The Hidden Dangers Of Seed Oils

By Tom Seest

Are Seed Oils Toxic?

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

Seed oils are widely used in packaged food products and contain saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats to varying degrees; omega-6s dominate this mix, and their overconsumption has been linked with inflammation-related conditions.
Social media influencers and diet fads alike frequently blame seed oils for everything from weight gain to poor health – but is it really the case?

Are Seed Oils Toxic?

Are Seed Oils Toxic?

Are Refined Oils Toxic?

Dependent upon where you turn for nutrition advice, certain seed oils have been accused of being toxic – leading to issues ranging from brain fog and headaches to heart disease, obesity and leaky gut. The controversy stems from their refined nature which removes beneficial phytochemicals and antioxidants.
Heat and chemical extraction of oils results in the release of oxidized fats and byproducts as well as chemicals designed to enhance taste and aroma; further degrading its quality while diminishing shelf life and nutritional value.
These seeds include rapeseed (canola), cottonseed, corn, soybeans, safflower and sunflower. Once collected, these seeds are heated at high temperatures until their fatty acids have been extracted and liquidified, before being separated from solids and processed further with bleaching and deodorizing agents.
These industrialized seed oils are heavily refined and contain omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid, an omega-6 fat widely considered an inflammatory fat. Unfortunately, the typical Western diet usually contains far more omega-6 than omega-3 fats, an imbalance that may contribute to inflammation, autoimmunity, flare-ups of autoimmune conditions, and many other health problems.
Linoleic acid may increase inflammation due to its transformation into arachidonic acid in humans and animals; however, most research demonstrates that its conversion does not promote chronic inflammation.
If you’re using oil in cooking or salad dressings, unrefined plant oils are your best bet for the best results. Though still refined, their refining process is gentler and will retain more of their nutrient content. Cold-pressed oils made without heat or chemicals tend to be more expensive; cold-pressed ones may even come premade. Just remember that getting omega-3 and omega-6 fats from whole foods like nuts and avocados offers more nutritional value than processed seed oils do!

Are Refined Oils Toxic?

Are Refined Oils Toxic?

Are Ultra-Processed Foods Toxic?

At times, it feels as though ultra-processed foods are killing us. Studies have linked their consumption with health conditions, including heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, and diabetes.
But there’s a lot of misinformation out there, particularly around seed oils. They often get blamed for unhealthy diets or conspiracy theories due to their high concentrations of omega-6 fatty acids, which have been linked to inflammation in the body; yet, while cutting back on processed food may help, avoiding seed oils isn’t necessary.
Demonizing seed oils is an intricate topic, filled with paleo beliefs, clean eating philosophies, and, unfortunately, conspiracy theories. Some experts contend that seed oils are toxic destroyers of health, while others insist that they’re less dangerous than previously perceived.
There’s no disputing that most of our calories should come from whole food sources; unfortunately, however, modern lifestyle has us depending on ultra-processed food for around two-thirds of our energy intake. A recent JAMA study has indicated that much of this energy comes from unhealthy items like cake, diet soda, and cookies.
These ultra-processed foods, in addition to being high in both sugar and fat content, are also devoid of essential nutrients. When heated up, seed oils like canola, cottonseed, and sunflower contain omega-6 fatty acids, which oxidize into trans-fats and lipid peroxides that damage cells.
Avoiding ultra-processed foods is the ideal strategy, yet many find this challenging. Consuming too many ultra-processed foods can lead to low energy, slow digestion, and an increased risk of obesity and heart disease. When it comes to cakes and cereals, eliminating them altogether would require an overhaul of one’s pantry, which may not be realistic for most people. Instead, focus on eliminating sources of sugar like sodas and juices from your diet, replacing these items with natural sources of protein and fiber such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Are Ultra-Processed Foods Toxic?

Are Ultra-Processed Foods Toxic?

What’s the Smoke Point of Seed Oils?

At its smoke point (the temperature at which an oil or fat starts producing bluish smoke), cooking oils and fats begin degrading and losing nutritional value, so it’s essential that you know their respective smoke points to select those suitable for food preparation methods and avoid burnt flavors and oxidation.
Seed oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower and peanut oils have high smoke points and are best used in higher-heat cooking methods such as stir frying or deep frying. Nutritious oils with lower smoke points such as flaxseed, hemp seed, nut and avocado oil may be better for low-heat uses such as salad dressing or topping.
Concerns over seed oils extend far beyond their smoke points; many are also wary about how they’re extracted and processed, as this process may expose people to potentially hazardous additives like hexane, which has been linked with liver disease and genetic mutation.
Seed oils have long been accused of containing unhealthy omega-6 fatty acids that metabolize to form harmful compounds when heated to high temperatures, particularly canola and safflower seed oils; this statement does not apply to olive oil.
Seed oils have long been associated with negative connotations. Their negative perception stems from various movements and theories such as Paleo eating, clean eating, and conspiracy theories, yet many still consider them harmful to our health despite having proven otherwise. Is their supposed toxic nature simply due to association, or are there real health concerns underlying them?
Although many of the “hateful eight” seed oils contain refined and processed forms of omega-6 fatty acids that could potentially harm our health, such as being used for deep-frying or other high-heat cooking methods that don’t help us, consuming these oils in moderation as part of a healthy diet and not overusing them should have no negative side effects and may even provide positive benefits to health in general1.1 Research suggests otherwise!

What's the Smoke Point of Seed Oils?

What’s the Smoke Point of Seed Oils?

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids Toxic?

Omega-3 fatty acids have long been revered for their anti-inflammatory benefits, while their less popular counterpart, omega-6, has been linked with several chronic illnesses. Unfortunately, many seed oils derived from canola, corn, soybeans, safflower, sunflower, peanuts, cottonseed, or other vegetable seeds contain large quantities of omega-6 fat and are therefore considered toxic by some individuals.
However, the problem with these oils lies not only with their fatty acid composition but with how they’re made. Refining involves heating oil at high temperatures before adding chemical additives like hexane; this process introduces harmful trans fats and other unhealthy ingredients into the product as well as creating rancid or rancid fats associated with many health concerns.
However, while these oils contain both polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids, many contain high concentrations of omega-6s linoleic acid – an omega-6 which the body converts into arachidonic acid – associated with inflammation-associated diseases like heart disease and cancer.
One major issue with oils used to produce highly processed food products such as french fries and onion rings, as well as their heating at very high temperatures, which generates harmful compounds called hydroxynonenal that has been linked with mitochondrial dysfunction and cell damage.
Although limiting intake of seed oils is important, they shouldn’t be seen as evil demons. When used solely to prepare salad dressings, they won’t have any major negative impact on health; it is better to get your fatty acids from whole food sources such as fish (such as salmon, mackerel, and herring), chia seeds, walnuts or tofu that contain omega-6 fatty acids that are balanced out by other beneficial omega fatty acids. To stay away from toxic seed oils, look for nutritious varieties with low smoke points when selecting them – do so sparingly to stay safe!

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids Toxic?

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids Toxic?

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