Health Risks Of Eating Seed Oil

By Tom Seest

Is Eating Seed Oil Unhealthy?

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

Seed oils are any vegetable oils derived from seeds, such as sunflower, canola, linseed, and grapeseed oils. They contain healthy polyunsaturates that may benefit heart health while simultaneously helping lower cholesterol levels.
They also contain omega-6 fatty acids that may alter the ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in your body, leading to inflammation and contributing to chronic health conditions like cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

Is Eating Seed Oil Unhealthy?

Is Eating Seed Oil Unhealthy?

Do Omega-6 Fatty Acids Pose a Health Risk?

Seed oil contains omega-6 fatty acids, yet there is no evidence to back the claim that they cause inflammation or increase disease risk. Indeed, in moderation, they could even prove beneficial provided they’re consumed at appropriate ratios with omega-3 fats and you consume adequate essential fatty acids from whole food sources.
Modern diets contain too many omega-6 fatty acids while lacking anti-inflammatory omega-3s, leading to systemic inflammation and increasing the risk of diseases like cardiovascular disease, autoimmune conditions, and cancer. This imbalance increases systemic inflammation and increases risks.
One of the most widely consumed vegetable oils in America is soybean oil, which contains omega-6 linoleic acid as one of its essential fatty acids and has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease.
Soybean oil can be found in salad dressings and packaged food items, including cookies, candy bars, chips and fried foods. When choosing soybean oil as part of your diet plan, be sure to choose cold-pressed versions without chemical solvents or heat exposure.
Most health experts agree that occasional use of seed oil for healthy cooking at home won’t harm your health, although it should be remembered that ultra-processed food often contain highly omega-6 rich products while lacking anti-inflammatory omega-3s.
If you want to eat healthier, it’s best to limit your consumption of seed oils and seek other sources of omega-6 fatty acids such as nuts, seeds, salmon (salmon, mackerel, and herring), tofu, and peanut butter as sources. Supplements may also help balance out your ratio between omega-6s and omega-3s.
Soybean oil, canola oil, and safflower oil are some of the most popular seed oils available today, found in many ultra-processed food items and restaurant menus. While they should not be consumed regularly as part of your daily diet plan, these seed oils can still provide essential fatty acids through other means, such as olive oil.

Do Omega-6 Fatty Acids Pose a Health Risk?

Do Omega-6 Fatty Acids Pose a Health Risk?

Is Oxidized Fats in Seed Oil Dangerous?

Seed oils tend to oxidize more easily than their stable counterparts like olive and coconut oils, potentially during manufacture, transport, storage and cooking as well as in our bodies post consumption.
Oxidized fats can damage cells and contribute to inflammation. Furthermore, the formation of these compounds increases your risk for cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Most Americans consume too much seed oil through processed food like baked goods, protein bars, salad dressings and more. Luckily, there are ways to switch them for healthier, less processed alternatives.
One effective strategy to limit seed oils is switching out for healthier alternatives that are easier on both you and your wallet, such as coconut or avocado oil, which contain lower saturated fat levels while providing other health benefits, including anti-inflammatory effects.
One effective way to steer clear of seed oils is by opting for healthier cooking methods that do not require deep frying, such as using your oven rather than your stovetop.
If you opt to fry, it is essential that you use an oil that resists oxidation. Olive oil is an ideal choice due to its being full of oleic acid, which protects it against this process.
Consider choosing cold-pressed or organic seed oil, which are more likely to resist oxidation. You can easily find these options at grocery stores at a significantly reduced cost compared to refined varieties.
Keep in mind, however, that some seed oils are more vulnerable to oxidation than others and should only be used sparingly and with caution. Canola oil in particular is known for being filled with omega-3 fats which oxidize quickly – this makes it less suitable for frying purposes.
Rapeseed oil contains easily oxidized omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids with an AnV value that increases as it oxidizes; this may not necessarily be considered harmful; however, it could become an issue when using this oil for frying purposes.

Is Oxidized Fats in Seed Oil Dangerous?

Is Oxidized Fats in Seed Oil Dangerous?

Can Ultra-Processed Foods Impact Your Health?

Seed oil refers to any vegetable oil extracted from seeds such as canola, corn, sunflower, safflower, soybean, grapeseed, or rice bran and produced using synthetic chemical extraction methods, often followed by further processing, including bleaching and deodorization.
Seed oils should not present any nutritional concerns when used for home cooking, as they’re an excellent source of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) that can help people maintain a healthy weight, reduce inflammation, and enhance heart health.
Food manufacturing processes that use GMO seed oils can be detrimental to our planet’s resources, including soil degradation and farmland depletion. Furthermore, GMO oils, often referred to as vegetable oils, are actually quite different than their conventional counterparts in that regard.
Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that one of the greatest threats to human health stems from industrial oils found in highly refined food, which contain trans fats, oxidized fats, and chemical residues that are toxic to our health. Increased consumption of industrial oils has been linked to diseases and chronic conditions, including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and inflammatory disorders.
Seed oils that contain omega-6 fatty acids may alter your body’s natural balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which is critical for combatting inflammation and improving heart health. The best way to balance out your consumption of PUFAs is through whole, unprocessed plant-based foods like nuts, seeds, and oils.
Americans consume an abundance of seed oils in their diet, from processed food like french fries and salad dressings to fast foods like french Fries.
Problematic processed foods often contain high concentrations of sodium, refined carbohydrates, and sugar – all potentially unhealthy elements when consumed regularly. Accordingly, Dietary Guidelines advise obtaining at least 27 g of oil daily from nutritious sources – or approximately two tablespoonfuls (TBSps).
Due to their widespread inclusion in processed foods, seed oils are hard to avoid altogether. But you can make healthier choices when eating seed oils by switching out for foods with higher nutrient counts, such as extra virgin olive or avocado oils.

Can Ultra-Processed Foods Impact Your Health?

Can Ultra-Processed Foods Impact Your Health?

What Benefits Does Seed Oil Offer?

One of the biggest questions surrounding seed oils is, “How are these oils produced?” In response, their production can be found through various combinations of soybeans, corn, rapeseed seeds, cotton, and safflower seeds that undergo synthetic chemical extraction methods.
During the extraction process, a solvent is utilized to extract as much oil as possible from seeds, followed by heating to high temperatures, which causes unsaturated fatty acids in seeds to oxidize, producing harmful byproducts like trans fats and lipid peroxides that increase your risk of heart disease.
As these inflammatory chemicals can contribute to poor DNA repair and damage, you should avoid industrial seed oils as much as possible.
When searching for healthier cooking oils, unrefined options like coconut or avocado oil may be your best bet. Since these alternatives do not undergo the same refining process as their refined counterparts, these unrefined varieties are an ideal way to cut saturated fat intake while providing more nutrition-packed alternatives than safflower, soybean, and corn oils.
Seed oils offer additional health benefits due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Their combination of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats are vital components for good health.
Healthy fats are important components of a balanced diet and may help lower cholesterol levels and decrease heart disease risk. Furthermore, they’re good for skin health by decreasing dryness and flakiness.
Grills can also enhance the flavor of your food, especially vegetables when sauteeing and adding flavorings for salad dressings, cold sauces and other dishes.
To maximize their benefits and ensure they come from trustworthy sources, the key to using omega-3 supplements responsibly and sensibly is eating plenty of nutritious whole food sources such as fish, flaxseeds, nuts, tofu, and seeds.
Avoid ultra-processed foods which often contain industrial seed oils as these contain added sugar, sodium and preservatives – this will help limit how much seed oil you ingest.

What Benefits Does Seed Oil Offer?

What Benefits Does Seed Oil Offer?

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