Seattle Organic Restaurants

Most processed vegetable oils are toxic. Benefits of Grapeseed oil and how even grapeseed oil could contain cancer-causing chemicals like Hexane depending on manufacturer.

Many people might think that vegetable oils are healthy since they are made from vegetable food sources. However, the reality cannot be further from the truth, since many of the processed vegetable oils contain toxic chemicals or are made from food sources that have been genetically modified.

I’m referring to processed oils like soybean oil, margarine, safflower oil, canola oil (rapeseed), corn oil that were not a part of our diet until early 1900s. These days, it’s no longer cost effective (i.e. hugely profitable) for the manufacturers to extract oils from natural food sources by simply pressing or separating them.

toxicity-of-processed-vegetable-oil-grapeseed-oil-could-contain-cancer-causing-chemicals-hexane

Therefore most vegetable oils (even the ones promoted as healthy) have chemicals that are toxic to your health. Besides the chemicals that are used in the process of extracting oils from vegetables, many food sources including corn or soy have been genetically modified or contain pesticides that are toxic to your health. Vegetable oils are found in many processed foods ranging from salad dressings to sprouted nuts or seeds.

Most vegetable oils have all the following problems in common and could cause a wide range of health problems:

>> Large amount of omega 6—could cause inflammation (root of many chronic diseases including cancer and arthritis): According to many scientific studies, human body has evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 of approximately 1. However, many nutritionists and experts believe that this ratio should be even higher, like 3 to 1, in favor of omega-3. But based on the Western diet, the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is more like 1/15-1/25. Higher intake of omega 6 could cause inflammation and in diet of most Americans, the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 is 25 times higher than it should be: http://seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-food/do-omega3-fatty-acids-increase-risk-of-prostate-cancer.php

>> High level of Trans fat—linked to heart disease, cancer and diabetes: Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils are made by reacting vegetable oil with hydrogen. When this occurs, the level of polyunsaturated fat (good fat) is reduced and trans fats are created. Trans fats (linked to heart disease, breast and colon cancer, atherosclerosis and elevated cholesterol levels) can be found in vegetable shortening, margarines, crackers, candies, baked goods, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, salad dressings, and many processed foods.

>> High levels of saturated fatty acids: Some experts have claimed that “not all saturated fatty acids are the same” and medium-chain fatty acids (like the one in coconut oil) can behave differently and are even beneficial for your health. This argument contradicts the logic and is so controversial, even up to this day. Food sources like butter or margarine that are high in saturated fatty acids have been linked to a wide range of health problems including higher cholesterol levels, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Here are the following vegetable oils that are commonly used by many people:

cotton-seed-oil-canola-oil-rapeseed-corn-oil

1. Canola and soybean oil. Actually these oils are toxic to your health:

Canola oil also known as rapeseed oil is a partially hydrogenated oil high in toxic erucic acid. Also, most canola and soybeans in both US and Canada have been genetically modified or have high levels of toxic herbicides and chemicals. Canola oil is also produced by heating the rapeseed plant and using a petroleum-based solvent to extract the oil. The chemical process leaves a harsh smell inside the oil, so the oil is chemically deodorized before getting into the market.

Studies have also shown that most soybean and canola in US grocery store shelves have 0.56% to 4.2% Trans fat (unsaturated fat) that are toxic to your health.

2. Olive oil: Healthy if it’s pure olive oil or not heated:

Olive oil (in its natural form) is high in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E and antioxidants and can significantly lower the risk of inflammation and many chronic diseases. As beneficial as real olive oil is for your health, it should not be heated under any circumstances because of its low heat tolerance.

Research has shown that olive oil is so susceptible to heat that heating olive oil can result in release of carcinogens and free radicals. According to studies, although olive oil has a smoking point of 405°F-207°C, it usually cannot withstand heats of much greater than 200-250˚F (93-121˚C) without breaking into free radicals (the temperature of oven or stove is about 375-525˚F, or 191-274˚C). Research shows that even slight heat (as low as 320˚F-160˚C) can severely damage the structure of olive oil and make it become highly toxic.

