In my journey back to better health I went down several rabbit holes looking for reliable information on what foods were in and which ones I needed to say goodbye to.
I listened to hours and hours of mind numbing lectures by clever but uncharismatic medical presenters that got into deep technical explanations of how oils made from seeds and grains are effectively toxic to our bodies.
The sad thing is when the sugar industry in the 1950’s and 1960’s started demonising natural animal fats so they could replace real food with low fat alternatives that needed to be stuffed full of sugar to make them edible, the rise of homogenised seed oils began. Butter got replaced with margarine, lard was replaced by canola, soy bean, sunflower and other ultra processed oils.
I don’t think it was a co-incidence that as the food industry swapped to sugar and seed oils, the rate of obesity, type 2 diabetes, alzheimers disease and a whole host of previously practically non-existent diseases exploded.
I’ll try and simplify the science… here goes:
Seed oils are commonly used in the food industry as they are cheap and readily available. They are used in a variety of processed foods, from salad dressings to baked goods. However, despite their widespread use, seed oils are not without their health dangers. In particular, seed oils are known for their inflammatory properties, which can have serious consequences for our health.
Inflammation is a normal and necessary process in the body that helps us fight off harmful stimuli, such as infections and injuries. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it can lead to a range of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and various forms of cancer. Chronic inflammation is often associated with the Western diet, which is high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and processed foods.
One of the main culprits of chronic inflammation is seed oils, specifically those high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Omega-6 PUFAs are considered pro-inflammatory, meaning that they promote inflammation in the body. In contrast, omega-3 PUFAs are anti-inflammatory, meaning that they help to reduce inflammation.
Seed oils, such as soybean oil, corn oil, and sunflower oil, are particularly high in omega-6 PUFAs. These oils are also often highly processed, which further increases their pro-inflammatory effects. In fact, studies have shown that the consumption of seed oils is strongly correlated with the incidence of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
One of the reasons why seed oils are so harmful is that they can disrupt the balance of omega-3 and omega-6 PUFAs in the body. Our ancestors typically consumed a diet that was rich in omega-3 PUFAs and low in omega-6 PUFAs. However, with the widespread use of seed oils, the modern Western diet is now heavily skewed towards omega-6 PUFAs, leading to an imbalanced ratio.
An imbalanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 PUFAs can lead to chronic inflammation, which in turn can lead to a range of health problems. For example, inflammation in the arteries can lead to the formation of plaques, which can cause heart disease. Inflammation in the pancreas can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Inflammation in the gut can lead to a range of digestive problems and can even contribute to the development of certain cancers.
Another reason why seed oils are so harmful is that they are often rancid. Rancidity occurs when oils are exposed to heat, light, and oxygen, causing them to break down and become toxic. Rancid oils contain harmful compounds, such as free radicals, that can cause oxidative stress and further contribute to chronic inflammation.
To avoid the health dangers of seed oils, it is important to avoid processed foods that contain these oils. Instead, opt for foods that are high in healthy fats, such as avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, and grass-fed butter. These healthy fats provide anti-inflammatory benefits and can help to balance the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 PUFAs in the body.
In conclusion, seed oils are a major contributor to the health dangers of the Western diet. With their high content of pro-inflammatory omega-6 PUFAs and their potential to be rancid, seed oils should be avoided wherever possible. Instead, opt for healthy fats that provide anti-inflammatory benefits and help to promote a balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 PUFAs.
So along with ditching carbs and sugar I made it a priority to move back to cooking with butter, lard and olive oil. With the reduction of cellular inflammation I feel 1000% better. Like most people that have done the same have reported, the feeling of brain fog lifted and my joints feel so much better.
I might be imagining it, but I doubt it.
Here’s an interesting video that goes into greater depth, enjoy.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.