Are you aware that some pantry staples you consider healthy may be harming your health? Seed oils, such as canola, soybean, corn, rice bran, cottonseed, safflower, and sunflower oils, are present in most packaged and processed foods found in supermarkets. Despite being marketed as “heart-healthy,” scientific evidence suggests that these oils are not natural or healthy for our bodies and brains. In this blog, we discuss how industrial seed oils could be sabotaging your health and why you should switch to healthier alternatives.
Industrial seed oils were first introduced into our diet in the early 1900s, starting with cottonseed oil, which was used to create soap. As more edible seed oils were developed, soap makers found that they could chemically alter cottonseed oil into a solid cooking fat that resembled lard, which they called Crisco. Procter & Gamble, the company behind Crisco, sponsored the American Heart Foundation in 1948, and together they promoted seed oils as “heart-healthy” during the rise of the Low Fat movement.
Refined, heated to high temperatures, bleached, and deodorized, seed oils are highly processed and unstable. They contain large amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, which can disrupt the natural balance between omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids in our bodies. While both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential, the ratio between them is critical for maintaining optimal health. Ancestrally, humans evolved to consume a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids of about 1:1. However, the modern Western diet, with its increased consumption of grains and seed oils, has ratios as high as 30:1.
Omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory, while omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. An imbalance between the two promotes inflammation and chronic diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. When seed oils are oxidized or go rancid, they release both trans-fats and lipid peroxidase, which can cause havoc in our cells and damage DNA. Therefore, consuming seed oils can have disastrous consequences for our health.
Instead of using seed oils, we recommend using healthy and natural fats, such as
Butter or ghee
Animal fats - Lard, tallow, and duck fat are excellent
Seed oils are not natural or healthy, and consuming them can have disastrous consequences for our health. We recommend you throw them away! Instead, opt for healthier fats, such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, butter or ghee, and animal fats, to maintain optimal health. To reduce your consumption of seed oils, choose whole foods instead of processed and packaged foods. By making these simple changes, you can make a significant positive impact on your health and well-being.
Choose foods that are as close as possible to their natural form, where they were taken from the plant or from the animal with as little processing as possible, and you will be on the right track. If you want to learn how to optimise your health and lose weight we can help you!
To get started with REAL FOOD, join our next 7 Day Sugar Free Reset, it costs just $7 and is your first step to great health. In this doctor-lead program you get trusted advice, fabulous and easy recipes, live Q&As with the Dr Lucy and Dr Mary, fabulous Masterclasses and a supportive community.
With love and good health,
Dr Mary Barson and Dr Lucy Burns xx
PS - We recommend reading the following studies if you are interested in reading more of the science behind our healthy fats list:
DiNicolantonio, J.J. and O’Keefe, J.H., 2018. Omega-6 vegetable oils as a driver of coronary heart disease: the oxidized linoleic acid hypothesis. Open Heart, 5(2), p.e000898. https://openheart.bmj.com/content/5/2/e000898
Simopoulos, A.P., 2016. An increase in the Omega-6/Omega-3 fatty acid ratio increases the risk for obesity. Nutrients, 8(3), p.128. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/8/3/128
Ramsden, C.E., Zamora, D., Majchrzak-Hong, S., Faurot, K.R., Broste, S.K., Frantz, R.P., Davis, J.M., Ringel, A., Suchindran, C.M., Hibbeln, J.R. and All sup, S., 2013. Re-evaluation of the traditional diet-heart hypothesis: analysis of recovered data from Minnesota Coronary Experiment (1968-73). BMJ, 346, p.e8707. https://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i1246.full.pdf+html