Are Vegetable and Seed Oils Bad For Your Health? A Critical Look

Woman Pouring Vegetable Oil on SaladThe consumption of processed seed and vegetable oils has increased dramatically in the past century.

Commonly mistaken as health foods, quite a few studies show that these oils can cause harm.

What Are They and How Are They Made?

These are oils that are extracted from seeds like Soybean, Cottonseed, Sunflower and a few others.

They were never available to humans until the 20th century, because we simply didn’t have the technology to extract them.

The way these oils are manufactured is very disgusting (see video) and it is mind-baffling that someone ever thought they would be suitable for human consumption.

It involves a harsh extraction process that includes bleaching, deodorizing and the highly toxic solvent hexane.

These oils have made their way to all sorts of processed foods, including “healthy” salad dressings, butter replicates, mayonnaise, cookies and more.

Bottom Line: The processing method for industrial seed- and vegetable oils involves factories, many machines and chemicals like hexane.

Why Are They Harmful?

Doctor Thumbs Down

The main problem with most of these oils is that they are way too high in Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are so-called essential fatty acids, meaning that we need some of them in our diet because the body can’t produce them.

Throughout evolution, we got Omega-3 and Omega-6 in a certain ratio.

Our Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio used to be about 1:1. However, in the past century or so, this ratio in the Western diet has shifted drastically, all the way up to 16:1 (1).

When the Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio shifts too high in favor of Omega-6, bad things start to happen in the body.

The excess Omega-6 fatty acids build up in our cell membranes and contribute to inflammation (2).

Inflammation is an underlying factor in some of the most common western diseases and include cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and many, many others.

Bottom Line: Seed oils are high in Omega-6 fatty acids. Eating an excess of Omega-6 can lead to increased inflammation in the body and potentially contribute to disease.

Consumption Has Increased Drastically

In the past century, consumption of these oils has increased at the expense of other healthy fats like butter.

They were labelled as “heart-healthy” and the governments all around the world encouraged us to eat more of them.

This graph shows how consumption of polyunsaturated fats (mainly Omega-6) has increased in the U.S. to levels previously never known to humans.

Polyunsaturated Fat Consumption

This graph here shows how the Omega-6 content in our body fat stores has increased.

Linoleic Acid in Human Body Fat

Photo Source: Stephan Guyenet.

That’s right, the industrial seed and vegetable oils aren’t just burned for energy like any other macronutrient.

These oils (that are very sensitive to chemical reactions) are also stored and incorporated into cells.

I don’t know about you, but I find that to be a very scary thought. These oils are leading to actual physiological changes in our bodies.

Bottom Line: Consumption of Omega-6 fatty acids has increased drastically in the last century or so and their amount in our bodies has increased 3-fold.

These Oils Are Easily Damaged

Polyunsaturated Oil

When we refer to saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, we’re referring to the number of double bonds in the fatty acid molecules.

  • Saturated fats contain no double bonds.
  • Monounsaturated fats contain one double bond.
  • Polyunsaturated fats contain two or more double bonds.

The problem with polyunsaturated fats is that all these double bonds make them susceptible to oxidation. The fatty acids react with oxygen and this damages them.

If we have a lot of these fatty acids in our bodies (remember: they get stored) – then our cell membranes are more sensitive to oxidation.

Basically, we’ve got our bodies loaded with very fragile fatty acids that can easily be degraded to form harmful compounds.

Given that polyunsaturated fats can easily go rancid at room temperature, it is quite likely that a large part of the vegetable oils on the market are in fact already damaged, before we even consume them.

These oils that we find in the stores may also contain trans fats. One source looked at vegetable oils in the U.S. market and discovered that the trans fat content varies between 0.56% and 4.2% (3).

That’s right, these oils contain trans fats… which are incredibly harmful. Trans fats cause all sorts of horrible diseases, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes (4, 5, 6).

Bottom Line: Oils that are high in polyunsaturated fats are very susceptible to oxidation, both on the shelf and inside our bodies. They may also be high in trans fats.

