Industrial seed oils have been introduced as a healthy alternative to traditional cooking fats like ghee, lard, tallow, duck fat and coconut oil. Soybean oil, canola oil and corn oil are now dominant cooking fats for consumers and restaurants alike.
It’s pretty easy to understand where animal fat and butter comes from, but where do industrial seed oils come from? I mean, if you take some corn and squeeze it, corn oil doesn’t come out. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that it’s chemically extracted. Canola oil goes through an extra deodorizing step to refine it as well.
Take a look at how canola oil is made:
Real healthy, huh? That’s a pretty scary video, but it doesn’t prove anything. The science behind it’s content however, does.
Omega-3 vs Omega-6
These two fatty acids go hand in hand. Omega-3 is a stable, anti-inflammatory fatty acid that’s composed of eicosapentanaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega-6 is an unstable fat that does oxidative damage to the body and is inflammatory.
If you haven’t guessed yet, what this means is that the more omega-3 fat you eat, the less omega-6 will be available to the tissues to produce inflammation. Omega-6 is pro-inflammatory, while omega-3 is neutral. A diet with a lot of omega-6 and not much omega-3 will increase inflammation. A diet of a lot of omega-3 and not much omega-6 will reduce inflammation.
The Pharmaceutical Connection
Big Pharma is well aware of the effect of omega-6 on inflammation. In fact, simple, over the counter medicines like ibuprofen and aspirin work by reducing the formation of inflammatory compounds derived from omega-6 fatty acids. The same effect could be achieved by simply avoiding industrial seed oils.
Of course the drug companies don’t want you to know that. They’ll sell themselves short that way.
You’re probably asking what a little bit of canola oil is going to do to you the next time you go out to the bar for wings with your buddy. Well, according to some reliable studies, possibly more damage than the beer……
To put things into perspective, regular consumption of omega-6 (industrial seed oils) is associated with increase in all inflammatory diseases – which is to say virtually all diseases. The list includes (but isn’t limited to):
- cardiovascular disease
- type 2 diabetes
- metabolic syndrome
- irritable bowel syndrome & inflammatory bowel disease
- macular degeneration
- rheumatoid arthritis
- psychiatric disorders
- autoimmune diseases
The good news is, several clinical studies have shown that decreasing the omega-6 to 0mega-3 ratio protects against chronic, degenerative diseases. One study showed that replacing corn oil with olive oil and canola oil to reach an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 4:1 led to a 70% decrease in total mortality. Now if you ask me, that’s a pretty significant decrease…….
Coconut oil and ghee for stir fry and high head cooking. olive oil and butter for sauteing and low heat cooking. Beef tallow or duck fat for frying potatoes and tubers. You can also use palm oil and lard if you prefer.
If you still believe the outdated dogma that saturated fat is unhealthy, check out this link and this article for overwhelming evidence. Rid yourselves of that pesky lipid hypothesis and enjoy some bacon!