Why Some Vegetable Oils are Not Healthy?
Knowing about what you eat is always important because:
Enjoi always likes to gather people thoughts about oils, and how they make choices, so that we can educate the public to make a reasonable, healthy and affordable choice.
Enjoi believes the introductory review of the post below could give some insights of what people often get confused:
The oil related section of the original post: The 3 Reasons You Should Never Use Vegetable Oil of Here's EXACTLY what whole wheat bread, sugar, and vegetable oil does to the cells of your body (STOP eating these) by Mike Geary, Aka. "The Nutrition Watchdog"
The original post can be accessed here.
A quick summary:
Reason 1: Vegetable oils contain trans fats even if non-hydrogenated
All vegetable oils are refined. The heat, pressure and solvent in the refining process induce formation of trans fat known as "MegaTrans".
This happens even in non-hydrogenated oils including "expeller pressed" vegetable oils and canola oil.
The canola oil in commercial market contains high trans fat, not as low as the Canadian government and food giants stated.
Reason 2: Vegetable oils contain oxidized "mutated fats" that are worse than trans fats and cause heart attack
MegaTrans are similar in chemistry to trans fats. They are formed from polyunsaturated fatty acids reacting with free radicals (unstable & reactive small chains & long chains of fats and other compounds) that come alive in the refining process (at high & low temperatures).
MegaTrans fats are seriously dangerous as they attack the body cell membranes, mutate chromosomes (cell genes) causing all kinds of chronic diseases and least of all create inflammation in body.
Free radicals cause the arteries to fail - dysfunction e.g. the arteries can constrict from a normal 7% to 1%. These actions can cause a heart attack. Dr. Shanahan discovered the possible relation between heart attack and consuming foods made with vegetable oils.
Reason 3: Vegetable oils cause imbalance in Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio.
There is high content of inflammatory Omega-6 compared to little anti-inflammatory Omega-3 in vegetable oils.
Ratio of Omega-6 : Omega-3 is 20:1 to 30:1 in vegetables, while Healthiest ratio suggested by scientific literature appeared to be 2:1 to 1:1.
the imbalance ratio may be another reason lead to heat disease, cancer, obesity and other degenerative diseases.
Use healthy oil like coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil and grass-fed butter, which is healthier and not cause the mentioned problems.
Image adapted from http://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/
1. Poorly Produced Vegetable Oils Containing High Trans Fats
We appreciated Mike stating that the soybean, sunflower, palm, palm-olein, and all their mixes are bad, especially those combining with re-refined oils.
The low monounsaturated fatty acids content i.e. low Oleic acid. And the high polyunsaturated fatty acids content, e.g. omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids make them vulnerable to oxidation, hydrolysis and polymerization. By these reactions, trans fats are produced and oil start to rot and curd.
Many food service stakeholders hide the truth away and cheats. They still marketing oils that creating toxic fumes. Those fumes which containing large amount of trans fats will be breathed in by kitchen staffs and housewives.
The US had already banned Trans fat in 2015 after scientific studies showing the relation between trans fats heart diseases and obesity.
Image adapted from leafly.com
2. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Can Be Beneficial and Harmful
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, meaning that we could not make it ourself but acquired by eating food containing them.
Omega-3 fatty acid has anti-inflammatory effects but it is more vulnerable to oxidation compared to omega-6. it breaks down into smaller chemicals during the refining and cooking process much earlier than omega-6. Since there is far less Omega-3 in most vegetable oils and it gets very quickly destroyed at high temperatures (>150°C), it is fair to say that omega-6 fatty acid is the second weakest chain. As the omega-6 also get attacked by the high temperatures and breaks down, more trans fats (MegaTrans) are formed.
There are scientific field evidence shown that better (lower like 2:1 or 1:1) balance of Omega-6 & Omega-3 in moderate amount provide more health benefits & greater stability to oils.
So the conclusion here is to choose extra virgin oils if you can,or refined oil with moderate amount of Omega fats in good ratio, which is carefully produced to minimize the trans fats produced.
3. Distinguish the Good from the Bad
Not all oils are created equal, besides polyunsaturated fatty acids content and trans fats content, origin of oil could be a reference. For example, coconut oil used is Asia is not performing good under heat, Caribbean variety is better.
When talking about stability of oil and resistance to oxidation, we should also consider:
- Induction time (represented by Oil Stability Index (OSI), which replaced the outdated Active Oxygen Method (AOM)) The longer the induction time, the more the time the oil stay healthy before oxidation occurs.
- Smoking points Higher smoking point means oil will not burn and breakdown easily at high temperature
- Total Polar Compounds (TPC)
More total polar compounds indicate oil start to breakdown and should not be used.
we can use Vito Digital Oil Tester to measure TPC%.
These are indicative figures help to distinguish good quality oil from the bad ones, e.g. GM Canola are weaker than Non-GM type at high temperature, having lower OSI
4. Balance of the Cost and the Quality
Nevertheless, cost of oil becomes important when discussing how to make food in a commercial environment.
We all understand that Extra Virgin Oils are good for us, but if people cannot afford, they will have no choice but to use cheap unhealthy oils. That is why Enjoi selling not only Extra Virgin Olive Oil but also High Oleic Sunflower Oil and Canola Oil. These Enjoi oils are produced in strict procedures to minimize the trans fats. Good transportation and storage control preserve excellent quality of oil. By provide more affordable choices for public, Enjoi encourage public stop using poor quality vegetable oils or animal fats.
Together with the Enjoi HACCP frying oil solution, we can improve your health and food while save cost by 30%.
Enjoi at the same time provide education and opinion to clients, food safety associations, laboratories, and government try to improve standards in edible oils, speeds up the progress to ensure everyone are eating healthy oils.