Industrial Oils and Cardiovascular Disease

Girl Eating Kebab

Back in the day, people thought saturated fat raised cholesterol and caused heart disease.

A lot of money has been wasted on trying to prove that hypothesis, to no avail.

The attention is now increasingly turning to trans fats and seed- and vegetable oils.

At least 8 randomized controlled trials have examined replacing saturated fat with high-omega-6 oils (hat tip to Paul Jaminet).

  • In three of these studies, the seed oil group had a drastically increased risk of death (7, 8, 9).
  • In four studies, there was no statistically significant effect (10, 11, 12, 13).
  • One of the studies showed an improvement, but it had a number of flaws that make its results questionable (15).

When you plot the consumption of these oils to the prevalence of certain diseases in the population, you see some interesting correlations.

The amount of Omega-6 in the blood is highly correlated with death from cardiovascular disease (16):

Mortality And Omega-6 Fat Consumption Graph

This study only shows a correlation and can not prove that the Omega-6 fats are causing these cardiovascular deaths, but it’s definitely something to think about.

Bottom Line: Several randomized controlled trials show that Omega-6 fatty acids increase death from heart disease, while other studies show no statistically significant effect. Observational studies show a strong association.

Do These Fats Contribute to Homicide?

There are observational studies showing a drastic correlation between consumption of these fats and violence (17), indicating that they may have a detrimental effect on mental health.

Linoleic Acid Consumption And Homicide

This data can only prove a correlation, not that Omega-6 fats caused the increased violence. But the association is very strong and it is consistent not only between countries, but also within countries over time.

Bottom Line: Data from observational studies suggests that consumption of these oils is strongly associated with violent behavior and homicide.

Other Potentially Harmful Effects

Vegetable Oils

Having more Omega-6 fats in mothers milk is associated with altered immune function in young children (18).

In rats, a high consumption of these oils can cause fatty liver and severe liver damage (19).

Several other animal studies also show an increase in cancer when rats eat a diet high in Omega-6 fats (20).

There are many other potentially harmful effects of eating these nasty oils that are beyond the scope of this article.

I am personally convinced that these oils are key players in the epidemics of many chronic Western diseases.

Bottom Line: Eating a high amount of Omega-6 fatty acids is associated with many harmful effects and they may be key players in many Western diseases.

What to Avoid and What to Use Instead

It’s important to note that not all plant oils are bad. For example, coconut oil and olive oil are both excellent.

The plant oils that you should avoid due to their high Omega-6 content include:

  • Soybean oil.
  • Canola oil.
  • Corn oil.
  • Safflower oil.
  • Cottonseed oil.
  • Sunflower oil.
  • Peanut oil.
  • Sesame oil.
  • Rapeseed oil.
  • Rice Bran oil.

Also avoid all margarines and fake butters.

Saturated fats are best for cooking, because they are the most stable in high heat. These include butter, coconut oil, lard and tallow.

Olive oil is better as an addition to foods after they have been cooked.

If you want to avoid these unhealthy oils, you must read labels!

Take Home Message

Many nutrition professionals still peddle these oils as health foods and recommend that we replace saturated fats with not-so-”heart-healthy” vegetable oils.

This is one example of where blindly following mainstream recommendations can lead to detrimental effects on health.

98 Comments

  1. Grapeseed oil is another bad one, and I think rice bran oil. Note that many of these are waste products from producing other things (cornstarch, cotton, wine) while others are grown on purpose. Also, given the diet of most pigs, pork fat can be relatively high in omega-6, although it’s still high in mono-unsaturated fats and saturated.

    • Stephanie says:

      I thought that grapeseed was one of the good ones, and much healthier/better to cook with than olive oil, which shouldn’t be heated?

      • Grape seed oil is good; it is rapeseed that is not good.

        I just think Americans use too much fat in their recipes, and the best thing to use is moderation.

  2. Geoffrey says:

    Great article!

    What do you think about rape oil?

    • Rapeseed oil?

      It is similar to those other oils I mentioned. Best to avoid it.

      I’ll add it to the list.

