Uncovering the Truth About Eating 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.

Seed oils have recently been the target of an anti-fat movement on social media. As they’re an excellent source of omega-6 fatty acids – some health experts consider these to promote chronic inflammation – seed oils have come under scrutiny as being sources of chronic inflammation within the body.
But seed oils are also an integral component of a healthy diet, providing essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to support good health. If used responsibly, they can provide much-needed omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote good wellbeing.

Are Seed Oils Safe to Eat?

Are Seed Oils Safe to Eat?

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Good or Bad for You?

Seed oils such as canola, safflower, soybean, corn, and cottonseed oil have long been staples in American kitchens as cooking fats. Their popularity coincides with an American shift away from butter and lard as sources of saturated fats in their diets.
Nowadays, oily fish accounts for approximately 10 percent of calories in most people’s diets and is an excellent source of polyunsaturated fatty acids – which may provide some health benefits; however, too much consumption could prove hazardous to your well-being.
One of the primary concerns surrounding seed oils is their high content of omega-6 fatty acids, in particular linoleic acid. Critics have long contended that too much linoleic acid disrupts our bodies’ delicate balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and causes increased inflammation leading to chronic illness.
Another source of concern regarding linoleic acid is that it can become arachidonic acid and cause inflammation within the body; however, research shows that taking healthy doses of linoleic acid does not increase inflammatory markers in your blood.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also vitally important to our well-being, helping reduce bad cholesterol levels and improving blood pressure while supporting heart health. You can find omega-3s in fish, walnuts, flaxseed, and other food sources.
Though they’re generally considered healthy for your heart, sugary drinks should still be enjoyed in moderation if you want to avoid chronic diseases and other issues in your body. An excess in consumption or being made using solvents like hexane can increase risk.
To effectively avoid seed oils, the key is consuming a diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes – as well as limiting ultra-processed and fast foods, which often contain seed oils.
If you are concerned about the amount of polyunsaturated fat in your diet, olive and avocado oils are both great sources of monounsaturated fat with additional health benefits than seed oils.

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Good or Bad for You?

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Good or Bad for You?

Vitamin E Benefits: What does it do for You?

Many health and nutrition professionals warn that seed oils such as canola, soybean, corn, cottonseed, grapeseed, sunflower, peanut, and safflower oils are detrimental to our bodies and may contribute to cancer and other serious illnesses. Furthermore, they cause high inflammation while disrupting the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio and potentially contributing to cancer as well as other serious medical conditions.
One of the primary concerns with seed oils is that they contain high levels of polyunsatured fatty acids (PUFAs). These PUFAs have been linked to inflammation and various health conditions including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Furthermore, many seed oils also contain trans fats as well as rancid or oxidized fats which further exacerbate inflammation.
Seed oils contain high quantities of inflammatory fats that should not be consumed regularly, however there are alternatives that could serve as suitable replacements.
Avocado is an excellent source of vitamin E and other important nutrients, including antioxidants and fiber. Furthermore, its low saturated fat and trans fat levels make it a nutritionally sound option to include as part of daily eating regimen.
Olive oil is another fantastic option that boasts high levels of vitamin E compared to other seed oils and is great for cooking and salad dressing preparation, while providing other vital nutrients and anti-inflammatory antioxidants that may lower risk factors associated with diseases like heart disease and cancer.
Other nourishing oils rich in vitamin E include fennel seed oil, flaxseed oil, peanut oil, and rapeseed oil. In addition to their abundant supply of vitamin E, these oils also boast other vital nutrients, which make them superior options for cooking than other seed oils.
Vitamin E is a potency fat-soluble vitamin that can enhance overall health. It also prevents lipid peroxidation, helping protect the body from disease. Furthermore, vitamin E strengthens your blood vessels, immune system and hormones as well as supporting their balance. Vitamin E can be found in many food items; especially vegetable oils and nuts and seeds are high sources.

Vitamin E Benefits: What does it do for You?

Vitamin E Benefits: What does it do for You?

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids in Seed Oils Safe?

Most of the vegetable oils we eat are seed oils. These include canola oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, and rice bran oil – all produced using plant seeds refined through chemical extraction processes.
These oils contain high concentrations of omega-6 fatty acids, making them more pro-inflammatory than other fats. Although essential, too much omega-6 may contribute to chronic health conditions like heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to life and must be included as part of our daily diet to remain healthy. By including more of them in our meals, we ensure we’re getting adequate amounts.
However, there are numerous sources of omega-3 fatty acids which provide more nutrition-dense sources than most seed oils, such as fish and seafood. These foods naturally contain high concentrations of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, essential components to human health and function.
Many health experts advise consuming more omega-3s than omega-6s for optimal health; when you do this, your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio should fall somewhere between 2:1 and 4:1.
Eat whole-food sources of omega-3 fatty acids to increase your omega-3 intake, such as fish, nuts, seeds and algae. These fatty acids can quickly be converted to long-chain omega-3s DHA and EPA that support all cell functions within your body.
But it is worth keeping in mind that fish is still the best source of these essential fatty acids, and you should make an effort to incorporate more seafood into your diet.
Avoiding the inflammation associated with omega-6s by eating a diet rich in both omega-3s and omega-6s at optimal ratios is the key to staying healthy! Your body will appreciate you taking steps like this!
Some experts consider seed oils to be harmful because of the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid found within them, which can be converted to arachidonic acid in your body and cause further inflammation through its release of inflammatory compounds. Although inflammation is a normal physiological response, chronic cases may signal health issues or chronic illnesses over time.

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids in Seed Oils Safe?

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids in Seed Oils Safe?

Are Trans Fats in Seed Oils Harmful?

Seed oils such as canola (rapeseed), corn, cottonseed, grapeseed, rice bran, safflower, and soy are often considered unhealthy for consumption as they’re said to increase inflammation levels and lead to chronic diseases like weight gain, heart disease, and diabetes.
One major problem with these fats is that they contain trans fats, which have been shown to raise blood cholesterol levels and raise the risk of heart disease. Trans fats are formed when oil undergoes partial hydrogenation.
Surprised to learn this process is so widespread in food service – even at home! Deep fryers and restaurants frequently employ this practice.
Some critics contend that the heat and chemicals used in making seed oils create harmful compounds, leading to their accumulation. This issue becomes compounded when they’re used repeatedly over time – such as when used repeatedly for deep-fryers in restaurants and factories.
Others argue that the conversion of linoleic acid to arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, may contribute to inflammation in your body and be the root cause of various chronic illnesses like cancer and diabetes.
At the end of the day, it can be difficult to know for certain whether seed oils are toxic; therefore, the safest course would be to limit or forgo their consumption altogether if possible in order to maintain a proper ratio between omega-6s and omega-3s and reduce chronic disease risks.
As another way of limiting potential harmful effects of seed oils, opt for those which haven’t been processed as much – typically cold-pressed or expeller pressed oils contain less trans fats than their counterparts.
Avoid foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVOs), unless labeled. These include snack foods, fried foods, commercial baked goods, and piecrusts.

Are Trans Fats in Seed Oils Harmful?

Are Trans Fats in Seed Oils Harmful?

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