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5 Major Reasons Avoiding Seed Oils Improves Your Health

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Eliminating Seed Oils from Your Diet in Order to Improve Your Health Through a Holistic Nutrition Approach


Why the dietary guidelines have failed us and why you should throw away your canola oil for butter and lard!



 

5 Reasons to Avoid Seed Oils (PUFAS) for Your Health!


Remember your parents or grandparent’s big jar of lard or their biscuits with warm butter on them? (this may have just been a southern thing..) Anyways, I am here with the best news– our ancestors had their heads on straight! So, spit out that low fat bagel smothered in “I Can’t Believe It's Not Butter” and throw out that Land O’ Lakes tub!! Butter and lard are some of the best choices when whipping up the healthiest foods in the kitchen– and this is coming from a holistic dietitian!! Don’t believe me? Let’s take a quick look at the history of plant oils that are in our grocery stores and packaged products…


History of Seed Oils (PUFAS)


In the late 1800s, there were two soap makers. William Procter and James Gamble. Prior to their partnership, soaps were made from lye, lard, goats and cows milk. Until one day they had the great idea to make soap from vegetable oil. Likely to cut costs of the soap, expand their margins, and make them more money. They started with Cottonseed oil, which was actually used as a source to fuel lighting in houses. When the oil was used up, it was known as “toxic waste”. Procter and Gamble saw an opportunity to use this unwanted oil and turn it into soap. Once they got the oil and used hydrogenation to transform the oil into a solid substance, they realized that this substance resembles lard, and Crisco was then born and introduced to the Americanized diet in the early 1900s. After it’s introduction, manufacturers started using soybean oil to make this product, and then later added canola, corn, and safflower oils into the mix. These oils are what I refer to when talking about Hydrogenated oils. But, what makes them so bad? Other than being toxic waste, of course. Well, so glad you asked.


Process of Making PUFAS


Seeds are gathered and heated to extremely high temperatures. Then they have a petroleum solution added to them to help extract all of the oils from the seeds. Then, because the smell is so abrasive, chemicals are used to deodorize the oils (this is what makes trans fats). Then more chemicals are added to the mix to help with the color and overall “look” of the seed oils in order to make them look somewhat desirable to buyers. This process makes these oils unstable and very easily oxidized. Light, oxygen, and heat can very easily oxidize these fats and cause them to release free radicals in the body, creating a wonderful space for cancer and chronic diseases to thrive in.


Wondering why the USDA recommends that we eat more of these oils and less of the butter, lard, and olive oil that our ancestors once used for cooking? It’s quite simple, really. MONEY! The American Heart Association is one of the most well known physician organizations that are supposedly dedicated to heart health. In the 1940s, the American Heart Association received a $1.5 Million donation from Procter and Gamble, and was quick to then encourage these industrial oils, calling them the “heart friendly” option. And some of the major “studies” done around this time around saturated fats and cholesterol (such as hypothesis of Ancel Keys and other scientists) were merely just hypothesis and many studies are now finding that the cholesterol and saturated fats found in animal products are actually not what is causing heart disease– it is sugar, seed oils, and over consumption of calories causing repetitive insulin spikes, glucose spikes, and long-term low-grade inflammation.


So, I will wrap up for you the TOP 5 Reasons why you should avoid seed oils for your health! Other than the general fact that they are pretty much just toxic mush that looks like oil or butter.

They Damage the Skin

  1. PUFAS (seed oils) can cause premature aging with the skin since it inhibits the natural inner sunscreen that your body makes when exposed to sunlight.

  2. Solution: cut out PUFAS and also consume foods high in Vitamin E and Vitamin C.

Healthy Aging

  1. Some have found that PUFAS can make menopausal symptoms worse than normal.

  2. Chronic disease is something that is usually associated with aging, but I am here to tell you that is mostly not the case. Most chronic disease is developed over an extended amount of time where someone is repetitively exposed to low-grade inflammation or toxins. Just as if we were being poisoned! However, I will put the chronic disease caveat in this section of the blog post. The “oxidized linoleic acid theory on coronary heart disease” developed by James DiNicolantonio says that the link in consumption of PUFAS (linoleic acid) to heart disease is from PUFAS being incorporated into blood lipoproteins which oxidize and activate macrophages, which trigger atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases (12).

Autoimmunity

  1. Eating PUFAS can raise our omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio

  2. This can cause oxidative stress on the body and chronic inflammation, which is scientifically proven to lead to chronic disease and potentially autoimmune diseases of all kinds. (2, 3, 4)

Brain Health

  1. PUFAS are particularly harmful to the brain. The high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio that causes inflammation can also cause inflammation in the gut. This is also proven by many researchers to be directly linked to depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, and even dementia!

  2. In one study (5), Canola oil was found to worsen Alzheimer’s Disease and be linked to how aggressive it is.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

  1. High levels of linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid), the main type of fat in PUFAS, alters the neurotransmitters in the brain that signal fullness and hunger, leading to over consumption of calories. This always leads to overeating and more fat being stored in the body due to continuous glucose and insulin spikes. (6)

  2. Someone that has continuous insulin and glucose spikes is at risk for obesity, insulin resistance, developing type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver. (Which makes sense if you read the previous reason of why you should avoid PUFAS, because Alzheimer’s disease is now known as Type 3 diabetes). (7, 8, 9, 10)


BONUS: Your Children’s Health

  1. I didn’t want to bring the children into this. But it is important to know that if you are an expecting mother, it has been shown that a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids can cause increased risk for obesity and diabetes in the mother’s children. (11)




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