The Surprising Truth About Seed Oil & Health

By Tom Seest

Is Seed Oil Really Bad for Your Health?

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

Seed oils are a key component in many processed food products. Their high smoke points make them suitable for use with hot cooking methods like frying and other forms of deep frying, while being rich sources of polyunsaturated fats which have an array of health benefits.
These fats have been linked with heart disease, obesity, and other chronic illnesses. Numerous social media influencers warn against seed oils as being toxic and hazardous to health.

Is Seed Oil Really Bad for Your Health?

Is Seed Oil Really Bad for Your Health?

What Are the Fatty Acids in Seed Oil?

Seed oils are a staple in many kitchens and come in the form of canola, corn, safflower, soybean, sunflower, and rice bran oils. Common uses for these oils include cooking, baking, and salad dressing while providing important nutrients like vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, however, some have claimed that seed oils could lead to health issues like heart disease, weight gain and inflammation; although these claims have some merit they don’t stand up clinical evidence and have caused much confusion as people attempt to figure out which oils they should consume and in what amounts.
Although multipurpose seed oils have generated considerable controversy, most experts agree they can be part of a healthy diet in moderation. One common concern about them is their fat content: while omega-3 fatty acids receive much media coverage due to their anti-inflammatory benefits, omega-6 polyunsaturated fats found predominantly in seed oils may contribute to inflammation by being converted to arachidonic acid and contribute to arachidonic acid-related conditions.
Concerns also stem from the fact that most of us consume far too many omega-6 fats than necessary due to processed foods comprising more than 70 percent of our diet, many of which use omega-6 oil-based oils as ingredients. Indeed, the typical American diet may contain up to 15 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 ones!
Seed oils may or may not be good for you depending on their amount and composition of omega-6 and omega-3 fats in your diet, and especially on their ratio between the two types. While most are high in the former category, some do contain essential fatty acids that have shown beneficial properties such as lower cholesterol levels, reduced blood triglycerides levels, protection from irregular heartbeats and inflammation, reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease depression as well as other chronic illnesses – making these essential fatty acids still worthwhile sources.

What Are the Fatty Acids in Seed Oil?

What Are the Fatty Acids in Seed Oil?

What Essential Fatty Acids Does Seed Oil Provide?

Seed oils (such as sunflower, canola, linseed and sesame) provide healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that can help you maintain a balanced diet and are often used in high heat cooking methods like sauteing and roasting; additionally they are great for salad dressings and drizzles!
Seed oils also boast higher smoke points than other vegetable oils, making them suitable for high-heat cooking methods like frying. As such, seed oils have become an indispensable ingredient in many packaged food items like french fries and onion rings. Unfortunately, seed oils become rancid more quickly due to being exposed to heat and oxygen; however, there are ways around this issue.
Nutrition experts previously considered seed oils relatively neutral when it came to health benefits. These oils contain both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids that help lower blood cholesterol and protect against cardiovascular disease; however, omega-6 fatty acids found in seed oils have also been linked to inflammation and chronic diseases.
Some health experts have recently issued warnings against seed oils as potentially toxic, with an abundance of videos appearing on TikTok to support these claims. One theory asserts that omega-6 fatty acid from seed oils converts into arachidonic acid in your body, which causes inflammation; however, most researchers and nutritionists disagree with such speculations.
Seed oils should not be perceived as being unhealthy; in fact, they’re an excellent source of MUFAs and PUFAs, providing an inexpensive yet sustainable cooking oil alternative. Frying or baking with saturated fats can significantly damage one’s health, so using seed oils as a safer option could have significant health benefits.
Some people use seed oils to treat respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD, however their use must be carefully managed as long-term use can cause liver damage. Black seed oil has also shown great promise in reducing triglycerides and cholesterol; although not meant as a replacement therapy for traditional medicine, black seed oil may make an effective supplement therapy option in certain circumstances.

