Let’s be clear – industrial seed oils are are making us sick.
Industrial seed oils are dissimilar to traditional fats like olive oil or coconut oil in many ways, one of which is that they have fairly recently been added to the human diet.
These oils are often highly processed and can be extracted from soybeans, corn, cottonseed, sunflower seeds, or rapeseed. Initially, these oils were not produced for consumption in foods, but rather they were used for soapmaking.
However, in the twentieth century, they were introduced to an everyday diet.
Generally, for the extraction of these oils the seeds used must be refined, bleached, and then deodorized so that they can become suitable for human consumption. The production of seed oils happens in steps.
- The seeds need to be gathered.
- After they are gathered, they are heated at an extremely high temperature, this makes the seeds oxidize. At this stage, the by-product is harmful to humans.
- The seeds will be processed in a petroleum-based solvent so that the oil can be extracted
- The fourth stage is deodorization which leads to the production of trans fats. Trans fats can be harmful to human health.
- Chemicals are added to improve the color of the seed oil produced.
The entirety of the production process for industrial seed oils is not only filled with extreme temperatures but also with dangerous chemicals and solvents which is part of the reason that Industrial oils may prove to be so hazardous to one’s health.
So, what are the elements that make industrial oils so dangerous for one health?
- Industrial oils cause inflammation
Fatty acids are essential to humans as they are not something we can produce on our own. Instead, fatty acids will need to be consumed throughout one’s diet. However, problems can arise when the two appear in foods so unequally. Industrial oils with their higher levels of omega- 6 fatty acids could lead to your body having a higher propensity for developing inflammations. This is because omega-6 fatty acids can increase the levels of arachidonic acid and potent metabolites which are pro-inflammatory, without the existence of an equal level of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have ALA, EPA, and DHA, which are anti-inflammatory derivatives and can help balance the omega-6 effects on the body
- They have additives with carcinogenic effects
To reduce the chances of oxidation and rancidity, there are many synthetic antioxidants that are added to these oils. BHA, BHT, and TBHQ which are the most common of these can have endocrine-disrupting, immune-disrupting, and even carcinogenic effects on the body. Anyone who wants to remain healthy for long periods should attempt to not consume such oils as they have large amounts of these harmful additives.
- They are highly unstable oils that are prone to oxidation
Because of the polyunsaturated fatty acids that are commonly found in these industrial oils, they are much more unstable and prone to oxidation. When exposed to heat, light, or even other chemicals they could release harmful substances like trans fats and lipid peroxides. Trans fats are known to be key factors in the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, which is why they should be avoided at all costs. The consumption of high levels of such fats could lead to several chronic diseases as well.
- They come from genetically modified plants that are poor in nutrients
Most of the plants used for the extraction of seed oils are genetically modified, full of chemicals, and often are quite poor in terms of the nutritional value that they offer. There are also very few studies conducted on the potential long-term effects of consuming such genetically modified foods, and as such, it is safer to avoid them where possible.
Some of the most common health problems that can arise from the consumption of such industrial oils include:
The high intake of omega-6 fatty acids could lead to increased levels of pro-inflammatory derivatives that have previously been associated with asthma.
- Autoimmune Disease
The high levels of inflammation that can be caused by the unequal omega-6 and omega-3 ratio could lead to an increase in oxidative levels and could be a source of chronic inflammation.
- Cognition and Mental Health
The ratio imbalance has been linked with cognitive impairments and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
- Diabetes and Obesity
The high levels of linoleic acids in these foods have been linked to obesity and an increase in fat mass.
- Heart Disease
Oxidized fatty acids which are commonly present in Industrial oils often hurt the development of cardiovascular disease.
- IBS and IBD
Industrial seed oils have also been linked to conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) because of the harmful effects they have on the gut’s health as they can also promote gastrointestinal inflammation.
The ratio imbalance between the omegas in industrial oils leads to high levels of inflammation throughout the body.
Industrial oils can have many harmful effects on the human body both because of the way that they are processed as well as because of the many different additives and chemicals included in their processing. In general, when they can be avoided it is much better to opt for more natural oils that do not have the harmful effects associated with these industrial oils.