Why You Should NEVER Eat Vegetable Oil or Margarine!

Why you should never eat vegetable oil or margarine Why You Should NEVER Eat Vegetable Oil or Margarine!

Aside from whole grains, vegetable oils and margarine are some of the most misunderstood and over-recommended foods in the health community. You’ve probably heard these referred to as “heart healthy oils,” a good alternative to those “artery clogging saturated fats.”

These oils are supposed to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, increase weight loss, and somehow improve overall health.

Only one problem…. again, science doesn’t back these claims up!

What Are Vegetable Oils/Margarine?

Vegetable oils (and margarine, made from these oils) are oils extracted from seeds like the rapeseed (canola oil) soybean (soybean oil), corn, sunflower, safflower, etc. They were practically non-existent in our diets until the early 1900s when new chemical processes allowed them to be extracted.

Unlike butter or coconut oil, these vegetable oils can’t be extracted just by pressing or separating naturally. They must be chemically removed, deodorized, and altered. These are some of the most chemically altered foods in our diets, yet they get promoted as healthy.

Vegetable oils are found in practically every processed food, from salad dressing to mayo to conventional nuts and seeds. These oils are some of the most harmful substances you can put into your body, but more on that in a minute!

How Vegetable Oils are Made

Vegetable oils are manufactured in a factory, usually from genetically modified crops that have been heavily treated with pesticides. This article has fascinating videos contrasting the production of vegetable oils and butter.

Take for instance, the common Canola oil, the beauty queen of the vegetable oil industry. It was developed by making a hybrid version of the rapeseed, and it was given its name in the 1980s as part of a marketing effort organized by a conference on mono-saturates.

Rapeseed oil contains high amounts of the toxic erucic acid, which is poisonous to the body. Canola oil is an altered version, also called Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed (LEAR) and it is commonly genetically modified and treated with high levels of pesticides.

Canola (modified rapeseed oil) is produced by heating the rapeseed and processing with a petroleum solvent to extract the oil. Then another process of heat and addition of acid is used to remove nasty solids (wax) that occur during the first processing.

At this point, the newly created canola oil must be treated with more chemicals to improve color and separate the different parts of the oil. Finally, since the chemical process has created a harsh smelling oil, it must be chemically deodorized to be palatable.

If the vegetable oil is going to be made into shortening or margarine, is undergoes an additional process called hydrogenation to make it solid at cold temperatures. Unlike saturated fats (butter, coconut oil, etc.) vegetable oils are not naturally solid at these temperatures and must be hydrogenated to accomplish this. During this process of hydrogenation, those lovely trans fats we’ve heard so much about are created.

This chart from this informative article on the history and production of canola oil shows the process in more detail:

kyf conola oilchart Why You Should NEVER Eat Vegetable Oil or Margarine!

Nothing like petroleum produced, overheated, oxidized, and chemically deodorized salad dressing for dinner…. yum.

(Compare that to butter… Step 1: milk cow. Step 2: let cream separate naturally. Step 3: skim off cream. Step 4: shake until it becomes butter.)

History of Vegetable Oil Production and Consumption

As I mentioned, vegetable oil was practically non-existent in its current form in the early 1900s. Until that time, most people got their fats from animal sources like meat, tallow, lard, butter, cream, etc.

The overall amount of fat consumed has not changed much since then (it has decreased slightly) but the type has changed dramatically. In 1900 the amount of vegetable based oils that people consumed was basically none. Today, people consume, on average, about 70 lbs of vegetable oils throughout the year. (Hmm, I wonder what 70 pounds of a “food” that was previously non-existent in human consumption might do to our health?)

Add to this the fact that the animals we eat are also often fed genetically modified pesticide treated seeds and grains (cows are supposed to eat grass by the way!) and the amount of omega-6 rich oils and seeds in our diets is really high!

Though vegetable oil existed in the early 1900s, its use increase that much until the 1950s, when a governmental campaign was launched to convince people to eat vegetable oils and margarine and avoid “artery clogging saturated fats.”

