Seed oils are a huge source of controversy in the food and nutrition world. Cheap and easily accessible, they no doubt provide a means to more affordable food. There are a handful of studies that support mainstream claims that these oils are okay to include in a balanced diet. However, there are piles of evidence demonstrating the negative health effects of these oils, and that should give us all pause when making smart consumer choices.
Seed oils (also referred to as vegetable oils or industrial oils) are unsaturated oils made from crops such as soybean, corn, sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, cottonseed, rapeseed/canola, grapeseed, and rice bran.
Unlike coconuts or olives, these crops do not easily give up their oils. After the seeds are gathered, they require extensive processing before the desired result is achieved:
There is a lot of contradictory information when it comes to nutrition and the food group most subject to this kind of confusion is fats and oils!
We’re here to clear it up.
Macronutrients -fats, proteins, carbohydrates- are the main building blocks to the foods we eat. All three are essential to good health and energy and are required in relatively large amounts. Each gram of a micronutrient contains a specific number of calories (energy):
In some circles (we're looking at you, Keto), fats and oils are considered the holy grail of nutrition, encouraging up to 80% of daily calories from fat. Others preach that all fats and oils are health eroding, obesity inducing devils that should be limited as much as possible. The truth is a lot more nuanced than that!