The Surprising Truth About Seed Oils

By Tom Seest

Are Seed Oils a Health Risk?

At SeedOilNews, we help people who are curious about seed oil by collating information and news about seed oils.

Seeds store both oil and starch for various uses, serving as sources of essential nutrition in various food products.
Beets offer an abundant source of protein.
Industrial seed oils are relatively new additions to Western diets and contain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).

Are Seed Oils a Health Risk?

Are Seed Oils a Health Risk?

Can Toxic Byproducts Lurk in Seed Oils?

Industrial seed oil production is anything but natural. First, seeds from soya bean, corn, cotton, safflower and rapeseed plants are heated at extremely high temperatures; this causes their unsaturated fatty acids to oxidize, leading to byproducts harmful for human and animal health.
After this step, seeds are processed with petroleum-based solvents (like hexane) to maximize oil extraction from them and deodorized with chemical compounds to mask their unpleasant color and smell.
These processes also produce trans fats, which have been shown to be detrimental to health. Furthermore, industrial seed oil production processes employ chemicals like pesticides, herbicides and others which may further compromise your wellbeing.
Zero Acre Farms offers an alternative, cultured oil that’s produced using fermented seeds as part of its Cultured Oil range, packed full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids for better health.
But one of the chief shortcomings of most seed oils we consume is their high omega-6 fatty acid content, which has been linked with obesity, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other serious health conditions.
If you want to avoid harmful, heart-unhealthy fats, the best way is switching over to non-heated oils such as avocado, coconut and olive oils – although they might be more costly than heat-pressed seed oils they are still beneficial to health.
Cold-pressed oils, made without using heat or chemicals, may also be an option; however, these may be more expensive than their heat-pressed counterparts; therefore if budget constraints limit you, heat-pressed seed oils might be preferable.
Seed oils should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet that includes plenty of nutrient-rich foods to support optimal health. Although seed oils contain high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, they also offer some healthy omega-3s that may contribute to overall wellness. These fats should be included with other sources for optimum wellness.
While many individuals believe seed oils to be potentially dangerous, this opinion is founded upon false claims and inaccurate data. Current research disproves this assertion completely; animal studies do not support such claims as well as actual clinical trial results in humans should be carefully considered instead.

Can Toxic Byproducts Lurk in Seed Oils?

Can Toxic Byproducts Lurk in Seed Oils?

Are Seed Oils Inflammatory?

Searching seed oils with any search engine will reveal many frightening articles claiming these oily foods are inflaming your digestive tract and full of harmful components created through refining processes.
Seed oils are produced by extracting oil from various plant seeds such as soybeans, corn, canola (rapeseed), cottonseed, safflower, sunflower and grapeseed – these loss much of their original nutrients and antioxidants during extraction processes.
Cooking oils can become rancid quickly when exposed to heat and can then oxidize, which can trigger inflammation and toxicity within the body. Oxidation also releases pro-inflammatory omega-6 PUFAs and lipid peroxides which have been known to contribute to chronic inflammation, disease, and aging.
Unfortunately, repeated heating and reheating of these oils can rob them of their natural antioxidants, raising levels of oxidative stress that increase free radical formation – leading to cardiovascular diseases, cancers, Alzheimer’s, and autoimmune disorders as a result.
Industrial seed oils are made possible through destructive monocrop agriculture that strip the soil of its protective nutrients while being heavily doused with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides – two practices which exacerbate soil depletion.
An imbalance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, however, can create an unfavorable environment for inflammation to worsen and long-term health conditions like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease to worsen further. Furthermore, oil rich in linoleic acid increases your risk for chronic inflammation as well as autoimmune disease.
What’s worse is that these highly inflammatory fats can be found in our most popular cooking oils such as canola and corn oil – often included in salad dressings, mayonnaise and other processed food items.
If you want to reduce your exposure to inflammatory seed fats, look for healthier whole fats like grass-fed butter and tallow as alternatives. These fats tend to be more stable than industrial seed oils and offer healthier omega-6 profiles than what can be found in seed oil.
Your diet should contain an ideal balance of polyunsaturates and monounsaturates, including small amounts of omega-6 fatty acids as well as omega-3s such as those found in flax seeds, walnuts, fish or wild-caught salmon.

