- Vegetable oils run the risk of cancer
Because vegetable oils contain highly reactive fatty acids that sit in cell membranes, they contribute to oxidative damage. When fatty acids in membranes get oxidized, they can cause chain reactions. If you think of the cell membrane as a cloud, these oxidative chain reactions are like little streaks of lightning passing through.
Oxidative chain reactions can harm important molecules in the cell. Not just fatty acids in the cell membrane, but also other structures like proteins and DNA. They can also form various carcinogenic compounds within the cells.
By damaging DNA, these oils can contribute to increased cancer risk over time. In one 8-year controlled trial, the group that replaced saturated fats with vegetable oils (that is with polyunsaturated fats) was almost twice as likely to die from cancer.
To recap, several lines of evidence suggest that vegetable oil consumption can pose a risk of cancer, which makes perfect sense given the fact that they make the cells more susceptible to oxidative damage.
Vegetable oil consumption has been linked with violent conduct
One certain place where polyunsaturated fats gather is the brain. In fact, the brain is about 80% fat, and a large portion of it is Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which is about 15-30% of the brain’s dry weight.
To recap, polyunsaturated fats are concentrated in the brain, and many believe that our high vegetable oil consumption is leading to mental health problems, including violent behavior.
Vegetable oils are highly refined
Whole, unprocessed foods tend to be more nutritious and healthier than their processed counterparts. But most vegetable oils are highly-refined processed foods. The most common way to extract them from their seeds is via rough chemical processes that involve bleaching, deodorizing and adding the toxic solvent hexane. Since vitamins and phytonutrients are removed from these oils, they can most definitely be classified as “empty calories”.
To recap, most vegetable oils are highly processed and refined products, completely lacking in essential nutrients.
Commonly sold vegetable oils are loaded with trans-fats
Trans-fats are actually unsaturated fats that have been chemically modified to remain stable at room temperature. They are usually found in highly processed foods to extend their shelf lives. They are so toxic that the governments around the world have set laws in order to remove them from foods.
And what most people don’t know is that certain vegetable oils contain significant amounts of trans-fats. In one study of common soybean and canola oils in the US supermarkets the trans-fat content in them was measured at 0.56% to 4.2% of total fatty acids. These are scary huge amounts! Surprisingly, the trans-fat content is rarely listed on the labels these days.
To recap, organic coconut oil and butter (obtained from grass-fed cows only) are exceptionally healthy in the context of a balanced diet!
Vegetable oils are a real disaster for cooking
One problem with the fatty acids in vegetable oils is that they tend to react with oxygen. This doesn’t just happen inside the body, it also happens when these oils are heated. That is why using vegetable oils for cooking and frying is a terrible idea. Compared with heat-stable fats (such as saturated and monounsaturated fats) cooking with vegetable oils rich in trans-fats produces large amounts of disease-promoting compounds.
Some of these harmful compounds vaporize and may contribute to lung cancer when inhaled. Just being present in a kitchen where vegetable oils are being used carries an element of risk.
To recap, vegetable oils are high in polyunsaturated fats, which easily damage during the cooking process forming harmful-to-breathe compounds.