Processed seed oils lead to many severe diseases, including cancer
(NaturalHealth365) If you choose to include foods containing processed seed oils in your diet, it’s important to consider the risk you could be inadvertently taking with your long-term health. A growing body of research points to a possible link between chronic disease and the consumption of seed oils, particularly when these oils are consumed in large amounts – something that is unfortunately all too common with the standard American diet.
The flip side: it’s possible to manage or prevent cancer and other chronic diseases, and improve your overall health and quality of life, simply by minimizing your consumption of these controversial oils … as long as you know where they lurk in the modern diet!
Medical doctor sounds alarm on link between processed seed oils and cancer, chronic disease
In a recent presentation at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Dr. Chris Knobbe lays out his argument against the excessive consumption of highly processed seed and vegetable oils. These oils – including soy, canola, sunflower, corn, peanut, grapeseed, and safflower oils – are increasingly present in the standard American diet.
Dr. Knobbe is an ophthalmologist and co-founder of the nonprofit organization Cure AMD Foundation, established “with the goal of eliminating [age-related] macular degeneration by 2040 through ancestral dietary strategy, advocacy, and scientific research.” As noted by Children’s Health Defense, Dr. Knobbe is also a former associate clinical professor emeritus of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
In his speech, Dr. Knobbe says that this proliferation of seed oils in Western diets is nothing short of “a global human experiment” in which the unassuming public is engaging “without informed consent.” He cites several points of concern.
For one thing, high consumption of omega-6 fatty acids – which are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid or PUFA – can throw off the balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids within the human body, which is thought to increase inflammation. One 2018 scientific review published in the journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes & Essential Fatty Acids even cites evidence suggesting that a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids “inhibits the anti-inflammatory and inflammation-resolving effect of the omega-3 fatty acids.”
In other words, eating too many omega-6 fatty acids (of which seed oils are a huge source) may actually negate the beneficial, anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids (which are prevalent in things like fatty fish, walnuts, and chia seeds).
Dr. Knobbe adds that the fats contained in seed oils tend to oxidize very easily, which can promote the spread of DNA-damaging molecules in the body called free radicals. Let’s also consider that foods containing seed oils tend to be highly processed, calorically dense, nutrient-poor, very palatable, and easy to overeat, which can further contribute to issues like obesity and weight gain.
Ultimately, Dr. Knobbe argues that the high levels of dietary PUFAs due to rampant seed oils are a major driver of chronic diseases, including high blood pressure, obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and age-related macular degeneration (a leading type of vision loss).
Common sources of seed oils in the American diet (some may surprise you)
To be sure, these seed oils really are highly prevalent in the Western diet.
According to data cited by Dr. Knobbe, people these days are consuming, on average, about 80 grams of vegetable oil per day – roughly one-third of their daily recommended caloric intake! That’s up from just 2 grams of vegetable oil per day back in the early 1900s.
Given that excess consumption of PUFA-rich seed oils may contribute to inflammation and chronic disease, what foods should we eliminate or avoid to reduce our seed oil consumption? The most obvious choices are fried foods, chips, candy, and baked goods. But there are some other sources of seed oils that might surprise you, including:
- Oat milk
- Non-dairy creamers
- Conventional baby formulas
- Dairy-free cheeses
- Microwave popcorn
- Ice cream
Astute readers will observe that mainstream health organizations often claim to “debunk” the link between seed oils and chronic disease. And it is clear that the evidence is not 100% conclusive on the true impact of seed oils on human health.
What we can recommend is simply to read the nutrition labels of your food, cut back on the amount of processed food in your diet, and observe how you feel and how your objective health data changes over time.
Sources for this article include: