What’s Wrong with Vegetable Oils?
There are many problems with vegetable oil consumption, and in my opinion, no amount is safe. To understand why, let’s look at a few of the biggest problems with vegetable oils:
Our Bodies Aren't Meant to Consume Them!
The fat content of the human body is about 97% saturated and monounsaturated fat, with only 3 % Polyunsaturated fats. Half of that three percent is Omega-3 fats, and that balance needs to be there. Vegetable oils contain very high levels of polyunsaturated fats, and these oils have replaced many of the saturated fats in our diets since the 1950's.
The body needs fats for rebuilding cells and hormone production, but it has to use the building blocks we give it. When we give it a high concentration of polyunsaturated fats instead of the ratios it needs, it has no choice but to incorporate these fats into our cells during cell repair and creation.
The problem is that polyunsaturated fats are highly unstable and oxidize easily in the body (if they haven’t already oxidized during processing or by light exposure while sitting on the grocery store shelf). These oxidized fats cause inflammation and mutation in cells.
In arterial cells, these mutations cause inflammation that can clog arteries. When these fats are incorporated into skin cells, their mutation causes skin cancer. (This is why people often get the most dangerous forms of skin cancer in places where they are never exposed to the sun, but that is a topic for another day!)
When these oils are incorporated into cells in reproductive tissue, some evidence suggests that this can spur problems like Endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary. In short, the body is made up of saturated and monounsaturated fats, and it needs these for optimal health.
Vegetable Oils Contain High Levels of Omega-6 Fatty Acids
I've talked before about how the body needs Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats in balance, preferably a 1:1 ratio. Most people consume a much higher ratio of Omega-6 fats, and this can lead to problems.
Vegetable oils contain a very high concentration of Omega 6 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats, which cause an imbalance of these oils in the body. Omega 6 fats are easily oxidized with heat or light exposure. This is another reason that when these types of fats/oils are incorporated into tissue like skin cells, the heat and light from sun exposure can increase skin cancer risk.
Unbalanced levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats have been linked to skin cancer and many types of cancers. As this article explains:
In one study performed at the University of Western Ontario, researchers observed the effects of ten different dietary fats ranging from most saturated to least saturated. What they found is that saturated fats produced the least number of cancers, while omega-6 polyunsaturated fats produced the most. Numerous other studies have also shown that polyunsaturated fats stimulate cancer while saturated fat does not1 and that saturated fats do not break down to form free radicals.2
In another study, Dr. Vivienne Reeve, PhD, Head of the Photobiology Research Group at the University of Sydney irradiated a group of mice while feeding while feeding different groups of them polyunsaturated and saturated fats.She discovered that the mice that consumed only saturated fat were totally protected from skin cancer. Those in the polyunsaturated fat group quickly developed skin cancers. Later in the study, the mice in the saturated fat group were given polyunsaturated fats. Skin cancers quickly developed.
The 3% of our body that is made up of polyunsaturated fats is approximately half Omega-3 fatty acids and half Omega-6 fatty acids and our body needs this balance. Omega-3s have been shown to reduce inflammation and be protective against cancer, while too much Omega-6 fats cause inflammation and increase cancer risk.
Over time, consumption of these oils high in Omega-6s and polyunsaturated fats can also lead to other problems, as the above article elaborates:
The Journal Epidemiology published a study called, “Margarine Intake and Subsequent Coronary Heart Disease in Men.”Authors of the study followed participants of the Framingham Heart Study for 20 years and recorded their incidence of heart attack. They also tracked both butter and margarine consumption.
The researchers discovered that as margarine consumption increased… heart attacks went up. As butter consumption increased… heart attacks declined.
The study also divided the data into ten year increments. What they discovered is that during the first ten years, there was little association between margarine consumption and heart attacks. However, during the second decade of follow-up, the group eating the most margarine had 77% more heart attacks than the group eating none!
Imbalance of these fats can also cause damage to the intestines and along with processed grain consumption can set the body up for a host of food allergies and auto immune problems.
What’s Wrong with Vegetable Oils?
- Vegetable oils contain very high levels of polyunsaturated fats.
- The body needs saturated fats for rebuilding cells and hormone production polyunsaturated fats are highly unstable and oxidize easily in the body.
- These oxidized fats cause inflammation and mutation in cells.In arterial cells, these mutations cause inflammation that can clog arteries, leads to heart disease.
- When these fats are incorporated into skin cells, their mutation causes skin cancer.
- When these oils are incorporated into cells in reproductive tissue, can lead to problems like Endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary.