Date 19/10/2015
News Provider Mohd Nasir Ismail
News Source Leadership
Headlines Vegetable Oils May Not Be As Healthy As Advertised
 
19/10/2015 (Leadership) - With scientists advising against many cooking oils like olive claimed to produce toxic chemicals when heated – what should you use instead?

Vegetable oils are oils that have been extracted from various seeds. The most common include rapeseed (canola oil), soybean, corn, sunflower, safflower, peanut, etc. Unlike coconut oil or olive oil that can be extracted by pressing, these new-fangled oils have to be extracted in very unnatural ways.

According to a Nutritionist and natural health expert, Robin Konie of Brigham Young University, USA unlike traditional fats our industrial vegetable oils are a very new addition to the “food” world.

“In fact, they were practically non-existent until the early 1900s. But with the invention of certain chemical processes and a need for “cheap” fat substitutions, the world of fat hasn’t been the same since,” she wrote in an article.

She said vegetable oils are bad because they contain very high levels of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). But did you know that the fat content of the human body is about 97% saturated and monounsaturated fat? Our body needs fat for rebuilding cells and hormone production. And it can only use what we give it.

Polyunsaturated fats are highly unstable. They oxidize easily. These oxidized fats cause inflammation and mutation in cells. That oxidation is linked to all sorts of issues from cancer, heart disease, endrometriosis, PCOS, etc.

Konie said “There’s a lot of hype about Omega-3’s and how healthy they are. But what often gets neglected is the fact that it’s more about the ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats that are critical to good health.”

According to her, vegetable oils contain a very high concentration of Omega 6 fatty acids which oxidize easily.

“Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation and protect against cancer. Unbalanced levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats have been linked to many types of cancers and a host of other problems. But people keeping buying into labels on vegetables oils that say “a good source of Omega-3s” without realizing that they are really just making the imbalance even worse,” she said.

Beyond the unnatural levels of polyunsaturated fats and Omega-6 fatty acids, there are all the additives, pesticides, and chemicals involved in processing. Many vegetable oils contain BHA and BHT (Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene).

These artificial antioxidants keep the food from spoiling too quickly, but they have also been shown to produce potential cancer compounds in the body. And they have been linked to things like immune system issues, infertility, behavioral problems, and liver and kidney damage.

In a nutshell, these oils are unhealthy. They’ve been linked to reproductive problems, low birth rate, hormonal issues, obesity, mental decline, liver problems, and the big problems of our day: cancer and heart disease.

To help you, here are some guidelines when it comes to fats and oil. When it comes to any food, keep in mind that where it comes from and how you store it can matter greatly. Traditional oils should be cold-pressed like coconut oil, tallow, lard, and butter.

Use Palm Oil (and please find from a sustainable source as so much palm oil today is being harvested in horrific ways. When in doubt just stick with coconut oil.)

Also, extra-virgin olive oil (good for non-heat dishes like salad dressings, humus, mayo, etc. Can be used in cooking at lower temperatures or when combined with another saturated fat like butter or coconut oil.)

Avocado oil is also good for non-heat dishes. Other fats (not necessarily for cooking, but essential to good health) include meats, eggs, dairy, and fish (nuts are also good in moderation as they have a high level of polyunsaturated fats).

Experts suggest that oils should be used sparingly and the following oils are good in moderations. Most contain high levels of Omega-6 fatty acids, so they shouldn’t be consumed freely. But they are considered natural fats, and do have health benefits. They are not great for high heat cooking, but acceptable in dressings, mayos, and other non-heat foods – walnut oil, flaxseed oil, and macadamia nut oil.