      • Geoffrey says:

        Yet it is a particularly rich in omega 3 oil, I thought a seasoning rapeseed oil was beneficial. I will reduce. Thank you for all that information!

        • Mark Shields says:

          Rapeseed oil goes by canola oil on the market. Search YouTube for “How canola oil is made” and lemme know if you think it’s a good idea ;)

          While among the veggie oils it is higher in omega-3s, it’s also high in O6′s and is GMO , IIRC

      • Rapeseed oil is just another name for canola oil. (European name for canola is “rape”)…

        Just to mention something else here too, Kris. Many of these oils are also GMO now (corn, soy, and cottonseed to name a few), so who knows how that might be making them even more toxic.

  3. Hi Kris, I also commented on Facebook so apols for the double up. I make my own butter but mix it with oil (usually peanut or ricebran) to make it spreadable. I then use it for cooking as well.

    Are there any oils which would serve as the softening agent yet are still stable at high heat, or must I have two separate butters – one mixed with olive oil for spreading and one pure for cooking?

    • Hello Amy. Seems like a good idea.

      It is best to avoid unsaturated fats for cooking, although olive oil would definitely be a better choice than peanut or rice bran oil.

    • How do you blend olive oil and butter together and in what ratios. I would like to try this to make my butter more spreadable.

    • Amy, if you want spreadable butter, I highly suggest you go to Amazon and look up “butter crocks”. This is a small crock that holds about a stick of butter, and lets you keep the butter at room temperature for a number of days without having to chill it because it has a water seal on it. Seriously, it works and would prevent you from having to add any oil to your butter.

  4. Note:
    That Canola and Rape are different species.

    Industrial Canola oil, chemically extracted, is not considered edible. It is used for paint, steam oil, plastic base and other uses, and may contain rape oil. Rape oil is not suitable for human use in Canada. I do not have a clue as to what happens in the USA.

    Only cold pressed Canola oil is considered suitable for human ingestion in Canada. Cold pressed is O6:O3 about 2:1, and about 17% pufa.
    But what do I care what you eat.

  5. This is one of my favorite topics were I get the chance to disagree with North American Low Carb/Paleo people. Here it goes… Canola oil (= rapeseed oil) is OK for limited use… and so says all of us in the Swedish Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) movement!

    If you would put a preschooler to sort different fats and oils into the categories of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, the preschooler will put Canola oil together with olive oil in the monounsaturated category. Ask any US LC/Paleo guy to do the same thing and they will without exception wrongly put Canola in the polyunsaturated category.

    Correct answer: Canola is about 63 % monounsaturated fat, 30 % polyunsaturated fat (20 % omega 6 and 10 % omega 3, a nice, almost paleo 2:1 ratio) and 7 % saturated fat.

    So why do we have this cultural divide with regards to Canola across the Atlantic ocean. Here is some reasons:

    Here in Sweden we grow a lot of Canola/Rapeseed (it is the same thing, Canola is just hybrid of rapeseed with less erucic acid and a new name since some PR genius realized that anything with the word “rape” in it, would not be a bestseller in the US/Canada). Corn and soy doesn’t grow very well here in Sweden. So chickens, pigs and cows in Sweden get relatively more Canola.

    That’s a great thing since it means that the omega 3/6 ratio is a lot better in Sweden vs USA. Chickens and pigs are also quite good at converting short chain omega 3 in Canola to long chain EPA and DHA. Actually, last year the Rapeseed Pig was introduced here in Sweden, marketed as a good source of omega 3.

    There is also one fundamental difference here in Sweden compared to the US/Canada. No GMO crops are allowed to be grown in Sweden so all Canola is non GMO. Another difference is that in Sweden it is really easy to find cold pressed and organic Canola, even in small, local stores. (Cold pressed oils have antioxidants in them that prevent the oil from getting rancid… and by the way Canola has the benefit of that it can be stored in the fridge without saturated fat precipitating like they do if olive oil is kept in the fridge.

    Another important reason for why we LCHF Swedes are pro canola is “Bregott” a mix of 2/3 butter and 1/3 canola. Our national Food Administration (kind of like the USDA) is trying to exterminate Bregott from school lunches and replace it with low fat margarines.

