Nutrition Nugget By Nancy Mehlert, MS
I wanted to remind you about a simple thing with profound effects: harmful oils in our food. In my opinion, it is one of our “big rocks” for reducing inflammation, preventing disease and improving health. Yet you may be surprised how easily they can sneak back into your pantry, cabinets and refrigerator. Strictly avoiding these has huge health benefits and can dramatically improve your lipid profile and reduce many factors for disease. Watch out especially for salad dressings, hummus, mayonnaise, chips and snacks, restaurant food and fast food. Even brands that seem otherwise cleaner or healthier can have these harmful oils. If you see the words expeller pressed in front of the oil, it is slightly less refined.
Here’s why: These oils are highly processed and damaged. Your body has no good use for them. They interfere, obstruct and cause damage. They are often stored as garbage in your fat cells. They are well documented to cause inflammation, oxidative stress, elevation of LDL cholesterol levels, harm to endothelial cells lining your blood vessels, damage to gut bacteria, DNA damage and have glyphosate residues in them which harm your gut lining and increase permeability. [i] You can see why we recommend total avoidance if at all possible.
Here are the oils to avoid:
- Soybean oil
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
- Canola oil
- Corn oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Hydrogenated oil
- Refined Palm oil
Healthy oils are unrefined or gently refined without harmful chemicals such as hexane. Better choices are olive oil, avocado oil, butter, ghee, beef tallow, duck fat, cocoa butter, macadamia nut oil, coconut oil, almond oil, unrefined palm oil and palm kernel oil. Check out salad dressings and oils made by Primal Kitchen, Spectrum Brands and Chosen Foods as good examples of better choices. Your body knows how to make good use of undamaged, natural oils. There have been controversies and issues in the olive oil industry over the last decade, so our current recommendations are to stick with high quality olive oil made in the United States, Australia or Chile. Cobram Estate and Bragg olive oil are other reputable resources. Mediterranean olive oils have been found to be contaminated and blended with many of the damaged oils listed above.
Audit your kitchen and take a simple step with profound effects for the entire family.