The Hidden Dangers Of Seed Oils

By Tom Seest

Are Seed Oils Killing Our Health?

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

Have you heard that canola (rapeseed), corn, cottonseed, grapeseed, rice bran, safflower, sunflower and soy oils can be bad for you? Among their numerous health risks lies their use in fighting disease, losing weight and feeling better overall. Proponents of #SeedoilFree advocate that eliminating them altogether could help people fight illness more easily while losing weight faster and feeling healthier overall.
Seed oils are not detrimental when taken in moderation and at appropriate levels; rather, they contribute significantly to eating highly processed food products.

Are Seed Oils Killing Our Health?

Are Seed Oils Killing Our Health?

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids in Seed Oils Dangerous?

Seed oils like canola or rapeseed (in the UK), soybean, sunflower, cottonseed, corn, grapeseed, rice bran, and safflower are among the most frequently used fats for cooking and are found in many processed food items.
Omega-6 fatty acids have often been maligned as being pro-inflammatory and contributing to all sorts of problems in the body. Although omega-6 fats do have their place, in moderation the ratio should be about 1:1 between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids for optimal health.
Unfortunately, most of us consume far too many omega-6 fatty acids while not getting enough omega-3s – often up to 20 times more than necessary!
An imbalance may contribute to inflammatory diseases like heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and cancer; that’s why the American Heart Association advises consuming diets rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids while restricting omega-6 intake.
At issue here are high concentrations of linoleic acid found in seed oils. Linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, serves as a precursor for anti-inflammatory GLA (gamma-linolenic acid).
These two nutrients are key components of good health. They play a pivotal role in cell development, blood sugar regulation, and immunity protection.
They can help our bodies fight infections, prevent blood from clotting too rapidly or too slowly, and are integral components in maintaining bone, skin, and hair health, according to nutritionist Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet.
Seed oils have long been targeted by anti-inflammatory groups as harmful, as they undergo refining processes that strip them of many of their beneficial components.
Seed oils might seem to be harmful, but in actuality, they’re perfectly safe in moderation – the American Dietary Guidelines even recommend eating two tablespoons of oil daily for an average 2000-calorie diet.
Opting for olive oil or other plant-based oils as opposed to seed oils can be a healthier way of cooking and is recommended over processed food or eating too much seed oils in general.

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids in Seed Oils Dangerous?

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids in Seed Oils Dangerous?

What Are the Inflammatory Risks of Seed Oils?

If you’ve spent any time browsing social media or listening to podcasts, chances are you have come across claims that seed oils are killing us. According to this belief system, eating cooking and salad oils (made from seeds such as rapeseed, canola, cottonseed, corn, grapeseed rice bran or sunflower) could lead to leaky gut and brain fog – among other health complications.
Seed oils contain omega-6 fats that may contribute to chronic inflammation. This claim rests on the idea that linoleic acid, an essential omega-6 fatty acid found in these oils, can be converted to arachidonic acid, which acts as an important building block of numerous pro-inflammatory molecules, according to Rachel Doebrich, RD director of New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital Center for Nutrition and Health Center.
Human studies have consistently demonstrated that omega-6 fatty acids do not contribute to inflammation. Furthermore, omega-6 fats have been proven to help reduce cholesterol levels while simultaneously increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
These oils are also packed with antioxidants that may protect against cancer and other illnesses, while seed oil provides a fantastic source of linolenic acid, an essential omega-6 fatty acid found naturally in nuts and seeds but not produced naturally within our own bodies.
So, while seed oils may seem controversial, they’re actually relatively safe as long as you don’t consume too many of them at one time. Most experts agree that shifting away from highly processed food towards whole food options is the key to improving your health; by making these changes, you will ensure your body receives all the essential nutrients it requires and avoid conditions related to inflammation – plus, you’ll feel much better!

What Are the Inflammatory Risks of Seed Oils?

What Are the Inflammatory Risks of Seed Oils?

Are Seed Oils’ Toxicity a Risk to Our Health?

Social media posts often allege that seed oils such as canola (rapeseed) are killing us. People argue these refined oils contain numerous toxic chemicals like hexane and synthetic antioxidants which they allege pose health risks to society.
Though some toxins are used in refining oil, most are completely removed from their final form. Hexane, for instance, is used as a petroleum-based solvent to extract oil from seeds but doesn’t make up part of its final product.
Other toxins used to process seed oil, like hydrogenation and deodorization processes, do not remain in its final product. Hydrogenation processes produce trans fats – both dangerous for heart health.
Industrial seed oils must be made more palatable for consumers by bleaching, refining, and deodorizing. This process removes their natural aroma and creates a neutral flavor profile ideal for culinary uses.
After they reach our kitchen cabinets or frying pans, oils can cause serious harm to our health. Their primary issue lies with polyunsaturated fatty acids being easily oxidized.
These sensitive fats can easily become oxidized during refining, storage, frying pan use, or when consumed directly into the body; for this reason, it’s wise to store them cold, use them only once through frying when necessary, and pair their consumption with plenty of antioxidant-rich vegetables.
One study, for instance, concluded that those consuming higher levels of omega-6 linoleic acid are 7% less likely to develop heart disease. Unfortunately, however, this research was funded by Unilever, which had historically used seed oils in margarine and mayonnaise products, so its conclusions cannot be seen as impartially accurate.
Alternatively, if your health is important to you, switch out seed oils for other forms of healthy fats, like coconut or avocado oil. You could also increase omega-3 intake through foods rich in omega-3s such as seafood or fish oil supplements.

Are Seed Oils' Toxicity a Risk to Our Health?

Are Seed Oils’ Toxicity a Risk to Our Health?

Unhealthy Effects of Seed Oils?

If you have ever done an internet search for “seed oil”, chances are you have encountered claims that this substance is dangerous to our health, citing omega-6 fatty acids as sources of inflammation and chronic health conditions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Though these claims may sound alarmist, the reality is that seed oils aren’t harmful if consumed as part of a nutritious diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins sources.
Problematic seed oils (canola, soybean, cottonseed, and safflower oils) may not be as healthy as we once believed. Not only are these processed oils high in unhealthy polyunsaturated fatty acids, but their manufacturing also renders them poor sources of nutrition.
First and foremost, industrial seed oil processing uses seeds that release toxic chemical residues during extraction. They also contain trans fats and other harmful oxidized byproducts that pose health hazards and have negative impacts on both people and the environment.
To reduce your intake of industrial seed oil, try to limit fried food intake as much as possible and switch from industrial seed oils to more nutritious options like tallow or lard from cows or duck fat from pigs for cooking purposes.
Although there are several reputable sources for tallow and lard, organically raised cattle or pig tallow is considered superior as it contains more omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids than refined vegetable oils.
The American Heart Association recommends an ideal ratio for omega-6 to omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid consumption: 6:1 omega-6s to 1:3 omega-3s as the best way to promote optimal health. A PUFA imbalance, in which too many omega-6 fatty acids and not enough omega-3 fatty acids enter our bodies, can contribute to inflammation and chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Unhealthy Effects of Seed Oils?

Unhealthy Effects of Seed Oils?

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