    • I lived in Sweden and in the US I totally get the point of Per, it is real Swedes like rapseed oil and it has been introduced totally into the society and it is considered a healthy food. I do understand also than in the US is considered a ‘toxic oil’ most of the crops in the US and Canada have been modified which means they are essentially GMO (with or without labels).

      I am not completely in either side to promote or ban canola, I think it is a great ‘new age crop’ because it has more use than what you generally have for other crops. I also think the way it’s made it’s dodgy and marketing promotions are not showing that as it is. The same happens with white sugar which is as well bleached.

      I think canola seeds are good in general for their properties and it is an advance result of modern breeding, we can’t just deny it, it is happending more and more everyday so we just need to measure our consumption of oils, like excessiveness of anything is bad to your health.

  6. How about the high oleic variation of sunflower oil? It is a seed oil, but from 100g it has 11g saturated, 84g monounsaturated and only 4g polyunsaturated.

    In comparison olive has per 100g – 14g saturated, 73g mono, and 11g poly.

    I personally use this oil for mayonnaise because of its neutral flavor.

    • I’m pretty sure high oleic sunflower oil is okay.

      Just make sure to get a quality brand where they preferably don’t process the oil with high heat or solvents.

      • Douglas Charick says:

        Kris, I take a teaspoon of oil produced by Activation Products called Panaseeda 5 oil blend.

        It is a blend of 5 seed oils, “cold extracted” – apparently a unique technology they use. I would greatly appreciate if you could look into this product, perhaps speak to them about it, and let me know if I still need to be concerned with the high omega-6 ratios and other concerns that are inherent in other oils from standard heat extraction.

        They make some pretty big claims on their unique process. They may be reached at (866) 543 3388. I greatly appreciate your assistance in this matter, as I only want to continue to use this product if you feel it is safe for me to do so.

        Thanks!

        Doug

        • Gee Kris, I would love to know an answer to this too. The 5 seed oils in Panaseeda are:

          1. Sunflower seed oil
          2. Flax seed oil
          3. Black sesame seed oil
          4. Coriander seed oil
          5. Pumpkin seed oil

          Two of these seeds I know about, but not sure about the others. The composition of the two I know are:

          1. Sunflower seed oil with:
          19% MUFA
          63% PUFA
          10% SFA
          Not an impressive ratio with way too much PUFA,

          2. Flax Seed oil is:
          19% MUFA
          24% Omega-6 PUFA
          47% Omega-3 PUFA (from ALA)
          8-9% SFA
          More reasonable ratio.

          I haven’t had a chance to do the conversion on the others yet. Do you know them? And can you comment on this oil? Their process for extraction is supposed to be a superior cold pressed method that is extraordinarily fast with studies done on it showing “zero rancidity” and almost complete initial nutrition levels up to a year on the shelf. Special packaging and so forth.

          Also supposedly Andreas Wecker, a former Olympian and gold medal winner (1996) became very ill with Crohns disease – wasted to 84 pounds – and HE attributes his recovery to Panaseeda. He and an engineer devised the equipment to extract oil with less damage to the oil than any other method (even cold pressed) – a reasonably believable story… but would love to know if you know about it.

          Thanks.
          Dr. Karen Leggett
          drkarenleggett.com

          • I haven’t been able to find any good info on it online. But I’m assuming that it will be very high in polyunsaturated fats and therefore a bad idea for cooking.

            I don’t know about the Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio, but most of the Omega-3s in plant oils are AHA, which is an inferior form of Omega-3s for humans.

            I definitely wouldn’t use it for cooking and I think fish oil would be a better idea as an Omega-3 supplement.

            Looks like a waste of money, pretty sure they have no studies to back up the wild claims.

        • I would like to know, from Doug, about his experience with the Panaseeda five oil blend, as I was thinking of getting it… please let me know how it benefits you.

  7. Hi Kris, great post.

    You say these toxic oils get stored in our cells- is this a permanent effect?

