Uncovering the Truth About Seed Oils

By Tom Seest

Are Seed Oils Unhealthy for You?

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

Food and health can often cause controversy, with seed oils becoming an increasingly popular cooking ingredient.
Seed oils present an issue for any diet because they’re often present in high-fat and caloric-dense food products without providing much nutritional benefit. That is why many believe an ideal diet consists of an assortment of fresh produce, whole grains, and lean protein options such as vegetables and fruit.

Are Seed Oils Unhealthy for You?

Are Seed Oils Unhealthy for You?

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids Really Unhealthy?

Have you been following recent headlines closely? You might have noticed that many of our food supply contains seed oils like soybean, canola, corn and safflower oil – these ingredients make up part of the Standard American Diet (SAD), so it is only natural for us to be concerned about their effects on health.
Concern should be expressed over oils rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Our bodies cannot produce these essential fatty acids themselves and must obtain them through diet.
But too much omega-6s can cause inflammation and lead to other issues, like heart disease and cancer. That is why it’s crucial to monitor the omega-6:omega-3 ratio.
Staying healthy means having an omega-6:omega-3 ratio between 4:1 and lower, and to ensure this happens it is best to focus on eating whole food plant-based diet and supplementing it with fish or fish oil supplements.
Soybean oil and canola oil contain high concentrations of omega-6 fatty acids, but you may also find these types of fatty acids in other plant-based sources, including safflower, flax, and sunflower oils.
If you’re trying to reduce omega-6 fatty acid intake, one simple strategy may be switching out some of your cooking oils for natural ones like coconut and olive oils, which contain more omega-3s. They make an ideal way to lower omega-6 intake.
If you decide to switch up your cooking oil, be sure to choose an organic source. Avoid heavily processed cooking oils, which often contain hexane or bleached for color retention; opt for cold-pressed and unrefined sources made from organically grown whole oils instead. Always look out for labels with “certified organic” to verify they are truly free of pesticides or other potentially toxic chemicals.

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids Really Unhealthy?

Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids Really Unhealthy?

Are Seed Oils Inflammatory?

People often become confused when it comes to seed oils due to the vast array of opinions regarding them. Some nutrition experts advise using seed oils as cooking oils while others consider them harmful and toxic to health.
Industrial seed oils differ significantly from traditional fats like olive oil or coconut oil in that they come from beans, corn, rapeseed (the source of canola oil), cottonseed and safflower seeds – producing oils high in omega-6 fatty acids with limited levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.
Oft times, people use fats in their diet because they’re inexpensive and readily available, yet too often or too much can be harmful.
Some nutritional experts argue that seed oils contain too many omega-6 fatty acids, leading to inflammation. A proper balance between omega-6 and omega-3 needs to be maintained for optimum health.
As this imbalance increases your risk for chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, it also puts you at greater risk of obesity or weight-related issues.
Notably, modern diets often contribute to this imbalance by being rich in omega-6 fatty acids while lacking in omega-3s. When we eat foods high in omega-6s, they make it easier for our bodies to convert them into arachidonic acid, which acts as a precursor for proinflammatory compounds such as cytokines, which contribute to chronic inflammation.
These pro-inflammatory chemicals are responsible for chronic illness and aging in the body, contributing to various conditions, including heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes.
People may advise against seed oils due to their potential toxic byproducts from production. Manufacturers use heat and solvents to extract their oils from seeds, potentially producing trans fats, which could pose health risks.
Though many claims regarding extra-virgin olive oil and avocado oil contain little solid evidence to back them up, most research conducted so far on animals or in lab settings remains inconclusive for human health benefits. Therefore, for now, it may be wiser to focus on increasing omega-3 intake naturally via fish, nuts, or other means.

Are Seed Oils Inflammatory?

Are Seed Oils Inflammatory?

How Can Seed Oils Impact Your Heart Health?

As a health-minded consumer, you may have observed an increasingly popular trend among wellness experts to suggest eliminating seed oils from one’s diet. Unfortunately, however, many of these claims are based on opinion instead of science or evidence.
Though some seed oils can contain potentially inflammatory ingredients from their refining process, no strong evidence supports such claims. On the contrary, there is more research supporting the idea that eating whole foods that include essential fats and polyunsaturates will protect against heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
One key step in combatting inflammation is maintaining a balanced intake of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. An imbalance of these essential fatty acids may contribute to chronic inflammation that puts people at increased risk of obesity, diabetes and other medical issues.
Most industrial seed oils contain too many omega-6 fatty acids, which increase your risk for inflammation and other health conditions when combined with low levels of omega-3 fats. Furthermore, they’re often susceptible to oxidation that damages antioxidants and releases free radicals into the body’s system.
Cellular damage from eating too many fried foods and not eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, lean proteins, and whole grains is linked with heart disease, cancer, and other chronic illnesses. Limiting fried food consumption while eating an array of veggies, fruit, lean proteins, and whole grains may reduce your risk for chronic diseases.
However, seed oils remain an integral component of a nutritious diet and should be consumed in moderation as part of an overall healthy plan. Furthermore, they’re an essential source of proteins and omega-3 fatty acids.
However, frequent consumption can be harmful over the course of your lifetime. Reheating oil repeatedly – particularly in restaurant deep fryers – depletes its natural antioxidants and increases oxidative stress, which in turn damages heart and brain tissue.
If you consume cooking oils, Cultured Oil might be worth switching to; its fermentation process produces an oil with high monounsaturated fat content and low omega-6s. Plus, its smoke point and neutral flavor makes for easy clean-up after every use!

How Can Seed Oils Impact Your Heart Health?

How Can Seed Oils Impact Your Heart Health?

Can Seed Oils Affect Your Brain Health?

One of the most hotly debated nutrition topics on social media is whether seed oils really are that harmful to you. Unfortunately, as is often the case in nutrition matters, answering this question definitively remains complex and sometimes not possible.
Initial understanding of seed oils: They’re vegetable-based oils refined through chemical extraction processes and include canola, corn, cottonseed, grapeseed, safflower, soybean, and sunflower oils.
Industrially produced seed oils should not be consumed because they lack essential vitamins and nutrients while being high in pro-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids. Heating these oils repeatedly also depletes their natural antioxidants, increasing oxidative stress which may contribute to heart disease or other health issues.
Seed oils may also be hazardous due to their abundance of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). These unstable fats oxidize easily when exposed to heat during cooking, becoming toxic over time and potentially becoming carcinogenic.
An increase in inflammation can have detrimental effects on both your heart and brain, but eating more omega-3 fatty acids from sources such as fish, seeds, and nuts has been shown to reduce it.
Studies have demonstrated that increasing omega-3 intake may lower your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
As such, the best approach is to consume whole foods rich in fats like fish and seafood, avocados and seeds and nuts; doing this also ensures you’re receiving essential vitamins and minerals needed for brain function.
Consider switching out seed oil for one with less omega-6 fatty acids – such as coconut, palm or olive oils.
However, if you are concerned about the health effects of seed oils, it’s best to avoid them altogether. If this is impossible for you, try replacing regular frying oils with healthy alternatives such as coconut oil, sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil as possible.

Can Seed Oils Affect Your Brain Health?

Can Seed Oils Affect Your Brain Health?

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