What is being bought to the light of recent times, is the fact that vegetable oil is one of the leading causes of ill health, disease and inflammatory issues. We are learning that vegetable oils are even more corrosive to our health than sugar!
Causing health issues such as:
- Accelerated ageing
- Heart disease
- Metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Type II diabetes
- Gut flora issues (good gut flora is key to good health)
- Psychiatric disorders
- Autoimmune disease
Hard to believe at first but when we explain things in detail you will understand.
You see, these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and PUFAS and they are rancid and toxic before you even open the lid (you'd never think that as they don't smell rancid) but read on to learn more about this...
But Aren't they Heart Healthy?This is where it can be confusing. For many years, we've been told by doctors, health "experts" and advertisements, heck, even the heart foundation itself have told us to avoid saturated fats and choose polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils and margarine.
These saturated fat alternatives were promoted as 'healthier' but we are finding out that it's actually the other way around - butter and animal fats are good and essential to wellbeing and vegetable oils and margarines are health-destroying.
Vegetable oils are being proven now to be public health enemy #1!
These vegetable oils (which we'll reveal soon), are often highly unstable and contain PUFAS (polyunsaturated fats). Polyunsaturated fats are not bad, in fact they are very important for wellbeing, it just depends the source, how often they're consumed and how they are produced.
PUFAS oils are generally high in omega-6 fatty acid, though canola I am learning is high in omega-3. See our omega-3 blog article here to help bring clarity to this incredibly complex and at times, confusing health principle.
The trouble with the western diet, is that it is overabundant in omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oil mostly. The ratio should be 2:1 (twice as much omega-6* to omega-3), but these days, for many people in western civilisation, the balance is way off at between 10:1 and 20:1 (that is a very unhealthy amount of omega-6)!
*from good quality sources, not vegetable oils!
If you cook with vegetable oil, eat margarine, buy processed foods like potato chips, eat out frequently or get take away food, you are consuming vegetable oil and if you eat many of these and often, the health consequences could be massive!
What about the Heart-healthy Tick of Approval?
Well, this no longer actually exists. This was a program that the Heart Foundation ran for 26 years and this ended in 2015, due to public outcry over the Heart Foundation rewarding the tick to fast food companies like Maccas and even other junk foods like pizza, sausage rolls, meat pies and other junk foods.
The 'tick' of approval program most likely started with good intentions, the intention to help guide consumers to make healthier decisions when shopping in the supermarket. Products approved by the Heart Foundation displayed the famous tick icon/logo on the packaging.
The biggest problem was, that almost any food item could get this tick of approval, all they had to do is pay a hefty licence fee and voila, an approved 'heart healthy' product and increased sales for these products.
Anyway, enough about that. We want to shed light on the harmful effects of vegetable oil consumption and of course offer you some solutions because what good is sharing a problem without a solution?
Why We Have Vegetable Oils?
It really just comes down to money and not health. Without going into it here, I can recommend that you watch Sally Fallon's 'The Oiling of America' to understand how this industry started and everything in between. It is eye-opening.
How Vegetable Oils are Made
Vegetable oils are man-made in factories and often they're made from GMO crops that have been sprayed with toxic glyphosate. To learn more about the harmful health effects of glyphosate (a herbicide that is commonly sprayed on conventional and GMO crops), be sure to read our in-depth article here.
What are Vegetable Oils?
Vegetable oils are pretty much majority of cooking oils you can find in the supermarket. They are the most common oils that takeaway outlets, restaurants and cafes cook their food in as they are cheap to produce and cheap to buy.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a restaurant that uses healthier cooking oils such as grass-fed butter/ghee or raw coconut oil, that's because they'd be more expensive for them to use.
Cheaper for their bottom line does not equal better for your health.
So if possible, try to keep eating out and getting takeaway to an absolute minimum. This will reduce your risk of preventable illness such as inflammatory diseases, other diseases or problems vegetable oils can cause.
The Bad Bunch
- Canola oil (also known as rape seed oil)
- Corn oil
- Cotton seed oil
- Grape seed oil
- Rice bran oil
- Safflower oil
- Soy bean oil
- Sunflower oil
When I first learnt about this I found it so hard to believe that sunflower oil is no good, I had been using this instead of canola for many years! I wish I'd known sooner but I guess we only know what we know when we know it right?
How Vegetable Oils are Produced?
If this does not alarm you and get you to at least consider stopping eating these oils, I don't know what will? Please read through the oil processing steps carefully and think about what is happening here.
I truly believe, that if people could do one thing to improve their health it would be to cut out vegetable oils and anything made from these oils (like margarine).
Step 1. The producer decides what food they are going to make their oil from, it may be either beans, nuts or seeds.
Step 2. Extract the oil through a chemical solvent process using petroleum extracts such as hexane or heptane.
