Just this week a new client was telling me how she used Earth Balance spread for her health. She bought it at the health food store and it says “natural oil blend”. She was disappointed when I told her to throw it out. And here’s why . . .
Vegetable Oil – It’s All About the Processing
First, most of the bottles of vegetable oil and vegetable oil spreads you find in the stores are loaded with omega-6 fats. In the Standard American Diet we get a lot of omega-6 fats, primarily from soy, corn, cottonseed, and canola oil. The ratio of omega-6 fats to omega-3 fats is out of balance.
Omega-6 fats, technically, are a category of polyunsaturated oils found in seeds and grains. Eating whole, nutrient-dense seeds and grains isn’t a bad thing for most people but processing the oils from them is a different story. If you’ve ever eaten an ear of corn or edamame, you’ve probably noticed that there isn’t a lot of oil (versus, say, an olive). In order to extract the vegetable oil the base item needs to be crushed, exposed to high heat, placed under extreme pressure, washed with a chemical solvent, and boiled.
This certainly isn’t a whole, natural product any more.
To form a liquid into a spread nickel oxide is added to change the chemical structure. Then fillers and thickeners are added, the vegetable oil is high heat steam-cleaned to remove any odors (a sure sign of rancidity), bleached, and flavors and colorings are added. All to get vegetable oil in a tub.
Vegetable Oils Make You Fat
Yes, we need a small amount of omega-6 fats for our health but with the Standard American Diet we get these in excess. And, in excess these vegetable oils contribute to overproduction of neuromodulatory lipids called endocannabinoids that are responsible for signaling hunger to the brain.
You read that correctly – they make you want to keep eating! Lay’s wasn’t kidding when they told American it was difficult to eat just one – they are made with corn and/or sunflower oil.
Vegetable Oils Vs. Traditional Fats
For optimal health switch from vegetable oils to whole, natural, traditional fats such as butter, first-cold pressed olive oil, cold-pressed coconut oil, and tallow. These will satiate you and keep your blood sugar steady. You will stay full, feel comfortable, and eat less. It’s a simple switch to make you look better and feel better.
Enig, Mary. (2008). Know Your Fats. Silver Spring, MD: Bethesda Press.
Enig, Mary & Fallon, Sally. (2005). Eat Fat, Lose Fat. New York, NY: Penguin Publishing Group
Fallon, Sally & Mary Enig. (2001). Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. Washington, DC: NewTrends Publishing, Inc.
Frito Lay. (2013). http://www.fritolay.com/our-snacks/lays-classic-potato-chips.html
Lassek, William MD. (2012). Why Women Need Fat. New York, NY: Penguin Publishing Group.