Uncovering the Link Between Seed Oils and Inflammation

By Tom Seest

Do Seed Oils Trigger Inflammation?

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

Clean eating, paleo, or keto enthusiasts may be familiar with claims surrounding seed oils that they claim cause inflammation or other health problems.
Seed oils do contain high amounts of omega-6 fats, but that does not equate to bad for your health. What matters more than anything else is how you balance out omega-6 to omega-3 ratios over time rather than which specific fat types you consume.

Do Seed Oils Trigger Inflammation?

Do Seed Oils Trigger Inflammation?

What are the Benefits of Seed Oils?

Seed oils are edible oils derived from seeds of plants like canola, sunflower, safflower, and soybean. Used widely in cooking applications like vegetables and salad dressings.
Seed oils provide essential nutrition for human bodies when consumed in moderation. Packed full of polyunsaturated – such as essential fatty acids linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids – as well as omega-3s that promote cardiovascular wellbeing, seed oils are packed full of nutrition that may benefit human wellbeing.
However, they contain high concentrations of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, which may contribute to chronic disease in the body.
There are healthy seed oils available as alternatives to industrial ones. Cold-pressed oils, which are produced without using heat or chemicals for processing, may cost more than their heat-pressed counterparts but provide the added bonus of protecting vital nutrients during production.
Seed oils offer more than low calories; they could also be good for your heart and immune system. Rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to lower cholesterol levels, they’re sure to bring many health advantages!
As with other fats, omega 3s can be potentially inflammatory if consumed excessively; to ensure optimal health benefits and to remain balanced, it’s essential to focus on eating whole foods that contain an appropriate balance of omega 3s.
The ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s plays a pivotal role in your overall health. A diet rich in omega-6s can increase inflammation and lead to chronic disease.
This imbalance is compounded by our over-reliance on ultra-processed food products, such as those rich in unhealthy fats such as industrial seed oils. By switching up our diet with more whole, nutrient-dense meals, we can close the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio to help protect ourselves against disease and improve overall wellness.
Problematic fats come from genetically modified (GMO) crops that deplete our soil and farmland – one reason to steer clear of GMO-based oils.

What are the Benefits of Seed Oils?

What are the Benefits of Seed Oils?

Can Seed Oils Help Reduce Inflammation?

Seed oils such as canola, soybean, safflower, and sunflower oils should not be eaten regularly as they contain large quantities of calories and fat without much nutritional benefit. One tablespoon contains roughly 120 calories and 14 grams of fat compared to 3 ounces of smoked salmon or 1 cup of edamame, which contain equal calories and fat content.
Fruits and vegetables contain high concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). These PUFAs can reduce inflammation and are linked with many chronic health conditions, including heart disease.
Experts disagree regarding the role PUFAs play in human health and how much people should consume to avoid illness. Some claim high intakes are bad, while others view them as essential components of good wellness.
Some nutrition experts consider seed oils to be safe to include as part of a well-rounded diet; however, others warn against overeating it, as too much seed oil consumption could lead to inflammation and other health concerns.
Industrial seed oils are made by heating seeds gathered from plants such as soy, corn, cotton, safflower, and rapeseed plants to extremely high temperatures, causing their unsaturated fatty acids to oxidize and thus ruining any nutritional benefits the oil might otherwise possess.
Next, industrial seed oils are extracted using petroleum-based solvents to maximize oil extraction from seeds while simultaneously adding chemical additives, unstable molecules, and trans fats into their composition.
Restaurant deep-fryers regularly expose them to high temperatures that produce harmful compounds during food preparation, leading to further exposure. This process also releases air pollution into the environment.
Many individuals who reduce unhealthy fats have reported feeling better overall, although this change may also be caused by other factors, including refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and sodium consumption.
As part of a healthy diet, it’s essential that we consume plenty of wholesome foods containing polyunsaturated fatty acids as well as other fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – particularly seeds and nuts containing these elements.

Can Seed Oils Help Reduce Inflammation?

Can Seed Oils Help Reduce Inflammation?

Are Seed Oils Inflammatory for YOU?

There has been much confusion around the health implications of seed oils. Some critics contend that their high concentration of linoleic acid, an omega-6 fat found in these oils, may increase inflammation, leading to heart disease and cancer; other research shows otherwise. Still, others insist that seed oils contain beneficial fatty acids, which should be part of our daily diets.
Inflammation is a natural response that the body employs when fighting infection or injury; however, when inflammation persists without apparent cause for prolonged periods, it can become chronic and lead to serious health complications, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Critics claim that seed oil’s pro-inflammatory nature is due to its high content of omega-6 fatty acids, which have been touted as more pro-inflammatory than anti-inflammatory omega-3s; however, there’s no conclusive proof to back this claim up in humans.
Researchers suggest that the problem with oil may lie with its heating process during cooking. When exposed to high temperatures for an extended period, its fatty acids can transform into dangerous trans fats, leading to its degradation over time and creating trans fatty acids in its components.
Commercial kitchens or restaurants that use seed oils for frying are especially susceptible to contamination; in contrast, home kitchens tend not to use such high temperatures to heat oils up for cooking purposes, limiting any risk.
Notably, seed oils contain many healthy unsaturated fats that do not promote inflammation; in fact, these can have many health advantages, including helping reduce cholesterol levels.
One analysis of linoleic acid consumption among humans indicates that those consuming higher levels were 7 percent less likely to suffer heart disease compared with those who consumed the least; however, as this research was funded by Unilever-made margarine and mayonnaise from these seed oils, there’s no way of telling if this measurement is reliable or not.
Omega-6 fatty acids found in seed oils might not cause as much inflammation as some think; rather, its adverse effects may stem from other fat sources found in processed food, like trans fats and oxidized oils that contribute to inflammation.

Are Seed Oils Inflammatory for YOU?

Are Seed Oils Inflammatory for YOU?

Is Eating Seed Oils Safe?

Seed oils have long been at the center of debate between paleo enthusiasts, clean eaters, and conspiracy theorists. While it can be hard to determine their health benefits for sure, some experts consider these products potentially hazardous and can contribute to inflammation.
Seeds are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory effects and may reduce the risk of heart disease. Unfortunately, most seed oils contain large quantities of pro-inflammatory omega-6 polyunsaturated fats.
These inflammatory fatty acids can increase inflammation in the body and lead to chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes. But eating whole, unprocessed foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids from seafood may help mitigate their harmful effects.
People typically consume an abundance of seed oils in their daily diet due to their widespread usage in restaurants and home cooking. Common types include canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and rice bran oil.
As mentioned above, these oils are used in manufacturing processed food such as cookies, candy bars, chocolates, granola bars, and cereals containing processed seed oils – be sure to read your labels! These items often have a code number identifying which seed oils they contain for accuracy.
Industrial seed oils are highly processed oils extracted from soybeans, corn, rapeseed (canola), cottonseed and sunflower, and safflower seeds. They are manufactured by heating these seeds to extreme temperatures before processing them using petroleum-based solvents to extract maximum oil yield from them.
This process can destroy essential vitamins and minerals found in seeds as well as other essential nutrients that exist there. Furthermore, heat can oxidize unsaturated fatty acids in seeds to produce free radicals which are potentially dangerous to human health.
If you want to limit exposure to these toxins, olive or coconut oils are great alternatives that naturally contain less linoleic acid and have a great smoke point for cooking, meaning there’s less risk of rancidity occurring while using these vegetable-based oils in recipes.

Is Eating Seed Oils Safe?

Is Eating Seed Oils Safe?

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