The Surprising Truth About Seed Oils

By Tom Seest

Are Seed Oils Bad for Your Health?

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

When choosing healthy fatty acids, natural and healthy options such as animal fats like ghee or butter and plant oils such as olive or coconut oil should always be chosen over synthetic ones.
Industrial seed oils may not be so natural. They’re high in omega-6 fatty acids that have been linked to inflammation and chronic health conditions.

Are Seed Oils Bad for Your Health?

Are Seed Oils Bad for Your Health?

Is High Omega-6 Content in Seed Oils Harmful?

Seed oils such as canola, soybean, cottonseed, corn, grape-seed, rice bran and safflower contain high concentrations of omega-6 fatty acids that provide essential benefits to our bodies while potentially leading to inflammation and chronic illness.
Inflammatory fatty acids can activate your immune system and increase your risk for allergies, chronic diseases, and autoimmune flare-ups. They may also contribute to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.
The American Heart Association recommends eating a diet rich in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote heart health. Omega-3s help fight inflammation, reduce bad cholesterol and triglycerides levels, and keep your blood sugar at an ideal level; omega-6s keep blood vessels flexible, reduce triglycerides levels, and promote nerve health for overall greater wellbeing.
Selecting the wrong types of seed oils can reduce your chances of receiving enough omega-3s, an essential nutrient that can help control cholesterol and reduce the risk of inflammation. Chia seeds and pumpkin seeds are great ways to increase omega-3 consumption.
But if your gut health is of paramount concern, industrial seed oils that have been processed and refined should be avoided as these can produce byproducts such as reactive oxygen species that damage DNA and membranes – this includes canola oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, and grape-seed oil which are considered particularly bad.
Fats can quickly oxidize, becoming rancid after prolonged storage. This is especially true of polyunsaturated fats which are especially vulnerable to oxidation.
If you’re seeking more nourishing alternatives, coconut and avocado oils could be perfect. Both contain Vitamin E as well as Oleic acid – an anti-inflammatory fat which could lower your risk of heart disease.
When it comes to gut health, the best diet includes plenty of vegetables and other low-inflammatory oil foods. As a rule of thumb, aim to consume foods from all five food groups daily but prioritize whole, unprocessed food as much as possible.

Is High Omega-6 Content in Seed Oils Harmful?

Is High Omega-6 Content in Seed Oils Harmful?

The Dangers of Highly Processed Seed Oils?

Social media has a number of individuals who criticize seed oils as being dangerous for consumption, often due to being high in omega-6 fatty acids and increasing inflammation, leading to many chronic illnesses.
Vegetable oils, including seed oils, are often highly processed. They may be refined, bleached, deodorized and degummed before being packaged for sale to consumers. In addition, there may be chemical residues such as trans fats or by-products produced during processing that must also be managed carefully to minimize health risks.
Hexane is used in the refining process for vegetable oils to vaporize them and then extract any remaining fat or water, creating an efficient yet profitable method with potentially negative health implications. It is an efficient and profitable procedure, however.
After oil has been extracted, it may be hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated for processing, creating trans fats and potentially hazardous byproducts that could compromise your health.
Some people believe the most effective way to avoid seed oils is to simply cut them out completely from their diet, though this may seem impossible without alternative cooking oils available on the market.
Olive oil, with its lower levels of omega-6 fatty acids, may be a suitable option. Coconut oil also boasts heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
If you’re concerned about the amount of fatty acids in your diet, consider switching to a plant-based diet. This will reduce inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids while providing essential balance with omega-3s – all great ways to make sure that all essential fatty acids are met.
Alternative strategies could include decreasing the consumption of processed foods that contain seed oils and other inflammatory ingredients.
Dieting to avoid seed oils is by far the best method for doing so, as this ensures you will avoid its high concentration of fatty acids as well as its other potentially-inflammatory ingredients.

The Dangers of Highly Processed Seed Oils?

The Dangers of Highly Processed Seed Oils?

Are Trans Fats in Seed Oils Dangerous?

Search “seed oils” in an Internet search engine and you will quickly realize that many people have reservations about these refined oils due to inflammatory potential and components formed during refining processes. Common sources for seed oils are canola (rapeseed), corn, cottonseed, soybean and safflower; they’re also found in processed food and salad dressing products.
Moderation is key when it comes to eating these fats; just remember not to substitute them with healthier options like avocados, coconuts, olives, nuts, or seeds that contain healthy saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
Seed oils contain polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-6 and linoleic acids that your body requires in small amounts for health and functionality. While seed oils contain these essential fats, their ratio should be balanced with monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid to achieve balance.
But these fatty acids can become potentially dangerous when taken in excess or heated beyond their smoke point – such as when used for deep-frying in restaurant kitchens – leading to the production of trans fats and lipid peroxides which are potentially dangerous compounds.
These habits aren’t just bad for your heart; they can also increase the risk of chronic illnesses like diabetes and obesity, disrupt your appetite-control mechanisms (hyperphagia), and worsen chronic pain conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Therefore, while seed oil can be eaten in moderation for health reasons, it’s wiser to opt for animal fat-based options like butter, ghee, or tallow instead.
Industrial seed oils can quickly oxidize, creating another major concern in their manufacturing, storage, and use for deep frying.
Oxidized fats can harm DNA and proteins, leading to inflammation in arteries and chronic diseases. That is why it’s crucial that you consume plenty of antioxidant-rich foods that prevent seed oil from becoming rancid or oxidizing over time.

Are Trans Fats in Seed Oils Dangerous?

Are Trans Fats in Seed Oils Dangerous?

Can High Linoleic Acid Levels in Seed Oils be Harmful?

Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid naturally present in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, making it one of the most consumed polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in American diets and an integral component of cell membranes.
Seed oil critics charge that linoleic acid promotes inflammation in the body and may contribute to chronic conditions like obesity and heart disease. Although essential for human well-being, too much linoleic acid could prove detrimental.
Oils often found in American diets contain significant quantities of linoleic acid, with sunflower oil boasting 10 grams per tablespoon; safflower 9 grams; corn 8 and soybean oils 7 to 8 grams respectively. Nuts and seeds also provide sources of this important nutrient; walnuts contain 9 grams; pecans 6 grams and Brazil nuts 4 grams each per tablespoon.
Linoleic acid is not only an essential fatty acid; it is also an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties and an excellent source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin for eye health.
Studies indicate that an excess consumption of linoleic acid can have adverse consequences on eye health, particularly among individuals living with diabetes and macular degeneration. This inflammatory fatty acid may stimulate production of harmful oxidative compounds which damage retinas resulting in cataracts or even glaucoma.
Linoleic acid can damage more than your eye health; when heated to high temperatures, it releases toxic fumes, which increase cancer risks and accelerate cellular fat accumulation, both risk factors for obesity and chronic diseases.
If linoleic acid concerns are your priority, there are other nutrient-dense oils with less omega-6 fatty acid content such as oleic acid which provides heavier moisturizing benefits that should be preferred for dry and wrinkled skin.
Linoleic acid can also have adverse impacts on both liver and brain functions. Excessive consumption can alter mood, memory, and overall mental well-being; having too much in your bloodstream increases your risk for depression, anxiety, and insomnia; furthermore, too much linoleic acid could wreak havoc with thyroid, kidney, and prostate gland function.

Can High Linoleic Acid Levels in Seed Oils be Harmful?

Can High Linoleic Acid Levels in Seed Oils be Harmful?

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