    Can you detox if you eat good fats for many years and absolutely avoid seed oils?

    Thanks

  8. Hey Kris
    Good article. One glaring omission. People need to ask themselves “what is chocolate?”

    Answer: a very nasty mixture of 1. These self-same nasty vegetable oils, which have been converted from liquid to solid, by one of 2 molecular chemical processes…partial hydrogenation, or interesterification. Both produce FRANKENSTEIN fats… ie never before seen by nature.

    And 2. The worst dietary poison there is… sugar.
    All designed to melt at 37 degrees centigrade… in your mouth, producing an addictive rush of sugar.

    • I make my own chocolate out of cocoa and cocoa butter. I use stevia type sweeteners, butter and whole cream of varying percentages depending on the consistency I’m going for. When I’m on a no-dairy kick, I switch the cream and butter to coconut oil and walnut oil. Over the years I have come up with really astounding sugar-free desserts. Most of store-bought chocolate has had the good cocoa butter taken out and replaced with vegetable oil.

      • Hillman, would you mind sharing some recipes, or giving direction to where they can be found?

        • Hi Laura, I’m on the same page:

          Please Hillman, would you be a sport and share some of your “hard-earned” knowledge with the rest of us seriously interested chocoholics? :-)

          Thank your for prior info, at least now I know why chocolate is off any cancer diet ;-(

  9. Answer to Des… the cell membrane of every cell in you body is made from the fats/fatty acids that you consume.

    Bad news if you’ve been eating these omega6s, especially if they have been chemically altered/converted to Frankenstein fats (some of which are trans fats).

    The good news is that this is a fluid equilibrium, and with cell turnover, the most recent fatty acids in your diet will be incorporated into your cells. And by the way this includes your brain cells.

    So stop eating industrial vegetable oils, start eating natural healthy fats, including omega 3 supplements, and you should get back to having your cell membranes as nature intended.

    • Thanks Paddy,

      I’ve been off seed oils for about 2 years now, so I guess I’m cleansed:)

      For those of you who love eating out, news flash: the entire world uses toxic seed oils to dress your foods. Even the most expensive, organic, top of the line restaurants will use “heart-healthy” canola. You must take the initiative to order dry rubbed meat cooked in butter. Everyone, and I mean everyone will make you feel strange.

      I’m Greek, and even in glorious Greece, where olive oil is a staple, the restaurants treated me like a tourist and tried to sell me fake olive oil in my food. I caught this fallacy, reported it, gave them hell, yelled in Greek and I got a few free meals. They could not understand why frying with vegetable oil was so bad, they only tried to pacify me because they saw I was in rage.

      I stopped eating out except for the occasional sushi joint (and even then, watch out for soy, soups, salads, tempeh). And I must say, there’s nothing you can eat out that’s 100% pure. Because you never know who’s handling your food, be it chicken, salad or an omelet. Even a chickery that makes rotissery chicken may have organic chicken that is injected with sugar (read The End of Over-Eating). Table salt in laced with dextrose in many restaurants. Even their butter is fake.

      Watch out folks, we live in a plastic, toxic, deceptive world.

      On the positive side, if you buy organic meat, some olive oil and fresh produce, you can make and enjoy the best quality foods that you will never be able to find anywhere else.

      Cheers

      • Here Here, Des!

        I also stopped eating out 2 years ago for the same reasons. The only organic food I haven’t been buying a lot of is meat, but now that there’s a Whole Foods near me, I’ll be doing that too!

        Eat organic everything and use butter, lard, and coconut oil for cooking.

        Healthy eating folks!

  10. Informative article Kris. Some studies also suggest that excessive omega-6 intake may have a role in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) which is a disorder that causes pain, inflammation, decreased ROM, and skin changes… pretty nasty stuff. Would you say that the Mediterranean diet has a healthier balance of omega-3 and omega-6?

  11. Chinonye says:

    This is good information that is educative.

  12. Ken Wong says:

    Hi Kris,

    I found the article informative, but you missed an important oil used widely for cooking in Asia – palm oil.

