The Health Dangers of Vegetable Oils

Did You Know… cheap oils can have a high cost when it comes to your health?

Over the last decade, consumption of vegetable oil has risen dramatically.  While these oils may seem like a convenient and affordable pantry staple, studies reveal there may be a high price to pay later—starting with findings that show these oils contain high concentrations of chemicals and pesticides!

Can Vegetable Oil Cause Cancer? 

Vegetable oils are popular for their low price and versatility—they can be used in many different ways by fast food chains… restaurants… and at-home chefs.  These oils also appear on the ingredient lists of a wide variety of processed foods, such as…

  Salad dressings
  Spreadable cheeses
  Baked goods

In 2012, researchers in Poland found common pesticides and known human carcinogens in vegetable oils.  They discovered 74 distinct classifications of pesticides!  These were not so-called trace amounts, either.  The chemical levels measured exceeded the maximum permitted concentration established by the Stockholm Convention, which sets limits for the amount of pollutants allowed in food.

In addition to the pesticides, the Polish researchers also found dangerous synthetic chemicals, including 18 types of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are associated with hormonal defects and diseases… 15 types of  polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), known to cause skin, lung, and stomach cancers… and 14 types of polybrominated dibenyl ethers (PBDEs), flame-retardant chemicals linked to birth defects, neurobehavioral changes, and cancer.

Don’t Buy the “Cold-Pressed” Hype 

Some try to claim that “cold-pressed” oils are healthier than other forms of vegetable oils.  With cold-pressing, the liquid is isolated without the use of heat, and the chemical properties of the oils are not altered.  That may alleviate some of the dangers associated with vegetable oil consumption, but certainly not all—the oils used in the Polish tests were cold-pressed!

If you’re serious about protecting your health, the best thing to do is to avoid vegetable oils altogether.  A good first step is to stop cooking with vegetable oils, not only palm oil, but also…

  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Sesame oil

You should also beware of margarine and shortening, which can contain the same kinds of harmful compounds.

Now We’re Cooking (with an Alternative to Vegetable Oil)!

A good alternative to vegetable oils, say experts, is organic, virgin coconut oil.  Not only does coconut oil have none of the drawbacks of vegetable oils, but it may also have significant health benefits!  Studies indicate that consuming coconut oil may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and heart conditions.
Because coconut oil has remarkable heat stability, it is the best oil to cook with, however if you wish to add variety, extra-virgin olive oil and grass-fed butter or ghee are also healthful options.