Are Seed Oils Inflammatory?

Are Seed Oils Inflammatory?

Can Seed Oils Impact Your Heart Health?

Seed oils have come under scrutiny recently in terms of nutrition labels on packaged snacks or health claims online, drawing some criticism. According to experts, however, seed oils do not pose any direct threats or health hazards themselves.
As they contain high omega-6 content and are heavily processed, processed grains tend to be highly inflammatory foods – although incorporating them in moderation into a healthy diet doesn’t need to be bad news!
Industrial seed oils are made by heating the seeds of corn, safflower, soy beans, cottonseed, grapeseed and rice bran at extremely high temperatures before processing with petroleum-based solvents that extract more oil out of these seeds – this results in higher caloric intake when consumed as oil supplements.
They contain oxidized byproducts which may be harmful to your health, such as pesticides, preservatives and chemical residues.
Find them in many of your favorite processed foods, like cookies, candy bars, granola bars and cereals. It is simple and inexpensive to replace these types of food with healthier options such as olive or coconut oil for more nutrition.
When cooking at home, try to use less refined oils and focus instead on healthy fats such as butter, ghee, coconut oil, or avocado oil.
For optimal health results, consume more whole foods and limit processed ones. When dining out, request that restaurants switch seed oils out with something else (like ghee or olive oil) when possible.
Starting to avoid seed oils can be daunting, so it’s important to remain conscious of what you are consuming and make choices that will benefit your health. In a pinch, look for oils with low omega-6 to omega-3 ratios, as these may offer more promise of healthier choices.
Dr. Bechtold emphasizes the need to remember that animal studies often overestimate omega-6 fatty acid’s pro-inflammatory nature; human research, however, shows that eating an appropriate mix of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids does not increase inflammation levels.

Can Seed Oils Impact Your Heart Health?

Can Seed Oils Impact Your Heart Health?

What’s Lurking in Seed Oils?

You’ve likely read on nutrition blogs or social media that seed oils are harmful, leading to headaches, foggy thinking, reduced immunity levels, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes – among many other ailments. According to their supporters, ditching seed oils will improve health while increasing energy.
Critics of seed oils often cite animal studies to support their claims that refined vegetable fats such as seed oils are harmful. But keep in mind that most rodent studies cannot be extrapolated onto humans.
Experts contend that seed oils contain plenty of unhealthy polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). While these PUFAs aren’t as nutritionally dense as omega-3 or monounsaturated fats, they’re easily oxidized.
Refining and heating/frying are known to degrade PUFAs into harmful byproducts, leading to their conversion into dangerous compounds that should only be used in salads, tofu, and roasted vegetables for optimal health benefits. Most health experts suggest saving such oils for salads, tofu, and vegetables instead.
Experts often suggest replacing seed oils with less processed versions such as coconut, avocado, or olive oils that contain fewer toxins and provide a balanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats that could potentially reduce inflammation.
Though researchers link saturated fats and cholesterol consumption with heart disease, they don’t advise eating them; instead, they advise people to increase their consumption of polyunsaturated fats found in vegetable oils.
Most experts are in agreement that high intakes of polyunsaturated fats have been linked with chronic inflammation and are believed to be at the core of many diseases.
One of the main contributors is linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid frequently found in seed oils. When your body converts it to arachidonic acid and produces compounds linked with chronic diseases and inflammation, it creates compounds that promote it further.
Balanced diets consisting of both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids can be the key to optimal health, so eating more seeds than processed food should be your goal.

What's Lurking in Seed Oils?

What’s Lurking in Seed Oils?

Be sure to read our other related stories at SeedOilNews to learn more about seed oils.