Unveiling the Power Of Seed Oils

By Tom Seest

Are Seed Oils the Secret to Good Health?

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

Many have seen social media posts that indicate that seed oils such as canola, safflower, corn, cottonseed, and peanut oil are linked with obesity and chronic diseases, as well as being proinflammatory and unhealthy.
True, heating oils to high temperatures and using them repeatedly can produce toxic chemicals; however, cooking them at home does not pose this threat.

Are Seed Oils the Secret to Good Health?

Are Seed Oils the Secret to Good Health?

What Makes Seed Oils So Nutritious?

Recent nutrition experts were in agreement that seed oils (such as canola, corn, soybean, cottonseed and sunflower) were generally safe when consumed in moderation and cooked at high smoke points with plenty of healthy omega-6/omega-3 fats for optimal health, plus beneficial vitamins like E. However, recently popular nutritionist Cate Shanahan issued her “Hateful Eight” list and encouraged followers to avoid them at all costs. This caused much controversy.
Industrial seed oils are an essential ingredient of highly processed food products and contribute significantly to food monopolies, environmental destruction, global warming, chronic health conditions and chronic illnesses. Furthermore, they’re one of the most widely-used genetically modified crops and provide toxic herbicides, pesticides and fungicides used by manufacturers – not to mention heavy spraying that exposes consumers to deodorants and colorants as additives.
Heating oils at high temperatures releases toxic trans fats that quickly oxidize, contributing to cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer and other chronic illnesses as well as inflammation and autoimmunity.
Avoid harmful seed oils by selecting cold-pressed and expeller-pressed varieties. They’re better for your health than their refined counterparts, yet can still be used for low-heat cooking purposes. Be wary of deep frying foods; use your oils sparingly for maximum benefits.
Diets that include a variety of fat sources – nuts, avocado, olives and coconut oil are key elements. When cooking with seed oils, try replacing them with more flavorful and nutrient-dense options instead. For more information about different oils visit the Weston A. Price Foundation or join their Facebook group for updates about latest research and health news.

What Makes Seed Oils So Nutritious?

What Makes Seed Oils So Nutritious?

Why Should You Care About Omega-6 Fatty Acids?

People often avoid seed oils because they contain omega-6 fatty acids that may increase inflammation. Consuming too many processed foods with these oils may lead to an imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 fats that increases risk for chronic diseases, and makes storing omega-3s difficult.
Linoleic acid, one of the omega-6 fatty acids present in seed oils, may not directly cause inflammation; however, when converted by our bodies to arachidonic acid it becomes one of the major contributors of inflammation and is the reason some suggest avoiding seed oils altogether; however, it’s important to remember that most of this inflammation associated with eating seeds oil comes from other factors rather than its consumption alone.
Many claims about seed oils being toxic or dangerous are based on social media influencer opinions and not scientific proof. Consuming the amount recommended in the Dietary Guidelines (2 tablespoons daily) should not cause any significant health concerns; omega-6 and omega-3 fats found in seed oils are essential components of a balanced diet, and most undergo extensive processing to remove any potential contaminants such as oxidized fats or toxic additives.
Seed oils possess a high smoke point, making them suitable for frying and other high-heat cooking methods, making them the ideal choice for fast food preparation and other processed food production as they can withstand prolonged exposure to high temperatures. Furthermore, seed oils tend to be more stable than animal fats, which become rancid quickly.
If you’re concerned about chemicals present in oils, cold-pressed or expeller-pressed seeds are best. These oils are produced without heat and don’t contain hexane-based toxins like other oils – although they may cost more.
If the chemicals present in these oils continue to worry you, try switching over to whole food sources of omega-6 fatty acids like nuts and avocados that also come packed with fiber and nutrients to protect their integrity from becoming oxidized and unhealthy.

Why Should You Care About Omega-6 Fatty Acids?

Why Should You Care About Omega-6 Fatty Acids?

What Makes Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids So Beneficial?

Industrial seed oils are highly processed fats derived from soybeans, corn, rapeseed (the source of canola oil) and cottonseed, typically with added chemicals to create canola oil. Unfortunately, industrial seed oils have also become an additional part of our modern diets, adding empty calories without nutritional benefit and contributing to insulin resistance and chronic health conditions. Therefore they should be avoided altogether.
Though seed oils can have adverse health consequences, some individuals still claim that switching to a low-seed oil diet helps them feel better and shed unwanted weight. Unfortunately, such claims rely solely on social media influencers’ opinions without clinical proof backing it up. It’s not so much the seed oils themselves as much as their combination with refined carbohydrates, sodium and sugar that pose the biggest problem here.
Many processed foods rely on industrial seed oils as cooking fats, including packaged snacks, baked goods, salad dressings and protein bars. Unfortunately, these food items often contain salt, sugar and food additives which contribute to poor health outcomes; the good news is that you can replace these unhealthy fats with healthier plant-based alternatives.
Cold-pressed, expeller or centrifuged oils should always be selected over heated, refined and deodorized varieties as these will avoid toxic byproducts of processing while decreasing risk of oxidation. Also look for an appropriate balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids found naturally.
Oxidization of polyunsaturated fats may occur during refining processes, on shelves, or directly in your frying pan. When this occurs, rancid fats become exposed and may damage arteries – potentially increasing cholesterol and heart disease risk.
However, saturated fat oxidation is less dangerous because they’re less likely to damage arteries. Some studies even indicate that increasing consumption of saturated fats could lower both your blood cholesterol levels and heart disease risk.
As a general guideline, it’s advisable to adopt an eating plan which emphasizes vegetables, fruit, whole grains and lean proteins without industrial seed oils – particularly fast and processed food products which often contain them.

What Makes Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids So Beneficial?

What Makes Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids So Beneficial?

What Makes Refined Seed Oils So Essential?

Seed oils are one of the world’s most beloved cooking oils, used for everything from frying and sauteing to drizzles over salads. Made from plant seeds like sunflower, canola, linseed and grapeseed; these oils offer monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as well as omega-6s that are good for heart health; however, when consumed excessively these healthy fats may get an unfavorable reputation.
As seed oils have relatively high smoke points, most seed oils must be refined to extend their shelf life and enhance their cooking properties. Unfortunately, the refining process often employs toxic chemicals like hexane that are potentially hazardous to both people and the environment; additionally, it degrades fats that turn rancid over time while producing byproducts that could potentially pose health hazards.
Problematic fats include those used in highly processed food products that lack fiber, vitamins and minerals while being high in sugar, sodium and saturated fats – leading to weight gain, chronic diseases and other serious health problems.
Some believe these fats to be dangerous as they contain high concentrations of omega-6 fatty acids that have been linked with inflammation. Although the omega-6 found in seed oils (linoleic acid) itself doesn’t contribute to inflammation directly, it can become arachidonic acid which leads to further discomfort.
Though there may be concerns regarding seed oils, many experts don’t consider abstaining from using them necessary. Instead, they suggest adopting a whole foods diet rich in nuts, seeds and avocados; though seed oils can still be used for frying purposes if desired; but should not replace other sources of fat in our diet.
Dieting to reduce seed oil consumption should include eliminating all processed food from your diet, which will decrease exposure to harmful byproducts of these fats. You could also try switching over to cold-pressed or expeller-pressed oils which are produced without heat or chemicals, although these options might offer slight advantages over regular seed oils in terms of nutrition content; they’re still far less nutritious.

What Makes Refined Seed Oils So Essential?

What Makes Refined Seed Oils So Essential?

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