Is Eating Seed Oils Unhealthy?

By Tom Seest

Are Seed Oils Bad for You?

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

Many of us may have come across social media posts suggesting that seed oils like canola are dangerous, yet experts dispute such claims.
Seed oils refers to an umbrella term for various omega-6-rich vegetable oils such as canola (or rapeseed), corn, cottonseed, soybean, sunflower, grapeseed and rice bran oils that are widely used in processed food such as french fries, cookies cakes and protein bars.

Are Seed Oils Bad for You?

Are Seed Oils Bad for You?

What Nutrients are Missing in Seed Oils?

Seed oils such as canola, corn, peanut, soybean, sunflower, rice bran and safflower can be found in many foods, from salad dressings and mayonnaise to packaged chips and baked goods. Their popularity stems from being relatively inexpensive while remaining stable under high heat without smoking or turning rancid over time.
Nutrition experts generally believed it was safe to incorporate seed oils as part of a balanced diet until recently, when nutritionist Cate Shanahan issued her “Hateful Eight” warning, telling followers not to consume these specific seed oils at any cost.
Since then, social media posts and memes warning of the toxic properties of seed oils have proliferated like never before, especially targeting overweight and obese individuals. While correlation does not equate to causation, eating highly processed foods containing seed oils has been linked to heart disease, obesity, depression, cancer, and fertility issues – just to name a few chronic diseases!
Industrial seed oils undergo a complex refining process that strips protective compounds like vitamin E and phenols before being heated at high temperatures to further damage their nutritional content. Industrial processing leaves us with an oil that’s devoid of nutrients while harboring chemical residues, trans fats, and oxidized byproducts.
While too much of anything is never beneficial, this does not apply to fats. When enjoyed in moderation, whole foods like seeds, nuts, and avocados provide essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are vital for good health. Your ideal fat intake should come from sources other than seed oils or processed food products; if you’re struggling to incorporate these healthy sources into your meals, try including unrefined oils like olives or coconuts in your daily meals for greater results.

What Nutrients are Missing in Seed Oils?

What Nutrients are Missing in Seed Oils?

What Refining Processes Do Seed Oils Go Through?

Seed oils are among the most frequently used in both home and restaurant kitchens, and they include canola (rapeseed), corn, cottonseed, soybean, sunflower, and safflower oils. When refined, phytochemicals with beneficial antioxidant properties such as phytonadione are removed, and small amounts of trans fats may form; additionally, when heated, these oils degrade and produce toxic byproducts like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and aldehydes, which is only worsened when repeated heatings take place – such as what frequently happens in restaurants where oil is heated multiple times with reuses reusing heatsinks amidst regular refining processes.
As these byproducts accumulate in our bodies, they cause oxidative stress and inflammation – contributing to chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and depression. Some critics of seed oils also argue that omega-6 fats found within them convert to arachidonic acid, which has been proven to exacerbate inflammation.
Critics have pointed to graphs showing the exponential increase of industrial seed oils coupled with increased chronic disease rates as evidence that they are harmful and toxic for human beings. They argue this evidence proves seed oils to be dangerous substances.
Though it is essential to cut back on processed food consumption and to limit foods cooked with seed oils, evidence against their benefits is limited. Instead, focus on decreasing your consumption of ultra-processed food products which tend to contain high concentrations of added sugars, saturated fats, salt and artificial chemicals – and contain a large proportion of unhealthy trans fatty acids – instead.
If your kitchen health is important to you, take some steps now to improve its wellness by cleaning out your pantry and discarding bottles of canola, corn, cottonseed, peanut, safflower, soy or sunflower oils found within it. Replace these oils gradually – these types are commonly found in processed and restaurant foods which need to be gradually transitioned away from.

What Refining Processes Do Seed Oils Go Through?

What Refining Processes Do Seed Oils Go Through?

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids in Seed Oils a Problem?

Seed oils are commonly found in processed food items like French Fries, Onion Rings, Cookies, and Candies; when used sparingly, however, they can provide healthy fats that will aid with cholesterol reduction and heart health while improving mental performance. Canola, Rapeseed, and Sunflower seed oils contain omega-6 fatty acids, which have the power to lower cholesterol levels, promote heart health, and enhance mental performance.
Problematic fats include inflammation and increased risks for chronic conditions like diabetes, depression and cardiovascular disease. People who avoid foods containing oils report feeling better with increased energy and losing weight by cutting back on processed food that’s high in calories, sodium and sugars; or they could switch out recipes using unhealthy seed oils in favour of ones made using whole foods with omega-6 fatty acids instead.
Seed oil critics claim these oils are toxic because of the omega-6 linoleic acid present, which our bodies convert into arachidonic acid – an inflammatory chemical associated with heart disease, obesity, and other illnesses according to these critics.
But the perception that omega-6s are bad is untrue, according to research. Omega-6s may not be as inflammatory as once thought and may help reduce inflammation while helping balance out pro-inflammatory omega-3s in your diet.
One reason omega-6s haven’t become such an issue in America is due to overeating ultra-processed foods, which contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids while being low on omega-6s. Although it’s important to limit such consumption, eliminating all seed oils or vegetable oils isn’t necessary.
Seed oils should be part of a nutritious eating plan that includes whole foods like nuts, seeds, vegetables, and lean proteins. While seed oils contain healthy fats, they’re also packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals; for this reason, it’s preferable to choose organic options wherever possible; otherwise, if cooking with seed oils becomes necessary, choose ones with omega-3 fatty acids as these will have additional health benefits.

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids in Seed Oils a Problem?

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids in Seed Oils a Problem?

Are Trans Fats Lurking in Your Seed Oils?

Heat treatment of industrial seed oils releases toxic byproducts called trans fats that are known to lead to health complications like clogged arteries, weight gain and inflammation. Seed oils are widely used in processed food products like baked goods, fried foods and protein bars as well as restaurants where they’re reheated multiple times per day.
Trans fats not only cause inflammation but can also increase your risk for heart disease and cancer. According to the American Heart Association, daily intake should not exceed one tablespoon.
If trans fats are an issue for you, searching for food labels with “zero trans fats” on their ingredient lists or consulting with your physician about what choices would best fit your unique circumstances can help.
Seed oils have long been associated with negative health consequences. What may not be so obvious, though, is just how detrimental these oils can be for our overall wellbeing – from preventing fat-burning to making us hungry and draining our mental energy reserves.
To rid yourself of seed oils, the best approach is to first clean out your pantry and get rid of any canola, safflower, corn, cottonseed or soy oils that you have stored there. Next, stop eating processed foods which often contain these oils; lastly reduce restaurant meals that have been prepared in them repeatedly over time.
Like avocados, olives, and butter, industrial seed oils contain vulnerable polyunsaturated fats that are susceptible to oxidation during refining processes or during storage or cooking processes – or simply after being stored for too long in your pantry or frying pan. Oxidized fats are pro-inflammatory in nature and could potentially lead to increased inflammation levels as well as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, cognitive decline, and dementia.
Avoiding seed oils may seem daunting at first, but its rewards make up for any initial difficulties. By eliminating them, you may notice your cravings and hunger levels decrease; mental clarity increases; your endocrine system becomes balanced; and mental clarity and focus improve significantly.

Are Trans Fats Lurking in Your Seed Oils?

Are Trans Fats Lurking in Your Seed Oils?

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