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How Seed Oils Are Harming Your Health And What You Can Do About It

Written by: Danielle Forrester, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Vegetable oils are a scourge. They wreak havoc on the body, lead to inflammation, create weak cell membranes and a sluggish metabolism. Vegetable oils have long been the uninvited guest at the party. It is time for their exit and for the unsung hero of this story to take his rightful place.

The average American gets approximately 80% of their fat calories from these vegetable oils called polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFAs. Unless you are actively trying to avoid vegetable oils, you are likely consuming them, considering they are found everywhere, from chips and crackers to packaged cookies, salad dressing, and everything in between. The next time you walk down the middle aisles in the grocery store, take a look at the nutrition label on your favorite processed food. You may be shocked to find just how many labels contain these PUFAs. Here are the biggest nine offenders: canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, margarine, rice bran and grapeseed oil. The first seven are highly accessible and can be found in nearly every packaged food on the grocery shelves. The second two are commonly used in restaurants, especially more upscale places. These seed oils contain very high amounts of polyunsaturates. We, as humans, do not need high amounts of polyunsaturates in our diet. We actually only need very small amounts of them. When we consume polyunsaturated in large quantities, they act like toxins in our bodies. The scary thing is this: they accumulate in our body fat and other tissues and have a half-life of approximately six months. PUFAs are highly unstable fats that promote inflammation in the body. What makes PUFAs unstable is their inability to hold up to the heat extraction process. During processing, these fats become highly toxic and rancid. They are bottled this way and sit on the shelves waiting to be purchased. Our body fat becomes inflamed when we consume them due to their rancid and oxidized state. The cells in our body are then incapable of generating energy in an efficient manner which leads to feeling hungry more frequently. Enter metabolic disturbance. Seed oils destroy our metabolism. They come in like a trojan horse and attack the host from within. It is a slow and steady decline that can take years. The evidence damning these seed oils continues to grow with every passing year, and yet the FDA continues to advise the consumption of seed oils over saturated animal fats. Seed oils are responsible for many diseases, which experts have blamed on cholesterol and saturated fats in recent decades. PUFAs cause inflammation, and inflammation lays the groundwork for disease to grab a foothold in the body. Inflammation is at the root of obesity, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes.


So when I say vegetable oils are a scourge, I mean they are a scourge. A plague. But they don’t have to be. You can work to rid them of your life. I have been steeping in this health and wellness sphere for almost a decade. One of my biggest takeaways from all I have researched is that you must be intensely intentional when it comes to avoiding harmful things and, likewise, knowing what to consume in their stead. I don’t say that to discourage anyone from taking steps toward better health, toward metabolic stability, toward a healthier gut. No, I say it to encourage baby steps because small changes lead to big changes over time. Intentional change, day in and day out, become new practices that one day becomes common practice. We can’t change anything overnight, and we shouldn’t. So how do you begin? The first thing you can do is rid your pantry and fridge of all vegetable oils. Start reading your food labels. Know how to identify the good oils/fats from the bad. Here is a great list to keep on hand. For some, you may be throwing out a lot as you begin reading nutrition labels. That’s ok. It’s a step in the right direction. It is a step toward metabolic stability and a step away from chronic disease. The next step is knowing what to buy instead and why. This will come with some unlearning as we have had the food industry shoving vegetable oils down our collective throats since the early 1900s. That’s right, it’s been that long. The agenda to remove stable, saturated animal fats out of the consumers’ hands and kitchens has been going hog wild for over 100 years. The fact of the matter is, it is still raging. Talk about a party I didn’t want to go to. The best fats to include in your diet are saturated animal fats like butter, ghee, lard (yes, lard!), duck fat, beef tallow and chicken fat, aka schmaltz. Also, any other naturally rendered animal fat like bison or yak butter. Yes, those exist. These fats are stable and can handle the heat. They do not break down and oxidize when heated during cooking as vegetable oils do. To learn more about the importance of saturated fats in our diet and how detrimental vegetable oils are to our health, read more here and here. Saturated animal fats have stood the test of time, and by that, I mean they have been a part of the diets of ancient cultures. Cultures that have lived without cancer, chronic disease, and tooth decay. Our bodies and brains need a great deal of saturated animal fats to function properly.

Our cells are made of these fats and need them to be healthy. Nutritional deficiencies are incredibly easy to come by when you aren’t eating nutrient-dense fats that contain the fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E & K. Without these vitamins, we lose bone density, develop cavities, and our brain cannot function as it is meant to function. Our hormones depend upon the consumption of saturated fat, and healing cannot happen without it. Animal fats help us absorb nutrients from our food much easier. Want that broccoli on your kid’s plate to have the biggest bang for its buck? Drown it in butter. Vegetables are simply a conduit for animal fat, and they should be consumed with large quantities of it.


Other noteworthy fats to keep in your diet: Unrefined coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil. Be careful with olive oil and avocado oil as neither should be heated, especially olive oil. They are best unrefined, cold pressed, and in dark bottles. Keep them away from light. Olive oil especially cannot hold up to heat and will break down and oxidize when exposed to heat.


When making strides to improve your health, remember to take baby steps. Do what you can now with the information you have to make better decisions for your health. Now go put some extra butter on that slice of bread. I should see teeth marks in that butter!


For additional information on this topic, I recommend reading these: click here, here, here, and here.


Need some dinner recipe inspiration? Want to learn how to cook using healthy animal fats? Check out my meal plan: What’s for Dinner? It is a great option for anyone on the Full GAPS diet as well as those eating Paleo, Whole 30, or low carb. To purchase all my favorite healthy animal fats and olive oil, click here.


Interested in learning more about the GAPS diet and how I healed my son of severe eczema? Check out my blog and follow me on Instagram at Findingforrester4.


Follow me on Instagram, and visit my website for more info!

 

Danielle Forrester, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Danielle Forrester is a certified Gut and Psychology Syndrome Coach (GAPS). She has successfully guided her son, Raleigh, through the GAPS diet since 2017 to reverse severe eczema, asthma and many food sensitivities. Forrester received her coaching certification in 2020 and has been working with clients to help them navigate the diet and reverse many health issues. She has also created a 30 Day Full GAPS meal plan to help those on the diet have success. She believes that healing is possible and food is medicine.

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