Also, more than half of all olive oils sold in US are not pure olive oil, even the ones that claim to be ‘Italian’, ‘original’ or ‘Extra Virgin’. The food industry is adding many toxic chemicals including petroleum based products and dirt oils like laden gasoline into the process of extracting oil from fake olives. These companies are even adding flavoring chemicals and chemical dyes to give consumers the illusion of fresh olives.

"Olive oil piracy is one of the Italian Mafia's most lucrative enterprises, to the extent that it appears that most olive oil on the market is either greatly diluted or completely forged by a massive shadow industry that involves major names such as Bertolli," writes investigative journalist Pauli Poisuo about the olive oil conspiracy. The best way to make sure the olive oil you are buying is real is to buy organic (or at least verified by non-GMO project) olive oil from your local market.   

3. Corn oil, palm oil, sesame oil, cottonseed, and safflower oil: Toxic.

These oils are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, contain toxic chemicals or are made from GMO food sources (in fact, 90% of corns in US are genetically modified). These vegetable oils can attack the immune system by increasing the level of toxins and free radicals in the body. The oxidative damage and high level of free radicals from these vegetable oils can increase the risk of many chronic diseases.

4. Margarine and butter: Unhealthy.

margarine-butter-health-toxic-GMO

Oils made from animal sources are considered unhealthy for a lot of reasons like being high in saturated fat or Trans fat. Butter is high in bad cholesterol and saturated fat, while margarine is loaded with vegetable oil and Trans fat.  In fact, processed margarine is even more toxic than butter since it contains Trans fat and is subjected to a hydrogenation process. Oils like margarine are exposed to high heat, high pressure, hydrogen gas and many other unhealthy ingredients like metal catalyst. Saturated fats might be unhealthy, but Trans fats are HIGHLY TOXIC to your health.  

Keep in mind that in European countries like France, people can eat still hot bread, butter and wine and enjoy a good health. The fact is that France was one of the first countries that banned the use of rBGH growth hormones and import of cows (injected with hormones and antibiotics) from US. As unhealthy as animal oils are, sick cows in US (injected with hormones and antibiotics and fed on Monsanto’s GMO corn or soy) are part of a much bigger problem.

5. Coconut oil: Much healthier than other oils mentioned above (especially canola, corn, safflower and soybean oils) but it’s still high in saturated fat:

Coconut oil isn’t toxic and does not have the health problems associated with some of the vegetable oils mentioned above. However, coconut oil is high in saturated fats and can increase the risk of heart diseases. Although some studies have considered saturated fats healthy, we still support conventional wisdom that excessive saturated fat and high levels of cholesterol create excessive wear and tear on the body and its organs and interfere with the normal function of the body.   

Also, if we are going to call 92% of saturated fat in coconut healthy, then let’s call butter healthy too. However some nutritionists have claimed that “not all saturated fatty acids are the same” and coconut is a medium-chain fatty acids compared to long-chain fatty acids which can behave differently. This argument contradicts the logic and is so controversial, and few research studies agree on any aspects of saturated fat.

6. Avocado oil: Healthy if it’s real:

Avocado oil is high in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin A, D, E, proteins, lecithin, and beta-carotene. Avocado oil has also a very high smoke point (520°F, 270°C). Make sure the avocado oil you buy is pure and free of chemicals like hexane.

7. Best oil for cooking: Organic grapeseed oil (if hexane free):

Let me first start by saying that @OrganicLiveFood does not have shares in ANY companies including oil companies – since some accuse us of being biased about grapeseed oil. Now – Grape Seed oil has high temperature tolerance (also referred to as smoke point) and preserves its molecular structure even with higher temperature as oppose to olive oil - which should NEVER be heated, in our opinion, under ANY CONDITION.

