As you may already know, those of us with gut issues like celiac disease or gluten sensitivity already have compromised health and therefore need to be a bit more savvy about what else could throw a wrench in things.
That’s where vegetable oils come into the picture and my friend Kevin Geary (founder of The Rebooted Body and host of The Rebooted Body Podcast where he teaches people how to reprogram their body and mind for sustainable fat loss, vibrant health, and peak performance) decided to step in and share his two cents.
The following content and information is written by Kevin and I believe will help you become healthier! Without further adieu…
Are Vegetable Oils Bad for You? Five Points Why They Might be Worse Than Gluten
By: Kevin Geary of The Rebooted Body
There are many reasons you may have transitioned to a gluten-free life. Perhaps you’re Celiac and you have to avoid gluten because horrible things happen when you get glutened. Or, maybe you have a gluten intolerance and are plagued by health annoyances when gluten sneaks in. It’s also possible that you understand gluten’s role in less optimal health and avoid it willingly — that’s the boat I’m in.
In all three cases, health is a motivating factor to some degree. Gluten has a negative impact on your health and therefore you avoid it. There are other foods that can have a similar — or worse — impact on your health. Unfortunately, if things aren’t completely obvious to us, we tend to not give them much attention. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, right?
The good thing about identifying issues with gluten is that it’s a gateway reaction. In many people, this is an “a-ha” moment that makes the relationship between food and how our bodies function crystal clear. When you go gluten-free and see all of these amazing improvements you start to realize just how important focusing on food is for how you feel and how you live.
The question you need to ask now is, “What else is hurting me?”
Americans get 20% of their total calories from Soybean Oil, an industrial vegetable oil. There are many other vegetable and seed oils like Corn or Canola that are just as bad as Soybean Oil and these oils are found in nearly everything. Many of these oils come from genetically-modified (GMO) crops as well which is another problem. They are difficult to avoid because if they’re not an ingredient in a food, they’re used to cook foods.
In the grand scheme of things, vegetable oils are just as bad as gluten. I know the symptoms aren’t as obvious, but I want to give you five good reasons to ditch vegetable oils with the same tenacity that you removed gluten from your life.
1. Lopsided Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratios
We all know how important it is to reduce inflammation. One way is to consume fats that are considered high in omega-3s (O3) rather than high doses of omega-6s (O6) because O3s have the unique ability to calm the flames of systemic inflammation. But that’s not the whole story. What matters most is our ratio of O3 fats to O6 fats. The optimal ratio is 1 to 1. Many Americans — due to the overconsumption of O6 fats — are hovering around the 30:1 mark.
Vegetable and seed oils are mostly comprised of O6 fats. Even Canola Oil, which is touted as “heart healthy” and “packed with O3 fats” is a poor choice because the O3 fats in Canola Oil are typically rancid by the time you consume them.
O6 and O3 fats are polyunsaturated fats. These fats aren’t very stable, so the process of producing them is important. Canola Oil undergoes a lot of heating during processing, which oxidizes these fats and makes them harmful. The same thing happens when you cook at certain temperatures with Olive Oil — it’s no longer healthy once the fats are heated.
The other problem is that polyunsaturated fats are susceptible to air, light, and moisture. They oxidize easily which promotes free radicals in the body and increases systemic inflammation causing a chain reaction of negative consequences to your health. This inflammation is just like the inflammation gluten was promoting in your body.
Remember, these oils are in nearly everything. Your O6 to O3 ratio should be as close to 1 to 1 as possible, but with the ingestion of these vegetable oils you’re driving that ratio through the roof. A lopsided ratio is a key indicator of poor health.
If you’re interested in finding out what your ratio is, WellnessFX has a new Omega panel that you can request through Quest Diagnostics.
2. Gut Disruption
One of the first things you learn about gluten is it’s ability to disrupt gut flora and function. A lot of the improvements you see in your body when you go gluten-free are due to the healing of systemic inflammation as your body is no longer spending every waking minute attacking ingested gluten or your own tissue depending on your condition.
