Seed Oils – Yes or No?
If there’s anything that nutritionists still don’t fully agree on, it’s fats!
You may have heard conflicting stories about vegetable/seed oils, such as canola, corn, soybean, safflower and cottonseed oil. These oils were not originally considered fit for human consumption. Follow this link to hear a really interesting story about how these were introduced into our food supply about 100 years ago.
I’m on the side of avoiding these oils. While they contain polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (EFAs) that we need in our diet, they are also highly processed with extracting agents, bleaches and deodorizers. They’re also very fragile and quick to oxidize in the bottle and in our bodies. The processing alone can create oxidizing free radicals.
They are also primarily Omega-6 fats, which are inflammatory in our bodies. Omega-6 EFAs must be balanced with Omega-3 EFAs, the anti-inflammatory counterpart. The ratio should be 4 (Omega-6):1 (Omega-3) The Western diet is much too high in inflammatory Omega-6 fats, with a ratio of 25:1 or higher. These oils are one of the main reasons why, as they are used at restaurants and in most processed foods. The other reason is because the average person doesn’t eat enough foods rich in Omega-3s.
So what are the best fats to eat? Let’s just say that all types of fats are important – polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and yes, even saturated fats! Include some of all of them in your diet. But quality matters! The less processed, the better. The higher-quality, the better.
* Extra-virgin, cold-pressed, organic olive oil
* Avocados and avocado oil
* Grass-fed meats
* Pastured animals and eggs
* Grass-fed butter and ghee
* Coconut and coconut oil
* Nuts and seeds of all varieties – walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc.
* Fatty fish—sardines, mackerel, herring, and wild salmon, which are rich in omega 3 fats
These least processed, closest-to-nature fats are what our bodies have evolved to recognize and thrive on.