What Essential Fatty Acids Does Seed Oil Provide?

What Essential Fatty Acids Does Seed Oil Provide?

Saturated Fat: Is Seed Oil Really Bad For You?

Recent trends of demonizing seed oils on social media and in health podcasts may seem alarming, but this is due to both miscommunication and guilt by association. Seed oils are an integral component of most American diets and play an integral part in healthy living by helping lower cholesterol and promote heart health, providing other essential nutrients as well.
Many industrial oils are processed or refined, which makes them perfect for high-heat cooking techniques like sauteing and frying. Their longer shelf lives also make them popular choices in packaged and restaurant foods, though their refinement process strips away beneficial phytochemicals with antioxidant properties, leading to small amounts of trans fats being formed in them. Unfortunately, however, industrial oils do have their drawbacks: some phytochemicals with antioxidants might be stripped out during refining, while small amounts of trans fats could also form during production.
Even with all their negative aspects, these oils do contain beneficial fatty acids. Their primary components include poly- and monounsaturated, which have been found to lower your risk of heart disease by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels as well as inflammation in your arteries that could otherwise harden them over time.
Although some oils contain omega-6 fatty acids that may be of concern, the primary consideration should be getting your essential fatty acids from whole food sources rather than processed oils. Eating omega-3s from fish, walnuts, avocados, chia seeds, flaxseeds and soybeans will provide much safer and healthier sources than corn, canola cottonseed or safflower oil sources.
Some people worry that the omega-6 fatty acid found in most seed oils, called linoleic acid, causes chronic inflammation and contributes to diseases such as heart disease and cancer. While laboratory research may support such claims in animals, little evidence supports such claims in humans. Linoleic acid may actually reduce inflammation in your body while protecting against it – however it’s best to opt for cold-pressed or expeller-pressed varieties with minimal processing as these are more likely to contain phytochemicals and antioxidants which offer protection.

Saturated Fat: Is Seed Oil Really Bad For You?

Saturated Fat: Is Seed Oil Really Bad For You?

Is Trans Fat in Seed Oil a Health Risk?

Seed oils are one of the primary sources of trans fats in our food supply, according to critics. They say these oils are highly processed and utilize toxic solvents like hexane to extract oil from seeds – this process potentially introduces chemical additives and unstable molecules that convert polyunsaturated to trans fats that harm our health. While hexane may be toxic in larger doses, trace amounts used during food processing are considerably safer, and it has proven to be less dangerous than many other industrial manufacturing solvents used elsewhere.
Some critics go so far as to label seed oils toxic and allege they cause chronic health conditions like heart disease and obesity. As evidence of their theory, critics point to graphs showing seed oil consumption and rates of these ailments; they assert this proves their point. But graphs only tell part of the story; instead, it’s important to take an overall view. Rather than only considering seed oil usage, look at all aspects of diet consumption as part of an evaluation of effectiveness.
Seed oils contain both pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats and healthful omega-3s that can reduce inflammation. Consuming too many omega-6s could exacerbate existing issues or even exacerbate any future ones, so moderation should be maintained when it comes to eating seed oils.
Seed oils contain omega-6 fats that are susceptible to oxidation during refining, shelf storage or frying; this oxidation process creates rancid fats which may damage arteries. Therefore, it’s wise to choose whole food sources high in omega-3s instead of processed products made with seed oils.
Most experts consider it safe to consume moderate amounts of seed oil daily – for instance two tablespoons – in conjunction with other nutrient-rich fats such as olive and avocado oils, nuts and seeds. It is wiser to cook with these oils at lower temperatures rather than deep frying foods to protect their nutritional benefits. If anyone is concerned with processing practices used on their seed oil source there are options that have not been produced using heat or chemicals; although these tend to be more costly they could offer greater amounts of omega-3s than conventional options.

Is Trans Fat in Seed Oil a Health Risk?

Is Trans Fat in Seed Oil a Health Risk?

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