Why skip seed oils?

Why skip seed oils? How?

Overview

Seed oils refer to oils that are heat-treated, processed, and deodorized. This includes canola, corn, cottonseed, soy, peanut, sesame, rice bran, and sunflower oils. They are also commonly known as “vegetable oils” or industrial oils. They are not “heart healthy“. They were originally used to make soap. Later, they were obtained as by-products of food processing. The processing denatures them and makes them inflammatory for many a digestion. Technically, they are high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as linoleic acid. This causes inflammation in many people.

Processed vegetable (seed) oils are used in many processed, packaged foods. They are also widely consumed, because they are cheap, not because they are healthy.

By contrast, olive oil and coconut oil are pressed at room temperature and not processed. Coconut oil can resist heat, so it is often used for healthy frying and to cook sautés.

Other vegetable (seed) oils, such as hemp, flax, and pumpkin seed oils, are eaten cold-pressed and unprocessed. These oils can be healthy. They are not processed nor heat-treated. Technically, hemp, flax, and pumpkin seed oils have more omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation for many people. They require refrigeration. They are not to be used for cooking. They can go rancid easily.

Saturated fats, such as coconut oil, and animal fats, such as butter, have been blamed in error for many years. The real distinction is between highly processed vegetable oils (industrial seed oils), which tend to be unhealthy for many people, and raw, unprocessed oils and fats, such as coconut oil, butter, olive oil, hemp, pumpkin, and flaxseed oil, which tend to healthy for many people.

What are seed oils? Where are they found? How are they produced?

Seed oils are vegetable oils obtained from the seeds of plants, usually extracted under heavy pressure and processed with heat and other treatments. To repeat, seed oils include canola, sunflower, soy, corn, peanut, sesame, rice bran, and safflower. These oils are found in supermarkets. They are used by most restaurants for frying, for example for frying potatoes. They are often found in many processed, packaged foods.

History of processed vegetable oils

How vegetable oils are processed
How vegetable oils are processed

As Dr. Jason Fung MD points out, the production and consumption of cottonseed oil began with the waste product of cotton, which was harvested for fiber and fabrics to make clothes. For every hundred kilos of fiber, there are one hundred and sixty-two kilos of cotton seeds that are largely useless. In 1911, these seeds were processed and marketed as “Crisco”, which was promoted in free recipe books as a “healthy alternative” to lard.

Seventh Day Adventists and other gung-ho vegans promoted abstinence from eating animals, and Crisco took off. In 1955, President Dwight Eisenhower had a high-profile heart attack, which was attributed by Ancel Keys, a prominent academic, to eating too much fat. Without proof of cause and effect, animal fat and cholesterol were eagerly blamed for gaining weight and susceptibility to heart attacks. There was little or no distinction between healthy, natural, traditional fats and processed fats in the form of hydrogenated, processed vegetable oils. Lately, there has been a public awareness that these processed vegetable oils contain “trans fats”. They have been modified chemically to try to keep them stable on store shelves, but the processing denatures them, rendering them inflammatory to many a digestive system.

By the 1950s, cottonseed oil itself was becoming expensive. Crisco once again turned to a cheaper alternative, soybean oil. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) declared the switch from lard and other saturated fats to trans-fat laden, partially hydrogenated oils to be “a great boon to Americans’ arteries”. Soybean oil is now the most heavily consumed vegetable oil in the USA. “Do not eat butter”, they said. Instead, replace it with the partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (read: trans-fats) known as margarine. That edible tub of plastic was much healthier than the butter that humans had been consuming for at least three thousand years, they said. 

Industrial seed oils, such as cottonseed are high in the omega-six fat linoleic acid, which is also found in eggs, nuts, and seeds, but Crisco introduced an isolated and adulterated type of linoleic acid. These omega-six seed oils can now be found in nearly all processed foods and in grocery aisles in plastic bottles for cooking. These oils are highly susceptible to heat, light, and air, and are exposed to all three during their processing. Again, they can inflame many a digestive system.

The truth is inside you. “Look for the truth, and your health will follow,” as Dr. Herbert Shelton, MD, said.

Fat does not make you fat.

Contrary to the popular belief, healthy fats do not make you fat. It is sugar and refined grains, such as wheat flour and pasta, that make you fat. If you cut the sugar and the refined grains, substituting stevia and either certain vegetables or even meat, then you can lose the fat. 

Why avoid seed oils?

They are removed from their natural state. They are heat-treated and processed in a way that denatures them and renders them unhealthy for many people. They contain mostly fats known as omega-six fatty acids, which inflame the digestion of many people.

What are healthy oils and fats?

Your brain is about sixty percent fat. Fats and oils are necessary for the health of the brain.

Healthy oils and fats are not heat-treated, not bleached, and not deodorized. They include coconut oil (for frying and to resist high heat), olive oil, hemp seed oil, and flax seed oil, among others.  Coconut oil has other healthy uses than for high-heat cooking.