Step 3. Degumming. This process removes the phospholipids, calcium, magnesium and iron. It also removes lecithin (an important lipid needed for brain function and memory). FYI: butter contains lecithin! 😉
Step 4. Refining. This is the part of the process where sodium hydroxide is mixed with the oil, thus removing even more of the goodness.
Step 5. Bleaching. This is where the oil is 'cleaned' but it also removes the chlorophyl and beta-carotene. If they did not bleach the oil (as well as deodorise it) nobody would ever buy it!
Step 6. Deodorising. The end product after the last 4 steps has left a foul-smelling product, so it must be deodorised to make it smell decent. This step destroys the important antioxidant - vitamin E.
Ok, so you now have a pretty oil that can be marketed to the public but what you also have is a highly toxic oil that is potentially harmful to human health, it's been shown now to be causing harm so we don't really need to say "potentially" do we?
After taking all this is and letting it settle, see how you feel about using this awful oil in going forward...
Don't be fooled by their pretty yellow flowers, into thinking that canola oil is a health food. It is quite the opposite and it's something I've been avoiding at every turn, when I learnt about it some years ago...
Canola oil contains toxic erucic acid. The body doesn't recognise this as a food and therefore it is seen as a poison. Imagine what consuming this oil frequently or over a long period of time could do to your health?
Not good. 👎🏼
Making Vegetable Oils and Margarine
The making of vegetable involves one or many different vegetable oils. It requires chemicals at every stage of its development and when you understand how it's made, you'll probably never eat it again.
Once an oil has been through its petroleum solvent stage (to extract the oil), it goes through a heat process that removes the waxes and these are just the first processes!
After that, you're left with a foul-smelling product that no human being in their right mind would consume, so vegetable oil producers must add more chemicals once again.
They must add these chemical deodorisers so that the product smells clean and so it can be sold to the public. I have no doubt that if we saw how they were made (watch this youtube video) we would 100% never eat margarine again!
Margarine comes from vegetable oils and as you know, oils are liquid and not solid like butter so the oils must go through a solidification process known as 'hydrogenation'.
Through this process, you are left with margarine and because of the processing, margarine contains trans fats (very unhealthy fats for your body).
Margarine is devoid of essential nutrition that you find in butter, nutrients such as vitamin A and essential fatty acids for health.
Butter & Animal Fats
Cooking in butter and other animal fats is the better option all day long! (sorry vegans) but it's just the truth. If you simply cannot go there because of ethics or perhaps you're lactose-intolerant? If this is the case, you can always choose a high-quality raw extra-virgin coconut oil.
I absolutely LOVE cooking with coconut oil as it has a high smoke point but ghee is probably what we use the most (it gives the food a delicious buttery flavour too).
We talk in-depth about choosing the right coconut on our blog 'The Shocking Truth About Most Coconut Oils' - we tell you what to look for when choosing a coconut oil because most are produced with hexane solvent (a toxic chemical byproduct of crude oil/petroleum)!.
Ghee is a great option if you can't tolerate butter as it does not contain lactose or casein. Just make sure either way, that it is from grass-fed cows or the product will contain grains and you don't want that!
Both grass-fed butter and ghee contain vital nutrition and benefits listed below:
- Contains lecithin (needed to metabolise cholesterol and other fat constituents)
- Contains vitamin A and E (powerful antioxidants)
- Rich in immune-boosting selenium
- Rich in vital cholesterol (cholesterol is important because it helps your body to make cell membranes, many hormones and vitamin D)
Consuming butter (grass-fed) has been shown to help the immune system, arthritis, osteoporosis, thyroid health, cancer, heart disease (yes, you read that right), GI health, weight loss and growth and development in children.
Everything is just better with butter. 😉
What are the Solutions?
- Try to avoid foods that contain vegetable oils (no-brainer)
- Avoid eating take away, from cafes or restaurants often or at all
- Cook your meals from home so you can use only the best healthy cooking fats such as grass-fed butter/ghee, raw organic coconut oil, lard, tallow or duck fat. Try to avoid frying in olive oil as it does not have a high smoke point. Animal fats are not unhealthy as we've been programmed to believe (but more on that another time)
- Don't buy or consume processed foods and be sure to always read labels to ensure there's no vegetable oil there
- Avoid most supermarket dips as they often contain vegetable oils like canola. Make your own dips from home (it's easy if you have a food processor or blender)
- Avoid store-bought mayo, again, make your own it's so simple! Use organic extra-virgin olive oil and organic eggs to make beautiful homemade aioli or mayo
- Consume a ratio of 2:1 and include good omega-3 fatty acids from grass-fed butter/ghee, liver, organ meats, cod liver oil (preferably fermented) and fish such as wild caught salmon and sardines.
*Disclaimer: the information in this article is intended purely as information and not health advice. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure and one should always seek expert advice from their trusted health practitioner.