Vegetable Oil

Olive oil

The term vegetable oil is so misleading that most of us never even think twice what this food actually is. Nuts, grains, and seeds make most of them not vegetables. Most vegetable oils are unstable and easily oxidize and therefore are inflammatory. These oils are polyunsaturated. They oxidize during the chemical process of extraction using the poisonous solvent called hexane. Vegetable oils like Sunflower oil, Corn oil, Soybean oil, Canola oil, Peanut oil, Cottonseed oil are mostly GMO, therefore contain fewer nutrients. The science is still out whether or not there is a connection between GMOs and many health issues. But as long as they have not been proven safe I would be staying as far away as possible from them.

Vegetable Oil

On the other hand, stable fats are saturated with nutrients and are naturally good for us. These oils are anti-inflammatory, lowers cholesterol protects arteries from clogging.  Olive oil, Coconut oil, peanut oil as long as they are cold pressed are generally good for you.  Most vegetable oil is loaded with trans fats that are highly toxic and are associated with many diseases. Transfats are not only found in vegetable oils they are also found in packaged foods such as cookies, muffins, most restaurants and takeaways places use these oils for cooking. When these oils are used in packaged foods they are usually stabilized in order to give these foods a long shelf life by a process called hydrogenation. This process which turns already unhealthy oils into harmful synthetic oils transfats has been linked to many health problems.

Omega-6 Fatty Acid

If you are eating from restaurants and packaged foods, there is a high chance of getting huge amounts of an anti-inflammatory acid called linoleic acid. Linoleic acid when ingested is incorporated into your cell membranes and is even stored as body fat. Since these oils are unstable, they oxidize in your body (not to mention when you cook them). Oxidized omega-6 oils do more damage to your DNA, inflame your heart tissues and raise your risk of several types of cancer. But perhaps most of all your brain pays the price – oxidized omega-6 fats don’t support optimal brain metabolism. Anything that increases inflammation in the body isn’t going to help your brain perform better and excess omega-6 fats are no exception.

The Bottom Line

Eat healthy fats from grass-fed animal fat such as butter, lard. Avoid foods that contain these damaging oils such as margarine. Margarine is not good for you as it is full of polyunsaturated fats as discussed earlier. Awareness is a great instrument, to begin with. Chemicals/artificial antioxidants used to keep the food from spoiling too quickly and have been also associated with lots of health problems we talked about in this article.

Healthy Oils 

  • Coconut Oil (Cold pressed, and can withstand high temperatures )
  • Lard
  • Butter
  • Palm Oil (organic, humanely harvested)
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (Great for non-heat dishes like salad dressings, hummus, mayo, lower temperature cooking or when combined with another saturated fat like butter or coconut oil.)
  • Avocado Oil (Great for non-heat dishes)
  • Other fats (not necessarily for cooking, but essential to good health) include meats, eggs, dairy, and fish (nuts are also good in moderation as they have a high level of polyunsaturated fats)

Oils to be used sparingly

The following oils are good in moderations. Even though, most of them are considered healthy they should be used sparingly because of the levels of Omega-6 fatty acids in them. But, they are considered natural fats and do have health benefits. They are not great for high heat cooking, but acceptable in dressings, mayos, and other non-heat foods.

  • Walnut Oil
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Macadamia Nut Oil

Oils to avoid completely

  • Canola Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • “Vegetable” oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Cottonseed Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Margarine
  • Shortening

 

 

 

 

 

6 thought on “Vegetable Oil”

  1. Michelle

    Oh my…great article, though it has changed my views on some of my fave oils. I did not know that vegetable oil could be unstable…I just figured, like almost everyone else, that because it’s ‘vegetable’, that it’s good for you.
    I love coooking with peanut oil. Now I need to rethink how often I use it. Thanks so much for this.
    Michelle

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hi Michelle
      Thank you for reading. I think its the day and age we are living in that are calling on us all to rethink nutrition. The good thing with all the science around us now allowing us to know bit more in detail about the processes used in extracting oil industrially and how that is not good for human consumption.

      Reply
  2. Andrew

    Many thanks for the information. I’m ok when I’m at home and can control what oils I am using, but am always worried when eating out that the restaurants may not always be using the best oils. It’s a concern when our health is less important than industry profits, and they may use a product that has known negative health issues. Thanks for sharing. The more people that purchase the good oils will put pressure on industry to produce more of them and less of the nasty oils. Cheers. Andrew

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      That is true Andrew it all begins by educating people to make healthy choices and the manufacturers will be left with no option but to do the right thing. Although we might be miles away from that. Restaurants are too scary for that matter that is why I encourage people to eat at home where you know the ingredients and you don’t have to worry.

      Reply
  3. Kat

    Great article and on point! It’s so good to see more and more education around oils, as this used to be so confusing for me. You have explained and broken down the specifics around how omega 6 oils can be damaging when processed. I love that you highlight the good fats as an alternative too, thank you for helping raise increased awareness around this all too often confusing issue.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Thanks, Kat for your comment. It only through education that people get can get to know this stuff because most people think oil is just oil all are equal.

      Reply

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