Why You Should Purge Your Kitchen of Industrial Oils
Okay, so everyone and their mother has an opinion on health and wellness and diet and what natural means and what you shouldn’t eat and blah blah blah. And the information is ALWAYS CHANGING. It is ridiculous.
With so many experts doing the flippity flop on what is good and what is bad and what should be banned and what should be shoved down our throats – and government overreach increasingly getting all up in everybodies bizness and infringing on our right to choose what we eat or drink – more and more people, myself included, are saying SCREW YOU GUYS, I am going to focus on foods in their purest, rawest, least processed state and let the lab monkeys figure out if its safe to eat plastic this year.
While I try not to tell anyone what or how to eat, every once in awhile I discover some common food item that is touted as being harmless, or even healthy, and then the curtain is drawn back (science!.. and some common sense) and the truth comes out that it is actually a frankenfood concocted in a lab.
If you are okay with lab foods and their inherent lack of nutrients and risk factor of being, well, a nutritional monstrosity, then by all means, eat the frankenfood. But I feel compelled to share my recent gleanings on this subject, because I am an information junkie and I just cant help myself. So if you are in the least concerned with eating foods in their natural, whole, unmolested state then indulge me for a bit while I explain…
Why You Should Purge Your Kitchen of Industrial Oils!
So lets break this down real simple like:
Natural Oils can be extracted from the source (olives, avocados, flaxseed, etc.) just by pressing on the food source. These oils have been around from ancient times, and have been part of the human diet for thousands of years.
Industrial Oils CANNOT be extracted from their source just by pressing or separating naturally. They have to go through some crazy lab work to get into the oil bottle, including bleaching, deodorizing using highly toxic solvents. These oils were never available to humans until the 20th century, because we simply didn’t have the technology to extract them.
Industrial oils are deceptively known as “vegetable” or seed oils. They are oils extracted from grains, seeds, and beans – most of which are genetically modified – such as rapeseed (canola oil), soybean, corn, peanut, cottonseed, sunflower, safflower, etc., and include margarine and shortening made from these oils.
Watch the video below and see the fascinating and mildly nauseating methods of how these oils are manufactured. The video really starts to pick up at 1:55… mmm mmm mmm! Yummy!
What they don’t tell you in this video is that the “solvent” that is used to extract the oil is the neurotoxin hexane – and as you can see it’s literally bathed in it. From Food Babe:
Hexane is a cheap byproduct from gasoline production, that’s a serious occupational hazard and toxic air pollutant. It’s been shown that some hexane residue can remain in the oil, and the FDA doesn’t require food manufacturers to test for residues. Residue tests done by the Cornucopia Institute in 2009 found hexane residues in soybean oil. So, we very well could be eating this chemical every time we cook with hexane-extracted oils.
Risks and Creepy Side Effects of Eating Industrial Oils
The main problem you hear about with industrial oils is that they are way too high in Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. This is true, but that is not the only concern with these frankenfoods. But for a quick nutrition 101 run down from Authority Nutrition:
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.
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. Inflammation is an underlying factor in some of the most common western diseases and include cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and many, many others.
But the biggest creepy side effect of industrial oil consumption, for me, is that industrial seed and vegetable oils aren’t just burned for energy like any other macronutrient.
These oils are stored and incorporated into your very cells. (Talk about you are what you eat!)
Where the holy-eff-this-is-creepy part sets in, is that the oils are very sensitive to chemical reactions. And they are incorporated into your cells that are comprised on many different chemicals, which can trigger any number or reactions on a physiological level in your body.
How is that not the creepiest thing ever?! These oils are leading to actual physiological changes in our bodies.
So back to industrial oils is that they are way too high in Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Once again, from Authority Nutrition:
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.
How to Spot Industrial Oils and What to Use Instead
If you want to avoid Industrial Oils, you must read labels!
Some common Industrial Oils include: Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Peanut Oil, Safflower Oil, Soybean Oil, Sunflower Oil and Vegetable Oil along with Margarine, Shortening, I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter and Smart Balance.
If you are uncertain if something is natural or industrial, just remember to ask:
How was this oil produced?
The key words to look for are Cold Pressed or Expeller Pressed along with Unfiltered and Unrefined. Organic unrefined cold pressed oils are the gold standard. These retain more nutrients (including antioxidants) that are used by your body to metabolize fats more efficiently. And if you choose organic oils, these will come from plants that are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, or herbicides!
To minimize the amount of rancid or damaged oils that you consume (which is a WHOLE DIFFERENT health concern all by itself!), buy oil in smaller containers, keep it out of the light, and consume it within three months. Look on the package for the date when the oil was produced.
If your oil doesn’t explicitly state how it is processed, then you should assume that it was extracted using chemicals like hexane and move along.
Some healthy natural oils to keep an eye out for include: Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Cold Pressed Hemp Oil, Walnut Oil, Palm Oil (although this raises some sustainability issues due to deforestation) and Extra Virgin Sesame Oil along with animal fats such as Lard, Butter and Fish Oils.
Do you try to avoid industrial oils? Think you might start? Share below!