--- originally posted at CoachMikeBlogs.com ---
Canola oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, and corn oil, are all classified as polyunsaturated fatty acids (or PUFA’s). Their use has skyrocketed in the last 50 years as an alternative to saturated fat; with soybean and canola oil increasing the most.
The problem with PUFAs is that they’re highly susceptible to oxidation - when exposed to heat, light, or oxygen. So, choosing to cook with these unstable oils is asking for oxidative damage (1, 2) and the accelerated aging and increased disease risk that comes with it.
Heart disease included!
I say that in bold with an exclamation mark, because polyunsaturated oils were introduced as a “heart healthy” alternative to saturated fat because of their supposed benefit of “lowering cholesterol.” When clearly they’re making things worse.
Not only because cholesterol was never associated with heart disease (and lowering it has always been detrimental), but because oxidized LDL cholesterol particles are one of the driving forces behind atherosclerosis. As they basically get deposited on the walls of our arteries, attract macrophages to the area (that convert to foam cells), and produce an arterial plaque.
The disturbing part being, that the part of the oxidized LDL cholesterol particle that transforms the macrophages into foam cells is the oxidized version of linolenic acid – or the PUFA found in seed oils!
And that’s before we get into inflammation!
With these omega-6 rich PUFAs sending us into a state of chronic inflammation - when over-consumed in relation to omega-3 fatty acids - and elevating our risk of heart disease, and a long list of other diseases, as a result.
Ultimately, creating an omega 6:3 ratio that’s far different than it was a decade ago.
- 8:1 from 1930-1935
- 10:1 from 1935-1985
- 12:1 in 1985 alone
- 25:1 in 2009!
And drastically different than what’s considered healthy (4:1), or what was enjoyed by our degenerative-disease-free hunter-gatherer ancestors (1:1!).
Simply put, our unjustified fear of saturated fat has pushed us towards an alternative that’s more detrimental. Whether we’re talking about the inflammation and oxidation that’s creating arterial plaque and driving heart disease, or the chronic inflammatory conditions and degenerative diseases affecting us now, that weren’t affecting us in the past.
Less Saturated Fat = More PUFAs = More Disease