8 Reasons Seed Oils May Harm You

By Tom Seest

Are Seed Oils Bad for You? the Hateful Eight Revealed

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

The “Hateful Eight” may sound like the title of a Quentin Tarantino movie, but it also refers to an eight-oil combination commonly used for industrial cooking – canola, cottonseed, corn, sunflower, soybean, and safflower oils are frequently vilified by social media influencers as toxic and cause numerous health concerns.

Are Seed Oils Bad for You? the Hateful Eight Revealed

Are Seed Oils Bad for You? the Hateful Eight Revealed

What Are the Origins of Seed Oils and Why Are They Detrimental?

Seed oils are cooking and salad oils produced from plant seeds – such as canola, soybean, safflower, sunflower, and grapeseed oils. Used instead of other fats due to their heat tolerance and neutral flavor characteristics, seed oils can often be found in packaged foods like cookies, chips, and fried chicken.
Sugar substitutes have become a cornerstone of American cuisine over time and have an intriguing history, beginning with Procter & Gamble’s massive investment to create Crisco as a better butter replacement in 1912. They quickly gained in popularity during World War II due to unfounded fears surrounding saturated fat consumption; food manufacturers quickly promoted industrial seed oils (like cottonseed, rapeseed, and corn oil) as “heart-healthy alternatives.
In the 1980s, a revolutionary new process for producing solid vegetable oils became widely available, enabling producers to add more rapeseed and canola seeds to their products – thus expanding their market nationwide while making them even more desirable as people switched away from natural cooking fats like lard and tallow for refined industrial seed oils.
Industrial seed oils are heavily processed products with an abundance of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids that contribute to overall inflammation in our bodies. A staple of the ultra-processed food industry and often produced from harmful mono-crop agriculture that depletes soil resources, they’re among some of the most heavily genetically modified crops around.
Given their controversial origins, omega-6 fatty acids in seed oils have often received negative press. Some people mistakenly blame omega-6s as being responsible for numerous modern-day health problems ranging from inflammation to heart disease and cancer, but the truth is there’s no single food or macronutrient responsible; rather, it’s likely multiple contributing factors at work here. While we are well aware that Omega-6 fatty acids contained within seed oils may not be healthy to consume regularly, it is essential that all forms of food should be consumed with caution, and moderation is key here, too.

What Are the Origins of Seed Oils and Why Are They Detrimental?

What Are the Origins of Seed Oils and Why Are They Detrimental?

The Surprising Benefits of Seed Oils: What Can They Do for You?

Industrial seed oils are made by extracting seeds like soybeans, cottonseeds, safflowers, sunflowers, and corn and are used both at home and for food manufacturing. Due to their cost-cutting nature and high smoke points, they make them great choices for high-heat cooking methods like frying. Furthermore, as their costs are relatively low, they’re often included as part of packaged food to help keep costs down.
Proctor & Gamble became one of the pioneers in using cottonseed oil (a byproduct of cotton farming) as a replacement for animal fats in bar soap production, spurring other businesses to follow suit and shift toward using more vegetable oils instead of traditional fats. This began a revolution against animal-derived oils.
Industrial seed oil production involves high temperatures, mechanical pressure, chemical deodorizers, and petroleum-based solvents to extract the oil. Unfortunately, this creates unhealthy trans-fats and oxidized oils which contribute to heart disease. Furthermore, these oils contain too many omega-6 fatty acids compared with omega-3s, leading to chronic inflammation linked to obesity, cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s, and cardiovascular diseases.
These industrial seed oils can now be found in many processed food items, including salad dressings, mayonnaise, chips, and crackers – but there are healthier alternatives that may support good health while decreasing inflammation.
One such fermented cooking oil is Cultured Oil, packed with heart-healthy monounsaturates and low in omega-6s while being rich in antioxidants that protect against inflammation. Plus, it doesn’t go through the harsh processing that most refined oils undergo; you can read up more about its benefits here. Alternatively, swap industrial seed oils out for healthier options such as avocado oil, olive oil, or coconut oil; look out for cold-pressed and unrefined options if selecting them to minimize the toxic residues they contain.

