Eating well is a slippery slope. What may begin as an honest attempt to live healthier can quickly turn into a rigid set of rules and restrictions. Been there done that. Instead, the goal is to take a balanced, non-dogmatic approach. This allows for flexibility, improvisation (hello, afternoon ice cream cones!) and fun. At the same time, nutrition is the key to longevity. It gives us access to foods rich in nutrients—Like colorful produce, quality protein and nutritious fats. Today, we’re diving into the dark side: fat doesn’t feel good. Aka, industrial seed oil.
Did you know that industrial seed oil plays an important role in a variety of chronic diseases? And unfortunately, they are hard to avoid. You’ll find them in mainstream packaged foods, baked goods, protein bars, salad dressings, and more. Let’s explore what industrial nut oils are, how to spot them, and why they turn on so many of them. we are sick. Plus, sane ways to swap them out.
The power of whole foods
Before diving into industrial seed oils, let’s talk about minimally processed foods — and why they reign. For context, they’re what you’ll find at the grocery store perimeter: foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. Real food is mainly free of chemical additives and rich in nutrients. The benefits are a penny a dozen. Eating whole foods means you’re getting important vitamins and minerals, fiber, and at least one macronutrient (carbs, protein, and healthy fats). Eating foods can also help curb sugar cravings, support satiety, and help balance blood sugar levels. And good news – healthy food swaps don’t have to break the bank.
What is industrial seed oil?
The truth is, most processed foods have a long list of ingredients. They are often packed with additives, preservatives, sugar and industrial seed oils. These are substances that cause inflammation in the body. In turn, they are more difficult to digest and assimilate. So, what is industrial seed oil? They are highly processed oils extracted from soybeans, corn, rapeseed (source of rapeseed oil), cottonseed and safflower seed. They have no nutrients and are rich in calories. Unlike traditional fats – such as olive oil, coconut oil, butter, buttermilk and lard – industrial seed oil is a new type of oil being added to the human diet.
|Nourishing Fats||Fat affects|
|Avocado oil||Canola oil|
|Coconut oil||Cottonseed oil|
|Duck fat||Grape seed oil|
|Pork fat||Safflower oil|
|Olive oil||Sunflower oil|
|Animal fat||Soybean Oil|
The Rise of Industrial Seed Oil
Americans began to consume industrial seed oils in the early 1900s. We quickly began to replace animal fats with their seeds. Since then, these oils have influenced most Western diets. In fact, they are ingrained in our food system, used in virtually all ultra-processed frozen and packaged foods. Most restaurants also use them. After all, they are cheap. But here’s the thing – they’re not completely useless. Canola oil, for example, is an excellent lubricant for machinery. Seed oil is being studied as an alternative to non-renewable petroleum products (to fuel cars, make plastics, and even make printer ink). But should we eat them? That is for debate.
How is industrial seed oil made?
For some chemistry…
- First, seeds were collected from soybean, corn, cotton, safflower, and rapeseed crops.
- Next, the seeds are fired at extremely high temperatures. This causes the unsaturated fatty acids of the seeds to oxidize. Thus, creating harmful by-products.
- The seeds are then treated with petroleum-based solvents. This maximizes the amount of oil extracted.
- Next, industrial seed oil manufacturers use chemicals to deodorize the oil, which has a very unpleasant odor. Deodorization creates trans fats (a heart-healthy double trouble).
- Finally, many chemicals are added to improve the color of industrial seed oils.
Why does industrial seed oil make us sick?
Based on that process, you can gather the reasons why. Historically, industrial seed oils represent an evolutionary mismatch (unlike what our ancestors consumed: olive oil, butter, etc.). These oils increase our omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids ratio, are unstable and prone to oxidation, and contain harmful additives. They are derived from GMOs and when heated repeatedly, they become even more toxic. But don’t worry, we have a full list of healthy oils that you can trade in instead! As often as possible, get rid of industrial nut oils to make space for nutritious, filling fats. Your body, mind, and planet will thank you.
3 reasons to avoid industrial seed oil
Previous emerging evidence marketed as a healthy oil says otherwise. Here are three (among many!) to avoid industrial seed oils — for both your health and the health of the planet in general.
They are derived from destructive agriculture
These GMO oils are sourced from destructive mono-crop farming. This depletes our land and arable land. They are also top GMO crops (maize, soybeans, cottonseed and canola). A staple in the ultra-processed food industry, they also help the food monopolies of Big Food, Big Seed, Big Ag and Fertilizer grow strong and sustainably. As these industries thrive, so do chronic health problems, environmental destruction, political and scientific corruption, and even social injustice.
They play an important role in chronic and inflammatory diseases
Eating industrial seed oil increases our ratio of omega-6-omega-3 fatty acids. Over time, this can have serious consequences for our health. We need both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. However, the standard American diet tends to lean towards a higher proportion of omega-6 fats (thanks in large part to industrial seed oils). This can contribute to systemic inflammation, which increases the risk of cardiovascular problems, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, digestive problems, and cancer.
They have no nutrients
Unlike butter, coconut, olives, butter and other animal fats, industrial seed oils are not nutrient-dense. They do not contain vitamins A, E, etc. In fact, they are very unstable and easily oxidized by heat, light and air. In other words: they’re nutrient-poor and full of unpalatable chemicals and toxic byproducts.
Eat these oils instead
The best thing you can do for your own health – and the health of your family – is to use vegetable oils in your home. Substitute them with buttermilk, clarified butter, tallow, coconut oil, avocado oil, etc. And when buying plant-based butter and cheese substitutes, be sure to read the label. part. For vegan swaps, Violife is our go-to! The source pure extra virgin olive oil from Italy, Spain or Greece. Find the cold press and press first. More on healthy cooking oils and their smoking points, here.