    I know that the soya bean oil lobby has been trying to discredit this oil, while the promoters of palm oil claim that it is safe and healthy, being very high in Vitamin E.

    Any thoughts on this?

  13. Sarah Gray says:

    Chris, in Australia we have been informed that grapeseed oil is the only oil suitable for cooking as it does not produce harming chemicals when taken to a high heat like olive oil and other oils do.

    What do you think?
    Sarah

  14. Hi Kris,

    Interesting info. What ratio did you say was optimal for O3:O6 again? And do you have any thoughts on flax seed oil?

    Keep up the good work!
    Bill

  15. Can anyone let me know whether “yoghurt butter” is healthy to eat, as it contains real butter too?

    Thanks!

  16. Reply to billybob….

    Flaxseed does contain a lot of the omega3 alpha linolenic acid. However, once you disturb “natures little packaging” and extract the oil, it goes rancid very quickly. So don’t consume it. I add flaxseeds to my cooking, or salads… it’s healthy in its natural form.

    The above applies to most seed oils, as Kris has said… ie they spoil easily. But flaxseed much more than most.

    • BTW, I would make sure you GRIND your flaxseeds, because eating them whole on a salad or something will do you absolutely no good, as they will pass right through you whole with the shell still on. They are very hard seeds, and unlike chickens, we have no crop to grind them up with. I did however, feed my chickens flaxseed when I had them to up the omega 3′s in their eggs.

  17. To fans of canola:

    There is no canola plant — canola stands for “Canadian oil low acid” and comes from a genetically engineered form of rapeseed subsidized by the Canadian government. The name change was a PR move due to the bad connotation of the word rapeseed.

    While canola is a monounsaturated fat like olive oil, it’s not cold-pressed. It’s typically extracted with high heat, pressure, and chemical solvents which lead to the formation of trans fats. This ubiquitous oil is one that’s best to avoid.

  18. Hi Kris,
    I just wonder what this does to their “oil-pulling” properties. I mean if the way the oils have been produced may also affect that.

    Thanks.

  19. Charlene says:

    What are your thoughts on Avocado Oil for cooking?

  20. Very educational info… thanks. I’ve been led to believe grapeseed oil was good and olive oil bad for cooking. Now I know different, coconut oil will be my choice.

    • Angela, I’ve been learning about these oils for some time. What I cook with, most people have never heard of. In some European countries it is called Ghee and in the west it is called clarified butter.

      I use a pound of organic salt free butter and heat it for about an hour at 200 degrees. It separates the butter fat from the oil. I pour just the oil into a glass jar and I use it for everything. When cooled it becomes a soft paste. Clarified butter doesn’t burn or change its properties at high heat so you can fry or saute in it, heat it a little and use it in any recipe that calls for oil, spread it on your toast and it melts right away or put it on vegetables.

      You can use it for anything and it tastes great. It doesn’t go rancid on your counter. It would keep for months if I didn’t use so much. It is a healthy fat. I use olive oil for salads but never, ever, cook with it because it becomes a trans fat. Ghee is easy to make. There are many videos on youtube if you want to see it being made.

      I use a good quality coconut oil as well – even swallow a couple tablespoons each morning because it is an anti inflammatory and is good for all parts of your body, but I wouldn’t use it on my toast or vegetables because it doesn’t have the right taste. Good luck.

  21. What about pumpkin seed oil? You shouldn’t cook with it but it is a delicious finishing oil. I make my own salad dressings and use only olive oil or pumpkin seed oil.

  22. Rebecca says:

    Hi Kris.

    I’ve recently discovered your website and I’m finding it so helpful! Is Flax Seed oil bad for you? I used to take a flax seed pill (liquid capsule) for cholesterol. I assume it is an oil?

    • Yes, that’s probably oil. Flax seed oil is fine, but you’d get better results from fish oil… especially cod fish liver oil. It’s actually best to get these fats from actual whole foods like fatty fish though.

