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A vegetable oil is any oil that has been extracted from a seed. Common examples are rapeseed, soybean, corn, sunflower, safflower, and peanut. Unlike traditional fats such as butter, tallow, lard, and olive oil, industrial vegetable oils are a new type of “food” that only came into existence in the early 1900s, after the invention of chemical extraction processes.
Vegetable oils are cheap to produce and are heavily promoted as being good for you but they are, in fact, extremely unhealthy, and have been linked to a series of health problems such as hormonal issues, reproductive problems, low birth rate, obesity, mental decline, liver problems, cancer, and heart disease.
what makes vegetable oils unhealthy
The manufacturing process: most vegetable oils are made from seeds that have been heavily treated with pesticides. These seeds are then heated to unnaturally high temperatures killing all the nutrients in them. A petroleum solvent is then used to extract the oils. After that chemicals are added to change their color and smell. This highly unnatural process results in a highly unnatural food.
Polyunsaturated fats: vegetable oils contain high levels of polyunsaturated fats that oxidize easily, causing inflammation and cell damage. Oxidation is linked to all sorts of issues from cancer, to heart disease, to endrometriosis, and more.
Omega 6 balance: vegetable oils contain a high concentration of Omega 6 fatty acids and a low concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids. These unbalanced levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats have been linked to many types of cancers and a host of other problems.
Additives: vegetable oils contain chemicals such as BHA and BHT to keep the oil from spoiling too quickly. These chemicals cause immune system issues, infertility, and liver and kidney damage.
Extra virgin olive oil is expensive to produce so many manufacturers diluted it with a cheap vegetable oil or with a low-grade olive oil that's been chemically refined. Studies have found that up to 80% of oils sold as extra virgin olive oil in supermarkets are fake.
Coconut oil has become popular as a superfood but as the demand for it grows, so do the problems. Many low-grade coconut oils are labeled with words such as “virgin”, “extra-virgin”, “natural”, or “pure”, but the contents are far from it. Virgin coconut oil is commonly diluted with cheaper oils such as vegetable oil, palm oil, or low-grade coconut oil.
If you are a vegetarian I suggest limiting your use of olive and coconut oil. Your health is precious, do you really want to be putting something in your mouth where the odds of it being harmful are almost 80%?
Of course you could test the oil to ensure that it’s genuine, but why bother when there are cheaper and safer alternatives. If you are not a vegetarian you could try butter, lard, or tallow.
Lard, simply put, is pig fat. It’s quite similar to butter in texture and is an excellent source for vitamin D. In terms of cooking it has a high smoke point, meaning that you can cook foods at high temperatures without damaging the fat.
Tallow is rendered from cattle. Like lard you can store it in your pantry in an air-tight container for months or longer, and it won’t degrade. Just a couple of generations ago, beef tallow was what people used to cook with.
Butter is not only delicious but has a long list of health benefits.