The Surprising Benefits of Seed Oils: What Can They Do for You?

The Surprising Benefits of Seed Oils: What Can They Do for You?

Are Seed Oils Really Bad For Your Health?

Seed oils such as canola, safflower, cottonseed, and sunflower are widely used for cooking and salad dressings and are used as ingredients in many processed foods. Recently, however, they’ve come under scrutiny as potential contributors to inflammation, autoimmune conditions, and heart disease – and some claim to feel better after eliminating them from their diet altogether. But why have these seeds earned such a bad rap?
Proctor & Gamble first mass-produced cottonseed oil as an economical replacement to animal fats in their bar soap in the early 1900s, marking its introduction into daily household usage as the first industrial seed oil. Soon afterward, other plant-based cooking oils such as soybean and corn also gained in popularity along with it – all changing our eating habits by replacing natural animal-sourced fatty acids such as lard or butter with industrial polyunsaturated vegetable oils.
Problematic synthetic and plant-based cooking oils contain high concentrations of omega-6 fats, such as linoleic acid, which have been linked with chronic inflammation and other health concerns. While omega-6s have their place, we must balance them out with omega-3 fats for optimal health. Consumption of high amounts of omega-6s (especially linoleic acid ) may contribute to chronic inflammation as well as health concerns.
Cooking oils can also be highly processed. Their production requires heat and chemical solvents like hexane, which may pose health risks to workers inhaling them and are hazardous to the environment. Furthermore, chemical solvents break down seed oils’ fatty acids into trans fats linked to cardiovascular diseases – creating yet another potential issue with their consumption.
Some nutritionists advise against organic and cold-pressed seed oils due to their potential to oxidize, become rancid, and cause inflammation in the body. Other experts disagree and believe these oils should be consumed moderately as long as they’re combined with other healthy fats – so long as your diet includes whole foods with lean proteins for balanced nutrition that lowers risk factors like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Are Seed Oils Really Bad For Your Health?

Are Seed Oils Really Bad For Your Health?

What Are the Final Takeaways from ‘The Hateful Eight’ About Seed Oils?

Seed oils have only recently made an impactful entrance into our diets; their commercial use only began around 1850 after entrepreneurial spirits discovered how to crush seeds for the extraction of oil.
While initially used for soap making, these oils found a home in the kitchen when companies like Proctor and Gamble began hydrogenating them into solids that resembled lard in texture and taste. This revolutionary new product soon gained fame under its brand name, Crisco, and took off around the globe.
Crisco quickly gained widespread use thanks to its low smoke point, low cost, and strategic marketing by manufacturers, quickly taking root in pantries, fryers, cakes, pies, and meatloaves across America. But its reach extended far beyond pantries; as medical organizations and food manufacturers adopted the lipid hypothesis (the idea that diet-derived saturated fat leads to cardiovascular disease), Crisco became less of an animal fat culprit and more widely advocated as an unsaturated vegetable oil (such as cottonseed, soybean, corn or canola) became the solution of choice.
Industrial seed oils are highly refined, nutrient-poor oils laden with chemicals and trans fats that pose potential threats to health. Furthermore, omega-6 fatty acids found in these polyunsaturated fats promote inflammation which has been linked with various health conditions.
Zero Acre Farms has developed an innovative new cooking oil called Cultured Oil, made through fermentation that offers heart-healthy monounsaturates at heat-stable temperatures while simultaneously being low in omega-6 fatty acids – an ideal replacement to traditional industrial seed oils.

What Are the Final Takeaways from 'The Hateful Eight' About Seed Oils?

What Are the Final Takeaways from ‘The Hateful Eight’ About Seed Oils?

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