      • Kris,

        I’m on Zoe Harcombe’s program at the moment and members on her forum are raving about making home made mayonnaise. Forum members (not Zoe herself) are using sunflower oil or the light olive oil made by Berio or Borges. Reading your article makes me feel very unsure about this. Whilst Zoe recommends eating good fats, this does not sound so good. What are your thoughts, please.

        Wendy

      • Fish oil is not parent essential fatty acid oil. It’s a pharmacological overload of Omega 3 derivatives.

        Neither Omega 6 nor Omega 3 PARENT oils should be used for cooking! They are way too delicate and will be “killed” and thus made toxic. Best oil for cooking is coconut oil and other saturated fats like lard.

        Oxidized or otherwise killed (hydrogenated/chemically treated) omega oils are not only toxic, they are also the major cause of arterial blockages. Funny thing too, as when they are taken in the right ratio, they are extremely life giving. Best ratio will be from 1:1 to 2.5:1 Omega 6 to 3 and they must be ingested cold pressed, organic, fresh as possible in capsules or dark class bottles protected from heat, air and light (a paper bag in the fridge is a good idea).

        Check out Brian Peskin or Paul Beatty for their insight,
        http://www.brianpeskin.com/
        http://www.lifesavingfats.com/

  23. It is alarming just how common these oils are in restaurants, as well as households. Used every day in nearly every meal, we must make the shift toward healthier oils such as extra virgin cold pressed olive oils and coconut oil. Beyond changing our cooking habits, we must look for these harmful fats in everyday items we buy, remember to read that label!

  24. Rajendra vikram says:

    Hi Kris.

    Very informative article. Thanks for enlightening negative effects of using oils in our daily diets. What are your suggestions, in relation to completely avoid oils in cooking, or are there any healthy oils at all? Is flax seed oil good for cooking?

    • Hey Rajendra. I’ve written about this here: http://authoritynutrition.com/healthy-cooking-oils/

    • Rajendra – I replied to a post made by Angela (a few posts up) and explained to her what I use for cooking. I have told this to quite a few people but I don’t know of anyone who actually listened to me, but I keep trying. They think it is great, but never actually do it. So many people never research what they put into their mouths and then wonder why they get sick. Do some reading on this fat and see if you think it would be good to make this part of your eating habits.

  25. In Ethiopia, a lot of oil is imported from abroad, and the government says nothing about the problems of oil. What do you say, if you have any info?

  26. Hi there,

    Is avocado oil ok for cooking with? Almost every site seems to say so. Also, I heard chemicals are added to edible olives to make them less bitter and more palatable, particularly black ones… Is this not so with olive oil? And is there any type of olive oil that is ok to pan fry with?

    I’m really confused about what to use as a butter spread, I don’t agree with the dairy industry and so I’m looking for a healthy alternative. Most free from spreads involve sunflower oil which you say to avoid. One site said refined sunflower oil which is monounsaturated. Is it ok to cook with?

    Sorry for all the questions!

    Thanks,
    Dawn

  27. Animal fats are superior to plant based fats/oils. I use grass fed Kerrygold butter, Organic Valley Pastured butter also grassfed, Grassfed organic ghee from Purity Farms, Rougie duck fat, bacon grease, lard(pig fat), pastured or omega 3 enriched eggs, tallow (beef fat), chicken fat, cod liver oil, fatty fish, bone broths.

    I used to use lots of olive oils, macadamia nut oils, avocado oils but I just don’t get much energy from those low saturated fat oils. The only plant based oils worth investing money in are Virgin Coconut oil and Red Palm Oil. Saturated animal fats from pastured animals are the best fats money can buy.

    • You said animal fats are superior to plant based fats/oils. I am assuming you mean that animal fats contain less trans fats as opposed to plant based processed oils. Animal fat contains saturated fats in bunches. Both trans fats and saturated fats contribute to heart disease. Animal fats are to be avoided as well as oil fats. Just because animal fat contains less trans fats does not make it a good fat. I would not subject my heart to it or the plant oils, including olive oil.

  28. What about mustard oil?

  29. Thank you for the great article!

    Can you tell me about grapeseed oil? I was taught that because it has a high heat index, it is ok. What are your thoughts?