Unfortunately, if you’re consuming vegetable oils, you’re not able to heal completely. If you’re following strategies to heal your gut, but you’re still consuming vegetable oils, you’re taking one step forward and two steps back.
It’s also important to note that with this gut disruption and systemic inflammation comes…
3. Immune Suppression
If you’re tired of getting sick — which is a huge annoyance, right? — then you have to do things that strengthen your immune system. Since your gut houses 80% of your immune system, keeping your gut functioning properly and your healthy gut flora happy goes a long way toward sick-proofing yourself.
Vegetable oils — and the inflammation they promote — disrupt gut flora and function, effectively suppressing your immune system. If you want to get sick less often, ditching the vegetable oils is a big step in the right direction.
4. Cholesterol Craziness
When did heart disease start getting out of control? Precisely when society switched from stable, saturated fats to vegetable and seed oils. This switch came via the saturated fat and cholesterol scare prompted by Ancel Keys and the bogus lipid hypothesis, which purported to link saturated fat and high cholesterol with heart disease.
That myth has been thoroughly debunked, yet we’re still suffering the consequences of the scare. In fact, it’s still being pushed today by Big Agriculture — the people who produce these oils — and government institutions who are funded by Big Agriculture.
The craziness is that vegetable oils are promoted as improving cholesterol. What vegetable oils do in many cases is reduce total cholesterol numbers. What nobody told you is that total cholesterol numbers are meaningless. 75% of heart attack patients have a lipid panel that does not indicate high risk for heart attack. Relying on total cholesterol numbers (which is the standard panel) is worse than flipping a coin.
So, what does matter? The size and type of cholesterol is what matters. And while vegetable oils may lower total cholesterol, they skew the size and type of the particles in the wrong direction. If you want more information on understanding cholesterol in clear terms, check out my podcast interview with Jimmy Moore about his new book, Cholesterol Clarity.
The need to know information is this: if your goal is a healthy heart, vegetable oils are literally killing you.
5. Weight Gain and Obesity
Going gluten-free often can lead to weight loss (if you do it the right way) because the healing of inflammation and gut function restores your body’s ability to let go of excess fat. You also tend to not overeat because you’re not promoting hormone derangement with cereal grains (unless you still consume a lot of sugar).
My question for you is, “Do you still have weight to lose?”
If the answer is yes, you’re definitely going to want to ditch the vegetable oils. When scientists put rats on a diet high in omega-6 fats (high meaning the current recommendation for humans) they not only gained weight, but their appetites increased considerably more than the rats who were put on a low omega-6 diet (not low-fat, just low omega-6).
The story gets even better. When the diets were supplemented with omega-3 fats, the metabolic function improved, alluding to the importance of the ratio we talked about earlier. Another study — also with rats — showed that rats fed a diet high in omega-6 gained weight rapidly versus a diet low in omega-6 regardless of much they ate.
This is another reason why calories don’t matter, and quality does. This isn’t just about inflammation and long term health, it’s about metabolic derangement now.
Putting it all together
To be clear, omega-6 is not bad. The body needs omega-6 fats. Our bodies also need balance. That balance used to be achieved quite easily, but the advent of modern agriculture and government subsidies for crop production has created a market skewed toward foods that promote poor health: CAFO beef, industrial vegetable and seed oils, wheat, corn, soy, and so on.
Going gluten-free is a great step, but it shouldn’t be the only step. Food can either be medicine or poison and you understand that based on the improvements you’ve seen from removing gluten. Vegetable oils are a pervasive poison in modern society and replacing them with healthy fats will go a long way to protecting your health and helping you reach both short term and long term goals.
Kevin Geary is the founder of The Rebooted Body and host of The Rebooted Body Podcast where he teaches people how to reprogram their body and mind for sustainable fat loss, vibrant health, and peak performance.
Want to know exactly what fats you should be eating instead? Kevin has has a free Comprehensive Real Food Guide that you can download, which not only covers the healthy fats but all of the real foods you should eat.