Why is Vegetable Oil Harmful?
When I suggest to others that we should avoid vegetable oils and consume animal oils, people raise their eye brows and look at me in fright, confusion, and opposition. I realize this is against what we’ve been taught – which is why we’re in the condition we’re in today, partly so. Many studies have now demonstrated that these oils can cause serious harm (reference1). Also, this reference with links to studies which show how research has been left out to promote their own agendas of that time.
The composition of the fatty acids in vegetables oils is different and new, only approximately 100 years since its creation. It’s an oil that has been be created and altered, leading to physiological changes within our bodies and contributing to multiple diseases.
An article worth reading was published on Time.com showing how certain evidences that did not support researches desired outcome were conveniently left out of the published findings. Due to that, the case of vegetable oils was reopened, reanalyzed, and republished. Take a peruse through this article which has the links to the studies, offering enough cause to suspect that we’ve not been given the right information.
Here are 6 reasons why vegetable oils can be harmful:
- Vegetable Oils are unnatural in large amounts. Vegetable oil is a broad category which covers sunflower oil, canola oil, cottonseed oils, safflower oil, corn oil, and canola oil etc. They all contain Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are harmful when taken in excess. Coconut oil, on the other hand, is excluded from the list. Processing vegetable oil involves pressing, heating, various industrial chemicals and highly toxic solvents.
- Vegetable Oils offset the balance of Omega Acids. There are two kinds of fatty acids which are considered essential as the body on its own cannot produce them. They are the Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty acids. We need these fatty acids from our diet, but our intake of these need to be in balance. Typically, since our creation, we’ve been maintaining a balance of 4:1 or 4:2, but these days after the advent of vegetable oil, the ratio has changed to 16:1. (reference). The reason the balance of fatty acids are important is because they serve as vital functions with energy as well as the immune system. With an imbalance, our body functions begin to go haywire.
- Vegetable Oils contribute to inflammation. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are used to make substances called eicosanoids in the body. These are modified fatty acids that sit in the cell membranes. There, they play a crucial role in bodily functions like cellular messaging, immunity and inflammation. If you’ve ever taken aspirin or ibuprofen and noticed relief from headache or some kind of pain, then that’s because these drugs inhibit the eicosanoid pathways and reduce inflammation. Whereas acute inflammation is good and helps your body heal from damage (such as when you step on a lego), having chronic, systemic inflammation all over your body is very bad. (Reference 1, Reference 2). It is now believed that increased inflammation can contribute to various serious diseases, including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, depression and even cancer.
- Vegetable Oils contain high levels of Trans Fats. Trans fats are unsaturated fats that are modified to be solid at room temperature. These fats are highly toxic and are associated with an increased risk of various diseases, like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity ( Reference 1, 2, 3). They are so bad that even the governments around the world have started taking action, setting laws that command food manufacturers to reduce the trans fat content of their foods. However, a little known fact is that vegetable oils often contain massive amounts of trans fats. In one study that looked at soybean and canola oils found on store shelves in the U.S., about 0.56% to 4.2% of the fatty acids in them were toxic trans fats (reference).
- Vegetable Oils can raise the risk of Cardiovascular Disease. Many of us know that Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in the world (Reference). Multiple randomized controlled trials have examined the effects that vegetable oils can have on cardiovascular disease. In fact, three studies have found a drastically increased risk (Reference 1, Reference 2, Reference 3), while 4 found no statistically significant effect (20, 21, 22, 23). If you look at observational studies, you find a very strong correlation. There are some studies showing that polyunsaturated fats reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. But the problem is that they don’t make the distinction between Omega-3s and Omega-6s, which is absolutely crucial. When they do show a distinction, they see that Omega-6s actually increase the risk, while Omega-3s have a protective effect (Reference 1: NIH).
- Vegetable Oil consumption is associate with other diseases. Because polyunsaturated fats are so tightly involved in the function of the body on a molecular level, it makes sense that they could affect other diseases as well.
In one study, increased Omega-6 in breast milk was associated with asthma and eczema in young children (Reference).
One study shows a very strong correlation between vegetable oil consumption and homicide rates (Reference).
The Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio in blood has been found to be strongly associated with the risk of severe depression (Reference).