Vegetable oil isn't as healthy as you think.
We were all taught that vegetable oils (refined seed oils) were good, and natural fats like butter, ghee, and animal fats were bad. We were convinced by government and medical associations to use more vegetable oil. We were tricked by marketing ads telling us these oils were safe and “heart-healthy”, and unfortunately, this information is still being put out there today. (more info here on the “Oiling of America")
Oils such as soy, canola oil, corn, sunflower, safflower, and cottonseed oil, all fall under the term “vegetable oils.” This makes them sound a lot healthier than they really are. The word “vegetable” in the name makes you think of images of broccoli and spinach, not canola and cottonseed – have you ever asked yourself what a canola plant is??
Unlike actual vegetables, “vegetable oils” are not nutrient-dense whole foods. In fact, they are far from it!
Today, I want to walk you through and share some information on “vegetable oils", and why all of us should try and keep them out of our diet as much as possible. I want to make this post as short and straight to the point as possible, so if you are interested in doing more research and fact-checking, I have listed references below.
First remember, fat is one of the body’s most basic building blocks. The average person is between 15 to 30 percent fat. Our brain is made up of more than 60% fat, our cell walls, are built of fat, and the base of our hormone production is, you guessed it, fat. So yes, it’s important to include fat in your diet, but the type and quality of those fats are also extremely important. If you want more info on the fats you should be using, and how you should be using them, I have a great post for you here.
IF YOU'RE BROWSING THE GROCERY ISLES AND SEE COOKING OILS IN BIG CLEAR PLASTIC BOTTLES, THAT'S YOUR SIGNAL TO KEEP WALKING!
We’ve been told from as far back as I can remember that traditional fats like butter, ghee, and coconut oil causes high cholesterol and clogged arteries, leading to heart disease. The advice was to avoid saturated fat and eat more polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), especially those high in omega-6 fatty acids.
side note: omega-3 and omega-6 are two essential fatty acids. Essential means our bodies can’t produce them so we must get them from our diet. While our bodies need both of these, the ratio between these two in our body is VERY important. Omega-3 is anti-inflammatory, and omega-6 is pro-inflammatory. and while our ratio between the two should be around 1:1, studies show that for many the ratio is more like 1:20 and go up to ratios as bad as 1:100 for those following a standard American diet.
Why are our ratios so bad? Because the “vegetable oils” many of us grew up on, the ones you’ll find in large clear plastic bottles in your grocery isles, and the ones most dining out establishments cook with, are full of pro-inflammatory omega-6 PUFAs.
These oils are highly processed and highly inflammatory. Omega-6 fats are chemically less stable than other types of fat. They break down easily when exposed to heat, light, or oxygen. By the time most vegetable oils make it to your kitchen, they are already oxidized or rancid. Oxidized fats are highly inflammatory and contribute to oxidative stress in the body.
And to add insult to injury, when omega-6 fats are had without their balancing omega-3 fats, you have the perfect storm leading to inflammatory diseases such as cognitive decline (Alzheimer’s, dementia, etc.), breast cancer, mood disorders, gut imbalances, insulin resistance/ diabetes, obesity, arthritis, atherosclerosis, and obesity.
I’m not sure about you, but I know that list of health issues are ones I want to stay very very far away from!
“Vegetable oils,” just aren’t the answer to anyone’s health problems, least of all heart disease.
Instead of eating a bunch of industrial processed and refined oils, maintain a healthier fat profile by filling your plate with fish, traditional animal fats, ghee, healthy plant fats like olive, avocado, and coconut oil.
I hope you found this summary useful, informative, and eye-opening. Now please go throw out those “vegetable” oils and replace them with these healthier fats!!