"Seed oils are inflammatory that’s why you have acne and why you are always bloated , didn’t you know that?!"
These statements, stories and opinions are being thrown around social media these days with no real evidence backing up these claims. Let’s do some research and see what is up with these oils:
A common misconception about seed oils is that most of the time these oils are found in foods that are prepackaged or deep fried. These foods tend to also contain refined carbs, added sugars and sodium. While eating those foods in excess may make you gain weight, the problem is not in the oil itself. According to an article written in Harvard.edu “cooking with seed oils at home isn’t an issue”. Only after extensive heating of the oil (AKA deep frying) is when the real unhealthy chemicals arise.
Are seed oils inflammatory?
Seed oils are demonized as inflammatory oils because they contain linoleic acid which turns into a compound that it said to cause inflammation. However, it is a complicated molecule because it also has anti-inflammatory effects. All the research currently conducted on seeds oils has only been done on animals. This means there is little evidence that linoleic acid is inflammatory for humans, in fact we have evidence of the opposite.
Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid. This means that we must obtain this fatty acid from food since our bodies do not produce it on its own. It is essential for producing cell membranes and maintaining skin health. These seed oils that are seen as the devil are main sources of linoleic acid along with nuts, seeds, meat, and eggs.
Are these seed oils toxic?
Because of the way these oils are produced there may be trace amounts of hexane left in the oils but it is unclear if this amount can actually lead to serious health problems. They also have fewer trans fats than milk or butter. Cold pressed oils are an option that avoids the trace amount of hexane but they are more expensive.
The bottom line:
Seed oil research is ongoing and there is yet to be solid evidence showing that these oils cause inflammation in the body. If anything so far, they have been seen to be anti-inflammatory. These oils are not harmful to cook with and you should continue using which ever oil you enjoy cooking with. Of course with anything nutrition related, as long as you are consuming a well balanced, (mostly) whole food diet these seed oils should not be a concern.
For more on seed oils listen to our podcast episodes on fats and oils:
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Written by marketing assistant: Gabby Romero