  30. Also, the fruit juice we call olive oil is unhealthy.

  31. So is cold pressed Rapeseed oil (Canola oil) better for you? They don’t use solvents and keep the heat down during processing. Although I presume still high in PUFAs? Thanks.

  32. OK, I haven’t heard a comment back from you about pumpkin seed oil (written in June) and I am talking about the oil from Styria Austria (where I get mine directly from a farmer/producer). I have tried some brands that are sold here in North America and I know they have been added to or processed to the degree that it is a very poor representation of product that is obtained in Styrian. Having said that it would be nice to know if the oil that I consume is safe enough to have in moderation.

  33. A year ago I switched to cooking with olive oil that says it’s meant for cooking in heat with, and it’s a quality brand. What does high heat mean to you? I usually don’t go over the number 5-6 setting on my stove when using oil (and that’s in the middle).

    I’ve heard about avocado oil too but haven’t tried it because I don’t like the taste of it. What are your thoughts on it?

  34. Leon Armbrester says:

    If you have information on Panaseeda Oils, please share.

  35. Leon Armbrester says:

    What about organic, cold processed coconut oil?

  36. I use both coconut oil and ghee for cooking. My favorite use for coconut oil is to pop popcorn. Popcorn is naturally non GMO as it is a different strain than regular corn and no one has bothered to experiment with a GMO version (lucky us). Popcorn cooked in coconut oil with a bit of himalayan salt is amazing and almost tastes as if there is butter on it. It is delicious and healthy – low on calories, high on fiber.

    As for making the ghee, Sonni is right the process is simple. I put the organic no salt butter in a saucepan and simmer it for 20 minutes or so until the milk solids turn golden brown and fall to the bottom of the pan. Then I strain through cheesecloth into a glass jar with cover. It can sit on the counter – does not spoil and smells wonderful. In Ayurveda, ghee is used not only for cooking but as a vehicle to deliver herbal medicines and remedies into the body.

  37. John Gosper says:

    Macadamia nut oil is also a good oil to use in cooking, high smoke point, nice flavour, not over powering. The only oils I use are this, coconut and olive oils. I was using sesame in asian dishes but I’ll stop and just use coconut.

  38. Kris – love your site! Thanks for helping me get back on track to good health.

    I have one question – should sunflower seed butter be avoided? I use it a lot but it has quite a bit of oil in it. Not sure if it is just the oil that should be avoided or the butter.

    Thanks!
    Nancy

    • I think it’s fine in moderation, especially if it is organic and without additives. But it will be pretty high in Omega-6, so I wouldn’t eat much or it will throw your ratio out of whack.

  39. Dear Kris, yes, I made it to the bottom of the page!

    So many questions and so many great and informative answers.

    Would you be offended if the un-answered questions would be asked again?

    You’re providing a great service and I am positive that a million “Thank You’s” are coming your way.

    Sincerely,
    Margot

  40. Hi Kris,
    I recently discovered your site and let me tell you that it is a great one.

    I want to ask you about “cold pressed” Sunflower Oil. Can you tell me the composition of it and whether is good or bad for our health? My father has high cholesterol (around 260) and I want to know if it’s good for his condition.

    I have a great source from a local producer and I really want to know if I should ‘feed’ my family with it.

    Thanks.

  41. Hi Kris.

    Would it be good and healthy for one to eat these seeds together?

    1. Sunflower seed oil
    2. Flax seed oil
    3. Black sesame seed oil
    4. Coriander seed oil
    5. Pumpkin seed oil

  42. Timothy Courtney says:

    Canola has a 2:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, better than the average American diet.

    Coconut oil contains no omega-3, why would you suggest it over canola?

  43. Have you heard of black seed oil? It is supposed to be like this wonder oil but it contains a high amount of omega 6. Is this oil safe to take as a daily supplement?

  44. What about flax seed oil and sesame oil?

  45. savio coutinho says:

    Thanks learnt a lot from your article. I have a question to ask. How good is the coconut oil that we take to the mill to extract personally? That is what we use at home, what do you have to say or advice.

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