Check out the rise of Canola Oil since then (and the decline of butter):

Canola+oil+consumption Why You Should NEVER Eat Vegetable Oil or Margarine!

And the rise in soybean oil production and consumption:

Soy+oil+consumption Why You Should NEVER Eat Vegetable Oil or Margarine!

And corn oil:

u s corn oil consumption Why You Should NEVER Eat Vegetable Oil or Margarine!

As an interesting correlation, check out the rates of heart disease and cancer since then. As this article notes:

All one has to do is look at the statistics to know that it isn’t true. Butter consumption at the turn of the century was eighteen pounds per person per year, and the use of vegetable oils almost nonexistent. Yet cancer and heart disease were rare. Today butter consumption hovers just above four pounds per person per year while vegetable oil consumption has soared–and cancer and heart disease are endemic.

Since the 1950′s these vegetable oils and their derivatives have been increasingly used in processed foods and for frying or cooking. They are marketed as healthy because they contain monounsaturated fats and some level of Omega 3 fatty acids.

What’s Wrong with Vegetable Oils?

There are many problems with vegetable oil consumption, and in my opinion, no amount is safe. To understand why, let’s look at a few of the biggest problems with vegetable oils:

Our Bodies Aren’t Meant to Consume Them!

The fat content of the human body is about 97% saturated and monounsaturated fat, with only 3 % Polyunsaturated fats. Half of that three percent is Omega-3 fats, and that balance needs to be there. Vegetable oils contain very high levels of polyunsaturated fats, and these oils have replaced many of the saturated fats in our diets since the 1950s.

The body needs fats for rebuilding cells and hormone production, but it has to use the building blocks we give it. When we give it a high concentration of polyunsaturated fats instead of the ratios it needs, it has no choice but to incorporate these fats into our cells during cell repair and creation.

The problem is that polyunsaturated fats are highly unstable and oxidize easily in the body (if they haven’t already oxidized during processing or by light exposure while sitting on the grocery store shelf). These oxidized fats cause inflammation and mutation in cells.

In arterial cells, these mutations cause inflammation that can clog arteries. When these fats are incorporated into skin cells, their mutation causes skin cancer. (This is why people often get the most dangerous forms of skin cancer in places where they are never exposed to the sun, but that is a topic for another day!)

When these oils are incorporated into cells in reproductive tissue, some evidence suggests that this can spur problems like endometriosis and PCOS. In short, the body is made up of saturated and monounsaturated fats, and it needs these for optimal health.

Vegetable Oils Contain High Levels of Omega-6 Fatty Acids

I’ve talked before about how the body needs Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats in balance, preferably a 1:1 ratio. Most people consume a much higher ratio of Omega-6 fats, and this can lead to problems.

Vegetable oils contain a very high concentration of Omega 6 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats, which cause an imbalance of these oils in the body. Omega 6 fats are easily oxidized with heat or light exposure. This is another reason that when these types of fats/oils are incorporated into tissue like skin cells, the heat and light from sun exposure can increase skin cancer risk.

Unbalanced levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats have been linked to skin cancer and many types of cancers. As a recent article from the Institute of Natural healing explains:

In one study performed at the University of Western Ontario, researchers observed the effects of ten different dietary fats ranging from most saturated to least saturated. What they found is that saturated fats produced the least number of cancers, while omega-6 polyunsaturated fats produced the most. Numerous other studies have also shown that polyunsaturated fats stimulate cancer while saturated fat does not1 and that saturated fats do not break down to form free radicals.2

In another study, Dr. Vivienne Reeve, PhD, Head of the Photobiology Research Group at the University of Sydney irradiated a group of mice while feeding while feeding different groups of them polyunsaturated and saturated fats. She discovered that the mice that consumed only saturated fat were totally protected from skin cancer. Those in the polyunsaturated fat group quickly developed skin cancers. Later in the study, the mice in the saturated fat group were given polyunsaturated fats. Skin cancers quickly developed.