Health-Benefits-of-Grapeseed-OilPros:

>> High in vitamin E: I personally have been using grapeseed oil for the last 15 years. Because of high levels of vitamin E in grapeseed oil, I have even been using it as a moisturizer for my hair and skin. Since grapeseed has a high smoking point, I even use it as a heat protestant before blow drying or flat ironing my hair. My hair is a lot healthier and shinier with grapeseed oil on it as a heat protestant or moisturizer.   

>> No Trans fat, No cholesterol and very little saturated fat: Saturated fat and cholesterol are linked to heart disease and can increase the risk of clogging up the arteries.   

>> High smoking point: Grapeseed oil has a high heat tolerance and unlike olive oil, it does not become carcinogen when it’s exposed to heat.  

>> High in phytochemicals, including polyphenols and proanthocyanidins and omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids: Grapeseed oil is a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated fatty acids that help brain cell and muscle development.

Cons:

>> Negative effect of too much omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids on human body:

As mentioned above, our bodies have evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 of approximately 1. However, nutritionists and experts believe that this ratio should be even higher, like 3 to 1. But in Western diet, the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is more like 1/15-1/25. High intake of omega 6 and low intake of omega 3 could increase inflammation and risk of many chronic diseases.

High content of omega 6 in grapeseed oil might cause inflammation, but I believe that if people adopt a healthy diet and avoid other food sources high in omega 6 (meat, dairy, processed and deep fried foods), the omega 6 from grapeseed oil would not be a major source of inflammation.

In fact, studies have proven that omega 6 by itself isn’t as big of a problem as the IMBALANCES BETWEEN Omega 3 and Omega 6. Studies have shown that right dosage of omega 6 can help brain cell and muscle development. Omega 6 in the form of linoleic acid (LA) also plays a critical role in nervous system (as a transmitter of nerve impulses) and production of hormone like messengers.

If you decided to choose grapeseed oil for cooking, but are concerned about its high content of omega 6, you should add food sources high in omega 3 like avocados, sesame, olive oil and wild salmon to your diet.

>> Use of chemicals like hexane:

Grapeseed oil by itself (in its raw form) is absolutely NON TOXIC in any way, shape, or form. However, profitability has again creeped into people's food supply. To achieve a high-yield from grapeseed crops, a solvent called Hexane is used to extract as much as possible from the grapeseeds cold pressing process. And it is impossible to remove ALL the hexane solvents from the final product. Hexane solvent is a cancer-causing chemical, highly toxic to your health. So you have to be careful where you buy your grapeseed oil. Look for the ones that are labeled as Expeller-Pressed and Hexane-Free.

Grapeseed oil versus olive oil or coconut oil:

Bottom line, all processed oils ARE NOT good for your health, including grapeseed, olive oil or coconut oil. Oils cause inflammation because of high omega 6 content - in ALL of them. Grapeseed isn't the only oil with high levels of omega 6, and both olive oil and coconut oil have higher omega 6 compared to omega 3. But olive oil has low heat tolerance while coconut oil has high content of saturated fat. If you can avoid them, by all means, avoid all oils. Otherwise choose among the best of the worst. We are not promoting grapeseed oil, we just think it is the better evil among all oils. Coconut oil is our second choice.

The way to think about oils is to consider that in the last 200,000 years of human evolution, we have only had processed oils in the last 4,000 years and have been cooking with oil in the last 2,500 years. Only in the last 100 years, most cultures/countries around the world started cooking with oil. Our bodies are still getting use to cooking with oil and it is not natural for our organs to be comfortable with cooked oil in our body - not to say that cooking with oil cannot be healthy, since all oils cause inflammation.

Sources:

http://wellnessmama.com/2193/why-you-should-never-eat-vegetable-oil-or-margarine/

http://www.examiner.com/article/do-you-have-fake-olive-oil-your-pantry

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=261

 

 

Join SeattleOrganicRestaurants.com Member Community.

Follow us on TwitterLike us on Facebook