No matter whether it’s canola, safflower or generic “vegetable oil,” industrial seed oils lack nutritional value. Just one tablespoon provides 120 calories with no proteins, carbohydrates or fiber plus 14 grams of saturated fat (all from saturated sources).
Seed oils have long been a part of processed food products like packaged snacks and french fries, contributing to health epidemics such as obesity, heart disease, chronic illness, environmental degradation and damage. Their production involves monocrop agriculture with government subsidies supporting it – two studies which claimed benefits of seed oils had actually withheld data that contradicted initial findings but have since “recovered” that data[*].
Seed oils contain polyunsaturated fats, specifically omega-6 fats that have anti-inflammatory effects. Your body converts excess linoleic acid from these oils into arachidonic acid which has been linked with inflammation, pain, depression and other disorders.
Processing seed oils with chemical additives such as TBHQ and BHT that have been linked with cancer in animals presents another challenge. According to an article in Consumer Reports published June 20, 2022, experts believe these seed oils are not toxic in isolation but instead depend on the quantity and concentration of chemicals over time.
Although seed oils to avoid (in addition to palm and coconut) should serve as a guideline, they shouldn’t be seen as the final word on finding healthy choices – even “healthy” restaurants use them and many packaged snacks, salad dressings, and “healthy” cooking sprays contain them.