesterol, and reducing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is known as "good" cholesterol. This can contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease.
Endothelial dysfunction: Seed oils can impair the function of the endothelium, which is the inner lining of blood vessels. This can lead to an increased risk of hypertension, atherosclerosis, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Seed Oils Damage the Gut
Seed oils can damage the gut in several ways, including disrupting the gut microbiome, increasing gut permeability, and causing inflammation.
The gut microbiome is a complex ecosystem of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract and play a crucial role in overall health. Seed oils, particularly those high in omega-6 fatty acids, have been shown to alter the composition of the gut microbiome, reducing the numbers of beneficial bacteria and increasing the numbers of harmful bacteria. This can lead to dysbiosis, or an imbalance in the gut microbiome, which is associated with a variety of health problems, including digestive disorders, obesity, and autoimmune diseases.
Seed oils have been shown to increase gut permeability, also known as "leaky gut." This occurs when the lining of the digestive tract becomes more permeable than it should be, allowing undigested food particles, toxins, and bacteria to pass through the gut wall and enter the bloodstream. This can trigger an immune response and cause inflammation, which can contribute to a variety of health problems.
Seed oils, that are highly processed or refined, can cause inflammation in the gut. This can occur due to the presence of free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to oxidative stress. The resulting inflammation can damage the gut lining, impair digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to the development of chronic diseases.
These issues can contribute to a variety of health problems, including digestive disorders, obesity, autoimmune diseases and mental health issues.
Vegetable Oil: The Worst of The Oils?
Vegetable oil contains aldehydes when they are heated to high temperatures, such as when used for deep frying or when cooking at high temperatures.
Aldehydes are harmful chemicals that can cause damage to cells and tissues in the body. In addition to being linked to various health problems, including cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease, aldehydes can also cause damage to DNA, proteins, and lipids.
Aldehydes can cause mutations in DNA, which can lead to the development of cancer. They can also damage proteins, causing them to become dysfunctional and impairing their ability to perform their normal functions in the body. Furthermore, aldehydes can damage lipids, which are important components of cell membranes, leading to changes in the structure and function of cells.
In addition to these effects, aldehydes can also cause inflammation in the body, which can contribute to the development of various chronic diseases. They have been linked to asthma, allergies, and other respiratory problems, as well as skin irritation and other dermatological issues.
What to Do Instead?
My recommendation is: use animal fats.
Animal fats have long been demonized as a contributor to heart disease and other health problems. However, recent studies have shown that animal fats, when consumed as part of a healthy diet, can actually have numerous health benefits and help to undo the harm caused by seed oils. With animal fats you can replenish Omega 3 fatty acids - reversing the harmful inflammation caused by seed oils. Animal fats will also help to heal the gut. Here are some more ways that animal fats are the best choice.
What are Animal Fats?
Animal fats are the fats that are derived from the tissues of animals, such as cows, pigs, and chickens. They are commonly used in cooking and baking, and can also be found in foods such as meat, cheese, eggs, butter and raw dairy.
The Health Benefits of Animal Fats
Improve Brain Function
Animal fats, such as those found in fatty fish like salmon and sardines, contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain function and have been linked to a reduced risk of depression, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease.
Boost Heart Health
Contrary to popular belief, animal fats can actually be beneficial for heart health. Studies have shown that consuming moderate amounts of animal fats can help to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and improve cholesterol levels.
Promote Weight Loss
Animal fats are more satiating than carbohydrates and can help to reduce hunger and promote weight loss. Studies have shown that people who consume diets that are high in healthy fats, including animal fats, tend to eat fewer calories overall and have a lower body weight.
Provide Essential Nutrients
Animal fats are rich in essential nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin K2. Vitamin A is important for eye health, vitamin D is essential for bone health and immunity, and vitamin K2 helps to prevent heart disease and promote bone health.
Improve Skin Health
Animal fats, such as those found in grass-fed beef and butter, are rich in healthy fats that help to nourish the skin. These fats help to maintain skin elasticity, reduce inflammation, and promote a healthy, glowing complexion.
Despite their bad reputation, animal fats can actually have numerous health benefits when consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Animal fats can improve brain function, boost heart health, promote weight loss, provide essential nutrients, and improve skin health. So the next time you are looking for a healthy cooking or baking fat, consider incorporating some animal fats into your diet.