Death by Vegetable Oil: What the Studies Say
- As I’ve written about previously, there is a mounting body of scientific evidence that oils derived from certain types of seeds (such as canola oil, cotton seed oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, etc) may be having some incredibly detrimental effects on human health. A few recent conversations and another deep dive into the evidence has strengthened my conviction that many vegetable/seed oils should be avoided.
- The article I linked to above provides an excellent summary of the some studies that point brought me to this conclusion.
- If you are looking for alternatives, I would recommend cooking with olive oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, or coconut oil, none of which have been shown to have the detrimental effects as those listed above (as far as I know).
- As is so often the case, the medical textbooks are lagging well behind the science on this topic, and many “leading institutions” still say that seed oils pose no health risk. If you actually read the recent studies however (many of which have been published in the world’s most prestigious medical journals) I think that you’ll quickly come to a different conclusion.
- “In the Sydney Diet-Heart Study, researchers separated study participants into two groups. Both groups consumed the same amount of fat and oil, but the first group’s fat came primarily from vegetable oil sources like safflower oil and margarine while the second group’s fat came from sources like olive oil and butter. Everything else about their diets and lifestyles remained unchanged… Both groups were monitored and evaluated regularly for the next seven years. The result? The group consuming more vegetable oil had a 62% higher rate of death during the seven-year study compared to the group eating less vegetable oil.”
- “In another study, the Minnesota Coronary Experiment, participants who increased their consumption of corn oil and margarine had 86% more heart attacks, and for those aged 65 or older, a higher risk of death after four years.”
- “An older and smaller study, the Rose Corn Oil Trial, tested replacing existing dietary fats with corn oil. The result was a 92% increase in cardiac events (e.g. heart attacks) and a 364% increased risk of death in the group consuming corn oil . The two-year trial had only 54 participants, so while the results are dramatic, the data from this trial should be taken with a grain of salt.”
How Industrial Seed Oils Are Making Us Sick
- I don’t agree with all the points/theories in this article, but still think it contains plenty of good info.
- “A delicate balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids must be maintained in the body to promote optimal health… A high intake of omega-6 fatty acids, combined with low omega-3 intake, leads to an imbalance in pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators… Industrial seed oils are perhaps the most significant contributor to the imbalanced omega-6-to-omega-3 ratio characteristic of Westernized diets and thus play a significant role in chronic inflammatory diseases.”
- “The polyunsaturated fatty acids in industrial seed oils are highly unstable and oxidize easily upon exposure to heat, light, and chemical inputs. When industrial seed oils are exposed to these factors, two harmful substances—trans fats and lipid peroxides—are created. Trans fats are well known for their role in the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes…”
- “Industrial seed oils are particularly harmful to the brain. A high omega-6-to-omega-3 fatty acid ratio predisposes individuals to depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, and dementia. (23, 24) Canola oil consumption is linked to worsened memory and impaired learning ability in Alzheimer’s disease. (25) Trans fats, which end up in industrial seed oils unintentionally, as a consequence of chemical and heat processing, and intentionally, during the process of hydrogenation, are associated with increased risks of dementia and, interestingly, aggression. (26, 27)”
Diseases of Civilization: Are Seed Oils the Underlying Mechanisms?
- At 4:35 the speaker gives an incredible summary history of medicine and rates of chronic disease in America.
- There are many communities of people living around the world who simply do not get heart disease. The speaker discusses them around 21:00. Side note: some eat meat heavy high-fat diets, some eat plant heavy high-carb diets diets, but none eat refined sugar, refined wheat, processed foods, or vegetable oils. All are lean and incredibly healthy.
- Seed oils degrade in the body into compounds that wreak havoc on a wide variety of vital biological systems.
- At 33:40 the speaker gives an excellent summary of lab experiments pointing to the highly detrimental effects that seed oils can have on health.
- I’m not as pro-meat as the speaker, but I am definitely as strongly opposed to the consumption of seed oils.
If you’d like to take a deeper dive into the topic of seed oils, I’d recommend checking out the following articles:
Why is vegetable oil unhealthy?
What’s driving chronic disease?
Excerpts From My Journal
I think it’s best to take just about everything that the voice in your head says with a grain of salt.
As far as I can tell, most borders and boundaries are imaginary. In fact, a part of me thinks that all of them are imaginary.
Why do so many spend so much time thinking about aspects or reality over which they have little to no influence?
Any emotion you bury, any memory you suppress, anything you hide in the closet, all these things will wreak havoc in your life until you let them rise and burn away. But if you always distract yourself with social media and substances and other forms of external stimulus, it will be very difficult for them to do so.
I used to spend a huge amount of time fantasizing. I think part of this stemmed from an unconscious belief that by doing so, I was increasing the chance of my fantasies becoming reality. These days, I tend to think that fantasizing has the opposite effect, and that the true moments of magic come about when you simply pay attention to what is happening in front of you.
Artist whose work I’ve been enjoying: RSJFineArt