The Truth About Seed Oils

By Tom Seest

Are Seed Oils Safe to Eat?

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

You have no doubt heard about how seed oils can be harmful to our health, particularly canola (rapeseed), cottonseed, grapeseed, corn, rice bran, safflower and sunflower oils which have all been widely publicized on social media as harmful. If you frequent TikTok, you have likely seen posts or even videos detailing this toxicity.
But are they truly poisonous? In reality, they can actually provide quite an abundance of nutrition.

Are Seed Oils Safe to Eat?

Are Seed Oils Safe to Eat?

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids Harming Your Health?

Omega-6 fatty acids have recently come under attack as “pro-inflammatory.” While omega-6s can contribute to inflammation, they don’t pose an inherent danger – in fact they serve many vital purposes within our bodies.
Body composition requires a balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids; too much omega-6 may actually be harmful, since too many omega-6 fats interfere with our ability to convert omega-3s into anti-inflammatory compounds.
One source of this problem is seed oils, commonly used in restaurants and homes for cooking. Seed oils contain large quantities of omega-6 fatty acids that may disrupt your body’s healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in your diet.
These oils contain polyunsaturated fat, which differs from animal fats by having double bonds instead of just single ones.
Foods such as fatty fish, flaxseed oil and walnuts are available to provide the proper balance between these two forms of fat in your diet.
However, even healthy foods like these may contain high concentrations of omega-6 fatty acids – as can seed oils such as safflower oil, canola oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil.
Oils made from soybeans typically contain high concentrations of linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. Linoleic acid can then be converted to gamma-linolenic acid and further processed into arachidonic acid by our bodies.
As a result, our diet contains an excessively high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, increasing our risk for chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease and obesity.
Though opinions regarding an optimal omega-3 to omega-6 ratio differ widely, most health experts generally concur that it should range between 5- 10% of your daily caloric intake – that would amount to 11-22 grams of omega-6 fatty acids daily.

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids Harming Your Health?

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids Harming Your Health?

Are Seed Oils Harming Your Health?

Seed oils are a group of vegetable oils, including canola, soybean, safflower and sunflower oils. These versatile vegetable oils can be found in baking products, salad dressings and infant formulas among other places – and often appear as ingredients in infant formula and protein bars as well.
Recently, some nutrition experts have issued warnings against seed oils altogether, alleging they contain pro-inflammatory fats that contribute to chronic illnesses such as inflammation. Such claims have caused widespread panic on social media.
Though seed oils may seem intimidating or mysterious, it’s essential that people understand they can be part of a balanced diet without negatively affecting health if you choose a variety of oils and don’t overdo it.
Seed oils contain polyunsaturated fatty acids that your body requires for good health, such as linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids. Linoleic acid can help protect against heart disease while improving skin health; alpha-linolenic acid provides omega-3s that may provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
Linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids are both essential dietary components that your body cannot produce on its own yet must consume for the proper functioning of bodily processes, from maintaining healthy skin to creating cell membranes.
Linoleic acid can be found in seed oils like canola and olive, but it is also found in many nuts and seeds. To get the full benefit of its essential fatty acid benefits, aim to include both types of essential fats in your daily diet.
As well, it is essential to remember that both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are necessary components of human body physiology – though in different proportions. Achieve an ideal ratio is key in combatting inflammation and keeping your immune system strong.
Even though some inflammatory fats can be found in seed oils, other types of fat can also contribute to inflammation. The three most prevalent are trans fats, oxidized (rancid) fats and saturated fats – so the best way to combat inflammation is with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.

Are Seed Oils Harming Your Health?

Are Seed Oils Harming Your Health?

Are Seed Oils a Stealthy Threat?

People often believe seed oils should be avoided altogether, but in moderation they’re actually beneficial. Seed oils contain essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are vital for our bodies; in fact, the Dietary Guidelines suggest an intake of 27 grams of oil daily on a 2000-calorie diet.
Seed oils are extracted from various seeds such as soybean, canola, grapeseed and sunflower. Once extracted they’re either pressed to extract their oil or refined using chemical solvents.
Refining removes some beneficial phytochemicals and antioxidants found naturally in plant foods, but can also produce several harmful compounds like hexane which could pose risks to health.
Seed oils contain high concentrations of omega-6 fatty acids, which are considered pro-inflammatory fats and don’t offer as many health benefits as omega-3s do.
Vitamin E, an essential nutrient for keeping eyes, hearts, and immune systems functioning optimally is also found in limited amounts in tomatoes; you can supplement this nutrient through other sources like avocados, almonds and olives.
Make your own mayonnaise and salad dressing from scratch to eliminate seed oil entirely, and avoid eating fried foods that contain it since these tend to contain sugar and sodium.
Although you cannot eliminate all seed oil from your diet, it’s wiser to limit its usage and replace it with healthier options like olive, coconut or avocado oil.
Make sure that you are getting enough dietary fats by eating a variety of nutritious whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. Also try supplementing with fish oil supplements, which contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
When it comes to your health, making informed decisions and following a healthy dietary plan are of utmost importance. That includes limiting your consumption of fried and ultra-processed foods while opting for more nutrient-dense options and ditching junk food altogether.
And then focus on adding healthier foods and cooking oils like extra virgin olive oil into your diet, while speaking with your physician about ways to boost your health. Lastly, consult them about improving your wellbeing!

Are Seed Oils a Stealthy Threat?

Are Seed Oils a Stealthy Threat?

Are Seed Oils Really Beneficial for Your Health?

Seed oils are versatile cooking and salad oils crafted from soybean, corn, canola (rapeseed), safflower, cottonseed, grapeseed, rice bran, peanuts or peanuts that provide essential nutrition in your daily diet. While not the most nutrient-dense oils, seed oils can make for an important addition to a well-rounded lifestyle plan.
Seeds contain essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that provide great benefits for the heart, skin, hair and brain. Furthermore, seeds help stabilize blood sugar levels as well as improve sleep.
Many critics of seed oils claim they cause inflammation and lead to serious health issues. Some haters allege too many omega-6 fatty acids have increased dramatically over the years – which in turn may increase inflammation risk factors like cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and inflammatory bowel diseases.
Seed oils may provide some health benefits in moderation; however, their high caloric intake must be avoided in large amounts. As an alternative, opt for healthier choices like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil instead.
These oils are less processed than seed oils, meaning that they contain higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, they’re high in monounsaturated fat – known to reduce cholesterol and keep hearts healthy – making these options great choices for healthier living.
However, you should limit your consumption of seeds and nuts due to their high levels of omega-6 fatty acids – they should only be eaten up to a few tablespoons at any one time.
Seed oils should also be avoided for their genetic modification. GMO crops are engineered to be resistant to harmful herbicides that could negatively impact human and environmental health.
Heat-oxidation can also create harmful compounds when heated repeatedly; while it’s generally not an issue when using them for home cooking, this issue becomes far more pressing when used commercially in restaurants or deep fryers where reheating is a big part of daily routine.
Finally, they contain chemicals and additives, including preservatives like TBHQ. Furthermore, some may contain hexane which is known to be carcinogenic.

Are Seed Oils Really Beneficial for Your Health?

Are Seed Oils Really Beneficial for Your Health?

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