Seed Oils



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Industrial Seed Oils


Seed oils are almost impossible to avoid as they’re everywhere. They’re in many processed foods, grocery store shelves are lined with them, and restaurants often use them. 

Yet they’re extremely damaging to our health. In fact, even though we’d advocate for cutting sugar all day long, we think seed oils are even worse. 

Hopefully we’ve caught your attention, so let’s jump in!



Seed oils are vegetable oils obtained from the seed of a plant, rather than the fruit. Most vegetable oils are seed oils. Examples include sunflower, corn, cottonseed, soy, canola, grapeseed, sunflower, safflower, and rice bran. These oils are highly processed, and they are heated to extremely high temperatures. This causes the fatty acids to oxidize, which creates byproducts that are harmful to our health. 

These oils promote inflammation and the accumulation of toxins in body fat. Industrial seed oils are hidden in many common pantry products like cookies, crackers, chips, candy, vegetable puffs, granola bars, and even nut milks.

Industrial Seed Oils

How are seed oils made?

It’s vegetable oil, it must be healthy, right? The canola oil says “heart healthy.” That must be true, right? Think again.
Most seed oils today are highly refined and once they’re made, they don’t resemble the vegetables at all.

How Canola Oil is Made

The oil is extracted from canola plant seeds that have often been heavily sprayed with glyphosate (the active ingredient in RoundUP) through either a chemical solvent or oil mill.

They wash the oil for 20 minutes in sodium hydroxide (the same inorganic compound that is often found in commercial drain and oven cleaners) to clarify the oil.

The oil is still cloudy, so it goes through another process that helps to remove the wax (which they save to use for vegetable shortening). 

After washing and filtering the oil, it is bleached to lighten the color and processed even more with steam and a deodorizer to remove the odor. 

By the time the finished product is ready, it has been so processed and changed that it’s more similar to gasoline than a canola plant.

Industrial Seed Oils


When you read through that process, it isn’t a surprise that studies have indicated that regular consumption of seed oils have a higher mortality rate than those who use healthier cooking fats. Seed oils are linked to whole body inflammation, metabolic dysfunction, diabetes, fatigue, hormone disruption, autoimmune disease, heart disease, and cancer. However,  they are prevalent across the food industry, widely used in restaurants, and littered across grocery shelves by the thousand. 

Why aren’t more people talking about this? Why are there so many conflicting headlines?? How can corn oil be heart healthy and dangerous for your heart at the same time? Well we’re here to help sort through the clutter, misinformation, and help you understand why seed oils are dangerous for our families.

How are they harmful to our body?

Seed oils are high in linoleic acid, which is a polyunsaturated omega 6 fatty acid. Seed oils often have a high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio which means they are highly inflammatory, especially when consumed in excess. 

This is because these oils are unstable and oxidize very easily. Additionally, seed oils often contain harmful additives and are processed with hexane chemicals. Even in small amounts, these highly toxic substances enter our body when we consume seed oils Possibly, even more hazardous to our health is the recycling of these industrial seed oils multiple times seen in many restaurants or when cooking at home. As these oils are reused, more harmful metabolites (through even more oxidation) are created disrupting many of our bodily reactions. Please don’t reuse your cooking oils as the small amount of money that you may save will never equal the potential harm you are doing to your body. And lastly, unless these oils are organic, the seeds they are made with are very likely sprayed with glyphosate (the active ingredient in Round-Up) which has been linked to cancer, to say the least.

What type of oils do restaurants use?

Because canola oil is so cheap, it is a popular choice for restaurants, especially ones that require large volumes of oil and frequent oil changes. (Think french fries!  But also think about anything else that has been cooked….)  Side note, Malcolm Gladwell has a very interesting story about why McDonald’s shifted from beef tallow to canola oil. And yup, it had to do with the misplaced fears that arose in the 70s about how fats lead to heart disease. 

That is why it is super important to ask a restaurant what cooking oils they use. Even some of my favorite farm-to-table, local, organic restaurants use seed oils when they cook. It really negates any of the health benefits you are getting from the nutritious food, so why bother at that point? Unlike what’s portrayed in this Portlandia skit, It doesn’t make you picky or difficult if you ask these questions.  🙂  It’s important to look out for your family’s health. 

Another thing to look out for is the “olive oil” that sits on the table in a restaurant. There is a really great chance that it is mixed with other oils. (Not to mention, it is usually oxidized and rancid.) If it looks off, ask.

What about margarine and butter substitutes?

Read the labels and keep in mind that in general, the fewer ingredients the better. Margarine and butter substitutes are usually just another form of seed oil and should also be avoided, not to mention the high trans fat content. Have you ever read the ingredients in margarine? Often, the first ingredient is seed oil, which hopefully by now you are going to avoid. It also likely contains soy, artificial flavors, and chemical additives (that are dangerous in high amounts) which they add for flavor and to maintain freshness.

Industrial Seed Oils
Industrial Seed Oils

What oils should you use instead?

The best alternatives are avocado oil, olive oil, and coconut oil. These oils have tremendous health benefits. In fact, last month was dedicated entirely to the benefits of consuming these healthy fats. 

Be careful of the avocado oil you buy in the store. In fact, most of the avocado sold in the US isn’t 100% pure avocado oil. In one study, 87% of the avocado oil tested was either mixed with some sort of seed oil OR was 100% a seed oil with no avocado oil in it.

The lesson here is to double-check everything. Ask questions. And find brands you can trust. Real olive oil should be stored in a dark container and have a very distinct smell and taste. The best olive oils burn the back of your throat a bit. Same goes for avocado oil. Look for a greener color. It should also have an “avocado” like taste.  Quality matters. This isn’t one to skimp on.

What other options are there?

Other wonderful options for cooking are animal fats such asgrass-fed butter, grass-fed ghee, lard, and tallow. These generally have a medium to high smoke point and are rich in healthy saturated fats and nutrients. 

Additionally, oils that should not be used to cook with but are good for our health include MCT oil, cod liver oil, black seed oil, and fish or krill oil. Add them to smoothies, coffee, or just take a shot of them.

Industrial Seed Oils

So I should still be eating oils?
I just need to choose the right ones?

Yes, yes, and a bigger yes! Healthy oils are incredibly healthy and amazing for the body, brain, heart, and skin. Make a habit of finding daily ways to include as many of the healthy oils above into your diet, choose the right healthy fats and oils for the specific cooking applications, and avoid seed oils at all costs!

Industrial Seed Oils

#Byebyeseedoil challenges:

Use #SuperHeroYOU2022 AND tag @mysuperherofoods on instagram posts and stories

Learn how seed oils are hidden in many foods

Share a commonly eaten food product that contains seed oils

Understand how easy it is to find healthy substitutes to seed oils

Share a favorite food product that replaces seed oils with healthier substitutes

Understand healthy cooking oils and fats

Show us a healthy cooking oil application from your family’s meal

Educate your family and friends about the dangers of seed oils

Share one of our #ByeByeSeedOils posts on your stories or feed

Articles Related to #ByeByeSeedOils

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