What are seed oils?
Seed oils are a group of oils extracted from the seeds of plants such as soybean, corn, cottonseed, sunflower, and canola. Sounds harmless enough, except seed oils, despite their benign name, actually derive from a type of industrial lubrication method, used during old war eras to thoroughly clean industrial equipment. Since then, seed oils have been repurposed straight into our food and wellness sources. What's worse, seed oils have become a staple in modern diets, yet their introduction and mass consumption are relatively recent in human history. This transition is critical to understanding the health concerns associated with seed oils.
Why are they bad?
The transition to industrial seed oils was a dramatic shift from the ancestral practices of consuming healthy fats, by humans for millennia, which were primarily saturated and monounsaturated fats found in animal products, coconut oil and olive oil. Think natural butter, ghee, etc.
The primary issue with seed oils lies in their fatty acid composition, which is rich in polyunsaturated fats, particularly omega-6 fatty acids. Unsaturated fats are prone to oxidation when exposed to the elements, ultimately generating free-radicals that damage the skin, causing early signs of aging.
Moreover, when seed oils are consumed, they promote inflammation causing free radical attacks that result in cellular damage. This imbalance is thought to contribute to chronic diseases, which interestingly, have shown a marked increase since the widespread introduction of seed oils into our diets.
Diseases such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes have been directly correlated with the rise in seed oil consumption.
So is it killing us?
The correlation between chronic disease and the introduction of industrial seed oils into the mainstream American diet, suggests a link exists between the these novel dietary fats and a rise in long term health issues.
While correlation does not always imply causation, the alignment of these trends has raised significant concerns in the holistic nutrition and health conscious communities. The historical dietary shift towards high consumption of seed oils, with their high PUFA fatty acid profiles, may have played a role in the increase of chronic inflammatory diseases, prompting a reevaluation of their role in a healthy diet.
Click below to access studies we've compiled on the dangers of seed oils.
Read More about the potential harms of consuming seed oils
Scientific Studies on Seed Oils
Seed oils linked to chronic pain in humans