Why Everyone On The Internet Suddenly Hates Seed Oil
I slowly poisoned my family. And myself, apparently. Sorry, I just found that out.
Maybe it’s because I avoid social media, but I only recently learned that there is a whole seed oil speech. I can barely tell if grains are good or bad today, or if protein is overrated.
I didn’t even know what “seed oil” was. “It’s like…sesame oil?” I naively asked a colleague. And then I quickly threw myself down a Google rabbit hole of memes, references to Joe Rogan, words like “evil” and “toxic”, and lots of absolutely crazy YouTube videos. And now I know, if you want something to blame for everything from cancer to heart disease, from dementia to age spots, there are plenty of people out there who will tell you the culprit is hiding in your pantry, ready to fry your dinner in sizzling malevolence.
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The term “seed oil” generally refers to the refined cooking oils like corn and canola that many of us keep on hand in our kitchens. They also appear frequently in products like salad dressings and fast food. As Andrew Zaleski explained in GQ last yearit is a relatively modern creation, a product of 20th century processing innovation that generations of us have grown up referring to as “vegetable oil” and associated with the lighter and healthier connotations of these words.
Today, you can find #seedoilfree memes and recipes, often of self-proclaimed seed oil “bad guys,” all over social media.
That image has, in recent years, undergone a shift, thanks in large part to a 2020 appearance on the Joe Rogan Show by Dr. Paul Saladino. Saladino – who, despite having the word “salad” in his name, goes by “Carnivore MD” – told Rogan that there were “negative effects from eating too many plants”. Saladino uses very technical language in his speech with Rogan: “the Nrf2 system”, “environmental hormesis” and other ten dollar words, which I had to Google to try to understand what all this had to do with Wesson’s oil.
In any case, the interview with Saladino resonated with Rogan, curious, hungry and huge spectators. Today you can find #seedoilfree memes and recipes, often of self-proclaimed seed oil “villains,” all over social media. In my research, I came across a seemingly miraculous before and after photo of a woman emancipated from her seed oils, to which a blunt Redditor commented, “Girl, you just lost weight because you stopped eating of the fried dog ** t.”
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There seems to be an overlap between the seed oil disrespectful community and the COVID vaccine skeptical community.
Yet you can also find plenty of anti-seed oil traction on more conspiratorial corners of the internet – there seems to be an overlap between the disrespectful seed oil community and the COVID vaccine skeptical one. Recently, Vice also pointed out the surprising ties he also has with, among others, Bitcoin influencers. Honestly, I can’t tell how much of all of this is irony versus sincerity (or, perhaps, legitimate health research).
What is the truth and what is the hype here? Maybe we start by agreeing that eating lots of fried and processed foods will never be good for you, no matter what oil you fry them in. Beyond that, however, there are compelling reasons to think twice about commercial oils, most notably those that contain an abundance of omega-6 fatty acids.
Like Jesse Feder, personal trainer and registered dietitian with StrengthWarehouse United Statesexplains, “As far as all seed oils go, they get a bad rap due to high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids compared to omega-3 fatty acids. Many processed foods we eat contain high amounts of these oils, which generally gives us far more omega-6s than we need When you eat a diet high in omega-6s and low in omega-3s, inflammation and increased cholesterol can occur However,” he adds, “that doesn’t mean seed oils are bad. We still need omega-6 fatty acids in our diets.”
The reason omega-6 fatty acids have been linked to inflammation is because an omega-6 fatty acid, called omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid arachidonic acid (ARA), is a “precursor” to other fatty acids. compounds that promote inflammation. A research study from 2018 Noted that this relationship is why it is “commonly believed” that eating more omega-6 fatty acids will increase inflammation. Still, they caution that studies in humans have not shown that increasing consumption of these compounds leads to increased inflammation. “The Interaction of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids […] in the context of inflammation is complex and still poorly understood,” concluded the study, published in the journal “Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids.”
The lack of clear scientific data suggests that the big picture – global oil consumption – is more telling when it comes to health. “The main component of seed oils, like many other oils,” says Feder, “is fat. The most important thing is the type of fat and the amount consumed in determining whether an oil is good or bad for you. “
“Using the highest quality cold-pressed virgin oils you can find will ensure you get the most nutrition possible per teaspoon for that type of oil.”
It seems logical. I recently saw a post on social media with the hashtag #seedoilfree – it was a picture of a sausage pizza. Then there was another, a bag of olive oil crisps. I’m no diet expert, but I’m pretty sure a diet high in these types of foods isn’t the better to plan.
Some cooks say the devil is in the details of oil processing, which is perhaps more crucial than the type of oil. Sylvia Fountaine, Chef of Spokane and CEO of Enjoy at home, said she was aware of the “debate over the dangers and benefits of seed oils” and suggested looking for oils that had been specifically treated. “Using the highest quality cold-pressed virgin oils you can find will ensure you get the most nutrition possible per teaspoon for that type of oil,” she says. “Using each oil appropriately so it doesn’t burn, and in moderation, is probably the best bet if you want to consume oils consciously. Be intentional about your oil sources…Local oils that are organic and cold pressed will generally have a better nutritional profile than the jug of bulk vegetable oil you can find at Costco.”
And Dr. Ritesh Jain, Consultant Physician in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at WhatASleep, offers a similar perspective, noting, “One truth is that the nature of the oil depends on how it is processed.” Jain was concerned about polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in oils like sunflower and sesame, warning they would cause “inflammation and toxin buildup”, but I couldn’t find anything. scientific literature which seemed to confirm this assertion. If anything, polyunsaturated fatty acids seem be relatively benign.
As with all things, common sense, moderation, and a skeptical but not paranoid attitude is a pretty healthy and livable approach to life and food. The majority of my daily cooking calls for small portions of my favorite olive oils and butter, so I’m probably not poisoning anyone. I still like to fry puppies or churros once in a while, and knowing what I know now, I’ll probably splurge in the future for a quality unrefined vegetable oil with a higher smoke point to make work. But I’m definitely not going to stress or demonize any category of food I eat. Maybe that makes me a disrespectful disrespectful of seed oil.
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