Is vegetable oil good for you?
The short answer is no.
The longer answer is that vegetable oil is extracted from grapeseed, soybean, corn, sunflower seed, and safflower. Unlike butter, coconut oil, or olive oil, vegetable oil can’t be extracted just by pressing or separating naturally. It must be chemically removed. Then it is deodorized and altered.
6 reasons why vegetable oil is unhealthy
It contains high amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are harmful if eaten too much
The same does not hold true, however, for healthy plant oils like olive oil or coconut oil.
It messes up the fatty acid composition of cells in the body
You need to eat omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in a certain balance to function optimally. Excess omega-6s in our cells cause harmful chain reactions.
It contributes to inflammation
Eicosanoids, signaling molecules made of omega-6 and omega-3 fats, are crucial in regulating inflammation in the body. The more Omega-6s you eat, the more systemic inflammation you will have.
It contains trans fats
Trans fats are toxic to the body and associated with diseases. Such vegetable oil as soybean and canola contain large amounts of trans fats.
It can dramatically raise your risk of cardiovascular disease
There is evidence from both randomized controlled trials and observational studies that vegetable oil can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
It puts you at risk of coming down with other diseases
Its consumption has been linked to asthma, eczema, cancer, and depression.
Bottom line: If the oil ain’t pressed, it ain’t blessed. Consider it evil and stay away.
Top sources of healthy fats
You don’t need to rely on vegetable oil as a source of fat. These alternatives to vegetable oil deliver plenty of healthy fat to your diet.
Natural fatty fish like salmon, herring, trout, sardines, and albacore tuna are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These good fats help keep your heart healthy and brain sharp as you grow older.
Avocado contains healthy fats that help your body better absorb nutrients, and it may help with osteoarthritis symptoms.
Pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds contain good fats that can lower cholesterol. In general, fats that come from plants are healthier than those from animal products.
Nuts such a peanuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, and cashews are all good for your heart. Walnuts in particular deliver heart-healthy fats. A serving of nuts is one ounce.
• Olive oil
Olive oil can be used in cooking, baking, or as a condiment. It’s high in good fats that protect your heart and lubricate your skin. Use olive oil instead of vegetable oil.
Spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, and other veggies offer some omega-3s. Aim for 2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day, and add fish to your diet, too.
A great source of protein, and contain less than five grams of fat, most from healthy fats. Some eggs are even enriched with extra omega-3s.
• Ground flaxseed
Did you know that as a part of a healthy diet, good-for-you fats such as ground flaxseeds can help make your skin look great? Plus they add fiber and decrease inflammation.
Kidney, great northern, navy, and black beans contain omega-3s, which may help you keep your mood stable.
Don't let vegetable oil spoil your figure
Unfortunately, vegetable oil is found in virtually every processed food from salad dressing to mayonnaise. And it really is one of the most harmful substances you can put in your body. The best defense against it is to avoid it altogether, by substituting one of the many healthier alternatives.
- "Cooking with Vegetable Oils Releases Toxic Cancer-Causing Chemicals, Say Experts," The Telegraph, November 7, 2015.
- "Is Vegetable Oil Healthy?," Wellness Mama, February 25, 2017.
- "The Toxic Truth About Vegetable Oil: Cooking with 'Healthy' Fats Increases the Risk of Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes and Cancer," The Daily Mail, May 5, 2016.
- "When Vegetable Oil Isn't as Healthy as You Think," Time, April 12, 2016.