Unlike industrial seed oils, black seed oil (from Nigella sativa) is not refined. It has been used since ancient Egypt as medicine. In small amounts, at most half a teaspoon, black seed oil has proven benefits that make it healthy for many people. 

Dr. Cate Shanahan MD describes healthy fats and oils versus unhealthy

You can make a natural adhesive remover from coconut oil, baking soda, and essential oil of orange.

What if you do not digest any oils well?

The digestive enzyme known as alkaline phosphatase is required to break down oils, fats, nuts, and seeds. According to Dr. Peter D’Adamo, people with blood types A and AB tend to excrete less of this enzyme than those with blood types O and AB. 

This means that if you have blood type A or AB, you may be less able to digest oils, fats, nuts, and seeds. A few peanuts may be healthiest for your digestion. If you have blood type O or B, then you may be able to digest a handful or more of nuts at a time, at the end of a meal or between meals as a snack.

According to blood type eating, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts are healthy for both blood types O and A.

An exception to the suggestion to skip seed oils is the oil of black cumin seed, a half to one teaspoon of which can be used to reduce inflammation, including relieving symptoms of arthritis (inflamed joints) and bronchitis (inflamed lungs), according to both traditional use in northern Africa and modern research.

References

Hyman MD, Dr. Mark, “Eat Fat. Get Thin.“, Hachette, 2016
Mercola DC, Dr. Joe, “Fat for Fuel“, Hay House, 2017 
Lai MD, Dr. Michelle, and Asha Kasaraneni, “The Liver Healing Diet“, Ulysses, 2015
Masley MD, Dr. Steven, “Smart Fat: Eat More Fat. Lose More Weight. Get Healthy Now.“, Harper, 2016
Morrell, Sally Fallon, and Enig, Mary, “Eat Fat, Lose Fat: The Healthy Alternative to Trans Fats“, Plume, 2006

Teicholz, Nina, “The Big Fat Surprise“, Simon Schuster, 2014, :36 video, critical (vegan) review
Teicholz, Nina, “Vegetable Oils: The Untold Story and the US Dietary Guidelines“, :35 video
Mercola DC, Dr. Joe, “The Case Against Processed Vegetable Oils“, Organic Consumers Association
Goodrich, Tucker, “Sinning with Seed Oils – are Vegetable Oils Healthy?“, 2:14 video
Mercola DC, Dr. Joe, “Linoleic Acid – Interview with Tucker Goodrich“, 2:02 video
Knobbe MD, Dr. Chris, “Diseases of Civilization: Are Seed Oil Excesses the Unifying Mechanism?“, :45 video
Knobbe MD, Dr. Chris, “Processed oils are at the core of nearly all disease“, article & video
Noakes, Professor Tim, “The Cholesterol Hypothesis: 10 Key Ideas that the Diet Dictators Have Hidden“, 3:00 video
The $100 Billion Dollar Ingredient Making Your Food Toxic“, on industrial seed oils, :28 video, other
Omega 3s Explained: Why Fatty Acids Are Essential“, Touchstone Essentials, :22 video

Best Kept Secrets to Prevent, Halt, or Even Reverse Macular Degeneration” GreenMedInfo, Jan. 2, 2021

Conference Reveals Health Risks of Seed Oils“, EpochTimes, 9 March 2022
Why Some Fats Are Good, and Some Are Bad“, KnowTheCause.com, article, recipes
The Best Foods Rich In Healthy Fat“, KnowTheCause.com, article, recipes
61 Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids“, GreenMedInfo.com, article
Iron and Vegetable Oil Are a Deadly Combo“, EpochTimes, article

Fats that Heal Fats that Kill“, Udo Erasmus, 1:03 video
Chia Seeds & Their Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content“, HealWithFood.org, article
Grind Your Chia Seeds“, Dr. Michael Greger MD, article
How to Eat Chia Seeds: Whole, Ground, Soaked or Raw?“, Dr. Josh Axe DC, article
7 Health Benefits Of Oil Pulling (With Tutorial)“, HerbsHealthHappiness, article
Olive Oil – Medicine Produced by Nature“, Dr. Emeran Meyer, MD, article
7 Surprising Benefits of Black Cumin Seed Oil“, theartofantiaging.com, article
How Eliminating Vegetable Oil (AKA the Hateful 8 Seed Oils) Helps Weight Loss“, Dr. Cate, article
Fats, functions & malfunctions“, Ray Peat Ph.D., article with references
Coconut Oil“, Ray Peat Ph.D., article with references
Unhealthy health foods – 10 ‘healthy’ foods to avoid“, Dr. Eric Zielinski, DC, article with references
How Industrial Seed Oils Are Making Us Sick“, Chris Kesser, article

Gershuni V. M., (2018). Saturated Fat: Part of a Healthy Diet, Curr Nutr Rep. 2018 Sep;7(3):85-96.
DOI. PMID

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