Vegetable oils. Sounds healthy, right? I mean… isn’t it oil from veggies? Isn’t it a way to get more veggies in or a healthier oil to cook with?
Unfortunately, they’re totally not healthy. AND they aren’t even from VEGETABLES! WTH?!
“Vegetable” oils are actually seed oils from soybean, cottonseed, rapeseed (Canola), sunflower, and safflower.
That doesn’t sound so bad, Jess.
Ok, ok… well…
These oils are highly processed. Seeds are bleached and deodorized and a highly toxic solvent called hexane is used to extract the oil.
(Check this video out. It shows you how Canola oil is made.)
And most of the time these oils are GMO.
But wait, don’t they have essential fatty acids?
Yes, they have Omega-6’s (which we need) but what confuses people is that Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s are different and require balance.
Omega-6’s are inflammatory and Omega-3’s are anti-inflammatory. If the Omega-6’s are too high in relation to the level of Omega-3’s, our bodies get upset and irritated (i.e., inflamed).
The standard American diet is LOADED with Omega-6’s. Why?
Because “vegetable” oils are in everything. Anything processed (in a package or box) has some amount of these oils and restaurants (specifically fast food) use these oils because they are cheap! Next time you are at the grocery store, go down an inner aisle and pick up something processed (cookies, crackers, chips, sauces, salad dressing, nuts/seeds, condiments, etc). Flip the item over and read the ingredients… I bet you found one of the veggie oils listed!
It is safe to say that if your diet is rich in processed food and eating out for most meals, your Omega-6’s are most likely through the roof. Even if you eat fish and take an Omega-3 supplement, the overbearing burden of the processed stuff is keeping you from thriving. Who doesn’t want to thrive?
Inflammation is necessary to life but there is such thing as too much. If the body is constantly inflamed, it can’t function as it should. Excess inflammation is a huge underlying factor to many of today’s diseases like cardiovascular disease, autoimmune conditions, reproductive problems, diabetes, cancer, etc.
**Note regarding reproductive problems since it is National Infertility Awareness Week (which I fully support!)**
“What the scientific literature does tell us is that low-fat diets for children, or diets in which vegetable oils have been substituted for animal fats, result in failure to thrive–failure to grow tall and strong–as well as learning disabilities, susceptibility to infection and behavioral problems. Teenage girls who adhere to such a diet risk reproductive problems. If they do manage to conceive, their chances of giving birth to a low birth weight baby, or a baby with birth defects, are high.”
Scary stuff but knowledge is power! That’s why you’re here, right?
The processed food products gotta go as well as using veggie oils for cooking. This will help balance out the Omega-3:Omega-6 ratio resulting in less inflammation. Strive for something equal or favoring the Omega-3’s.
Alright… so you’re probably thinking, “What the heck do I avoid, specifically, and then what do I use?”
No worries! I gotcha covered!
What to avoid: (Remember to read labels!)
Rice Bran oil
What to use:
Coconut oil (not hydrogenated!)
Butter (preferably from a grass-fed cow)
Olive oil (Not for cooking! Use raw because it has a low smoke point.)
How do you keep your Omega-3:Omega-6 ratio in check? Do you consume veggie oils?