Are Seed Oils the Unhealthy Choice?

By Tom Seest

Are Seed Oils Really Bad for You?

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

Seed oils (also referred to as vegetable oils) have recently become the subject of much scrutiny, being accused of everything from weight gain to cardiovascular diseases.
Even so, most health experts agree that seed oils (like canola, safflower, and generic “vegetable oil”) should be included as part of a nutritious diet in moderation. Here are four reasons why.

Are Seed Oils Really Bad for You?

Are Seed Oils Really Bad for You?

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids in Seed Oils Really Bad?

Industrial seed oils contain large quantities of omega-6 fatty acids that are pro-inflammatory in nature and have been linked with eye diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases and other health conditions. Omega-6 fats also compete for absorption with omega-3s leading to chronic inflammation.
As noted previously, an excessive intake of omega-6 fats may contribute to osteoarthritis by aggravating symptoms of inflammation. Omega-6s also decrease the production of DHA – an essential omega-3 fatty acid necessary for eye health.
Though omega-6 fats have several negative side effects, not all omega-6s are bad for our health. We require both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in proper amounts for optimal well-being; to do this most efficiently, we must consume both in balance with one another; one way of doing this is consuming various healthy plant-based oils instead of industrial seed oils as the ideal way to do so.
While social media may make you believe all seed oils are toxic, this is simply not true. Omega-6-rich oils like canola, soybean, safflower, and corn oils should be avoided, while those rich in omega-3 like flax, hemp, and chia oils make excellent options for home cooking and salad dressings.
Seed oils have long been controversial due to political donations, questionable research results, and unsubstantiated marketing claims. Their story began in 1911 when Procter & Gamble first promoted cottonseed oil as being more beneficial than saturated animal fats like butter.
Cottonseed oil’s low smoke point means it degrades easily under heat and releases toxic byproducts when heated, thus necessitating cautious use. Therefore, opt for oils containing high levels of omega-3.
When cooking at home, choose an oil made without heat or chemicals – such as extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil – made without heating, and opting for cold-pressed versions is even better as these contain more nutrients. While occasional consumption of french fries or salad dressing made with canola oil won’t harm your health, relying heavily on these seed oils as part of daily recipes will pose risks.

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids in Seed Oils Really Bad?

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids in Seed Oils Really Bad?

What Inflammatory Effects Do Seed Oils Have?

If you are passionate about health and wellness, chances are you have heard that seed oils such as canola, rapeseed, soybean, sunflower cottonseed, and corn safflower are big trouble – high in omega-6 fatty acids that may contribute to heart disease, obesity, and other conditions. We will take a closer look at this claim to see what the research says.
Problematic fatty acids include arachidonic acid, which contributes to inflammation. However, studies conducted on humans have not established that such fatty acids pose health risks when consumed in normal amounts.
However, one major danger posed by these fatty acids is their potential to interact with other compounds in our bodies and form free radicals that damage cells and increase the risk for diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, this only becomes a problem when oil is overheated or used repeatedly – to limit risk, avoid deep-fried food or reheating cooked food using seed oils as much as possible.
Industrial seed oils are highly processed, rendering them inert in terms of nutrition and providing us with essential vitamins and minerals we require for healthy functioning. Furthermore, their rapid oxidization produces toxic by-products which could damage cells and organs over time.
Eating too many processed foods containing seed oils is not only unhealthy, but can lead to weight gain, cardiovascular disease and other health issues. But the good news is that it’s not just the seed oils themselves that cause problems; rather it is all of the ingredients found within them, including high amounts of sugar, salt and additives that contribute.
When trying to make healthy decisions, it’s essential to keep an open mind and not become overzealous in your pursuit. Otherwise, restrictive dieting can quickly turn into weight loss plateaus and nutritional deficiencies. Instead, focus on eating whole, nutrient-dense foods–such as quality proteins, colorful veggies, healthy fats and low-sugar fruits–with an open mind – for best results, read the labels!

What Inflammatory Effects Do Seed Oils Have?

What Inflammatory Effects Do Seed Oils Have?

Are High-Calorie Seed Oils Bad for You?

Since seed oils have been touted as detrimental, there have been warnings against their consumption from fitness gurus on TikTok or Instagram videos, these oils have come to be known as the “Hateful Eight”, because of their high polyunsaturated fat content which promotes inflammation leading to serious health complications.
These experts may not be completely wrong, but their conclusions are often overblown and without substance. Most importantly, they disregard that human health is complex, making blaming one food or ingredient responsible for our problems unfair and untenable.
Seed oils have one major flaw – their processing can increase omega-6 intake significantly, leading to inflammation in the body and leading to heart disease, obesity and other long-term health concerns.
Seed oils are also very high in calories; one tablespoon provides 120, with none coming from proteins or carbs. Furthermore, they don’t provide vitamin A, K, or E and often include additives like soy lecithin, TBHQ (a preservative), or unknown chemicals that cannot even be named!
Industrial seed oils are used in many unhealthy food items, like french fries and cookies, where repeated heating causes harmful chemical residues to accumulate. Therefore, it would be wiser to consume your fats from whole sources like nuts, seeds, avocados, and fish instead.
If you are committed to your health, it’s wise to dispose of all bottles of canola, safflower, soybean, cottonseed, corn, or peanut oils from your pantry and limit restaurant meals that contain repeated batches of industrial seed oils – it’s not worth taking the risk! In order to become truly healthy, it’s necessary to eliminate foods containing industrial seed oils altogether from your diet and focus on eating whole foods instead – there is plenty of choice available here!

Are High-Calorie Seed Oils Bad for You?

Are High-Calorie Seed Oils Bad for You?

Are Seed Oils Unhealthy for You?

One quick Google search brings up claims that seed oils are inflammatory and damaging, as well as TikTok videos from fitness influencers urging us to avoid them. While seed oils contain high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, which have been shown to contribute to inflammation as well as obesity and chronic health conditions if eaten too regularly, that’s only half the story – for one thing, it can increase insulin sensitivity in children, making their bodies less resistant against the effects of chronic illness if overconsumed; that doesn’t mean just one side effects exist either!
At first, it’s essential to recognize that there are various kinds of fat in our diets; some are beneficial. Omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts and fish have been shown to reduce inflammation, improve brain function, and lower the risk of heart disease, while omega-6 fatty acids can be found in food like sunflower seeds, soybeans, safflower oil as well as canola and vegetable oils.
Unfortunately, these oils also have a lower threshold for heat and are better suited to high-heat cooking methods like frying. Their high levels of omega-6 fatty acids convert to arachidonic acid within our bodies which has been linked with inflammation as well as other health conditions.
However, it’s essential to keep in mind that omega-3 and omega-6 fats coexist within our bodies in a balance, making a diet rich in both essential for optimal health.
Noteworthy is also that too much seed oil and ultra-processed foods that contain them will worsen an already imbalanced ratio between omega-6 to omega-3 fats and inflammation, leading to increased inflammation. Therefore, it’s wise to limit these types of foods according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommendation of 2 tablespoons of fat per 2000-calorie diet as recommended by Dietary Guidelines for America.
Cutting down on seed oils altogether is ideal, but if you must use them when cooking, opt for healthier choices such as ghee, butter, olive, coconut, or avocado oil instead. If environmental impact is an issue for you, animal fats such as lard or duck fat contain lower levels of toxic chemicals than traditional seed oils and could provide even better options.

Are Seed Oils Unhealthy for You?

Are Seed Oils Unhealthy for You?

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