We’re back on the important topic of fat. If you missed part 1 you should definitely catch up here.
Lets get straight down to business shall we? Today we’re talking about why you shouldn’t touch industrial seed oils with a 10 foot pole. As I discussed in my last post on fats, there is a lot of dieting dogma surrounding fats and an absolute bucket load of wrong information. The science just doesn’t back up the crap they are telling us. I will again link to further reading for those interested and I really really encourage you to do your own research (just make sure you consider where the research is coming from and who’s funding it!). And ask me a million questions if you need to, I will happily answer every single one if it means you will be getting your facts about fats right. Because its vital for your health.
Industrial seed oils
When I use the term ‘Industrial seed oils’ I’m talking about the oils that come from seeds or grains that aren’t inherently oily. For this reason, they require industrialised processes of extraction to be made into the product we find on our supermarket shelf. These include canola oil, sunflower oil, soy bean oil, rice bran oil, safflower oil etc and are often referred to as ‘vegetable oils’, a clever marketing gimmick that makes them instantly sound healthy, but has nothing to do with the actual product – they aren’t made from vegetables…
Why aren’t we touching them, even with a 10 foot pole? Because they’re bad for our health. Very bad. Do you know how these ‘heart healthy’ oils are made? It involves chemical extraction, extreme pressure, heat, caustic refining, bleaching, degumming and deodorising. Not exactly what comes to mind when you hear ‘vegetable oil’ is it? Check it out for yourself:
As a contrast, check out how butter is made here. FYI, butter is a real food. We like real foods. I’m going to talk more about butter in another post (stay tuned for that one!)
Seed oils became very popular in the 1950’s and 60’s when all the dogma about saturated fats got leverage (which you know is a load of pigs trollop right? *this is the bit where you nod in agreement because you read Part 1, got educated and left the BS behind*)
Industrial seed oils are high in polyunsaturated fats and particularly rich in Omega-6 fatty acids. (See my PDF here for a breakdown of the types of fats) Omega-6 fatty acids aren’t fundamentally bad and in fact we need these in small amounts. But the key words there are ‘small amounts‘. Our bodies are made of about 97% saturated and monounsaturated fat and just 3 % polyunsaturated fats (half of which is Omega-3). The body is made this way for a reason and the balance needs to be maintained for proper health.
The thing is, Omega-6s and Omega-3s don’t have the same effects. Omega-6s are pro-inflammatory, while Omega-3s have an anti-inflammatory effect. Inflammation is essential for survival; its a natural and healthy response the body undertakes when its cells are under threat. But, when the omega 3 to 6 balance is out of whack, it causes the body to be in a constant state on inflammation, known as systemic inflammation which leases to chronic illness and disease. By consuming seed oils you’re pushing your intake of Omega-6’s upward, and they compete with the omega-3’s in your body. Contrary to popular belief (and perhaps misguidance by Big Corporation) popping daily Omega 3 rich fish oils won’t fix the issues caused by consuming too much Omega-6, you have to reduce your intake of the pro-inflammatory 6’s. To do this, you need to stop consuming seed oils.
Understand this: The fats and oils you eat, are incorporated into your cells and are used for hormone production.
Now know this: Polyunsaturated fats are extremely unstable and oxidise easily. If a cell is made with oxidised fats, it will become inflamed and mutate. Within our arteries, these mutations causes clogged arteries (not cholesterol!) Also, think about this (I’m not trying to scare monger, I’m just giving the facts here) Cell mutation = cancer.
Genetic Modification aka messing with Mother Nature
The above information should be enough to keep the seed oils out of your diet, but there is one last things I want to mention. Have you heard of GMO? Genetically modified organisms. Basically, it means that chosen genes from one species of plant or animal have been transferred to another inside a science lab to create a desired characterise within that species (most notably, the ability of a crop to survive when dowsed in chemical weed killers like round up.) These modifications can cause mutations within the species that may have unintended consequences. Its messing with Mother Nature and its not good. And, since I’m getting controversial already, I’d like to mention that GMO isn’t about feeding the world’s poor, its about profit and making a chemical resistant crop. But, before I get too off the topic, my point is that most industrial seed oils contain GMO’s that you won’t be aware of because labelling isn’t enforced. So, if your consuming seed oils, your consuming something that’s made from mutated crops that have then been doused in chemicals (during growing and during extraction!). Nice.
Love food hate waste
Regular readers will know that I hate food waste, so here is a few ideas for using up the bottles of seed oil you may already have in the cupboard:
- Make play dough for the kiddies. Click here
- Remove labels and sticker residue by soaking in seed oil.
- Make a natural floorboard cleaner. Click here
- Pop a few drops into your bird bath to keep mosquitoes from breeding there.
- If you have a sticky lock, rub some seed oil on your key and then insert into the keyhole to lubricate.
- David Gillespies’ Toxic Oil
- Weston A Price – The great Con-ola
- Dr Chris Kresser – How too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 is making us sick