The 3% of our body that is made up of polyunsaturated fats is approximately half Omega-3 fatty acids and half Omega-6 fatty acids and our body needs this balance. Omega-3s have been shown to reduce inflammation and be protective against cancer, while too much Omega-6 fats cause inflammation and increase cancer risk.

Over time, consumption of these oils high in Omega-6s and polyunsaturated fats can also lead to other problems, as the above article elaborates:

The journal Epidemiology published a study called, “Margarine Intake and Subsequent Coronary Heart Disease in Men.” Authors of the study followed participants of the Framingham Heart Study for 20 years and recorded their incidence of heart attack. They also tracked both butter and margarine consumption.

The researchers discovered that as margarine consumption increased… heart attacks went up. As butter consumption increased… heart attacks declined.

The study also divided the data into ten year increments. What they discovered is that during the first ten years, there was little association between margarine consumption and heart attacks. However, during the second decade of follow-up, the group eating the most margarine had 77% more heart attacks than the group eating none!

Hmm… saturated fats don’t cause heart disease and vegetable based fats do! Sounds like something I’ve said before.

Imbalance of these fats can also cause damage to the intestines and along with processed grain consumption can set the body up for a host of food allergies and auto immune problems.

Chemicals and Additives in Vegetable Oils and Fats

Since vegetable oils are chemically produced, its not really surprising that they contain harmful chemicals. Most vegetable oils and their products contain BHA and BHT (Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene) which are artificial antioxidants that help prevent food from oxidizing or spoiling too quickly.

These chemicals have been shown to produce potential cancer causing compounds in the body, and have also been linked to liver/kidney damage, immune problems, infertility or sterility, high cholesterol, and behavioral problems in children.

Vegetable oils also contain residues of the pesticides and chemicals used in their growth and manufacture and most often come from genetically modified sources.

Reproductive Problems and Problems in Children caused by Vegetable Oil Consumption

Vegetable oils are extremely damaging to the reproductive system and the developing bodies of unborn babies and children. Because the reproductive system in both men and women is constantly producing and dividing new cells, there is potential for mutation and problems when these cells are made of the wrong kind of fats and are oxidized.

This same thing applies to unborn babies and children, whose cells are dividing at high rates. There is more potential for mutation because there are more cells dividing. From this article:

What the scientific literature does tell us is that low fat diets for children, or diets in which vegetable oils have been substituted for animal fats, result in failure to thrive–failure to grow tall and strong–as well as learning disabilities, susceptibility to infection and behavioral problems. Teenage girls who adhere to such a diet risk reproductive problems. If they do manage to conceive, their chances of giving birth to a low birth weight baby, or a baby with birth defects, are high.

Excess consumption of vegetable oils also causes problems with hormone production, since hormones are dependent on certain fats for their manufacture. Vegetable oils that are hardened by hydrogenation to make shortening or margarine are especially damaging.

Other Effects of Vegetable Oils on the Body

Because vegetable oils oxidize easily, they deplete the body of antioxidants since the body must use these to attempt to neutralize the oxidation. People with high consumption of vegetable oils and their products are at risk for Vitamin E deficiency and other deficiencies.

Vegetable oil consumption has been linked to a host of other problems, among them (from the same article above):

In test animals, diets high in polyunsaturates from vegetable oils inhibit the ability to learn, especially under conditions of stress; are toxic to the liver; compromise the integrity of the immune system; depress the mental and physical growth of infants; increase levels of uric acid in the blood; cause abnormal fatty acid profiles in the adipose tissues: have been linked to mental decline and chromosomal damage and accelerate aging. Excess consumption of polyunsaturates is associated with increasing rates of cancer, heart disease and weight gain.

In light of all that information, how do you sort out which oils are healthy, and which ones aren’t. Even more important, how do you know how much of each one to consume to be healthy?

Oils and Fats to Avoid:

Vegetable Oils and their fats should be avoided completely. There are much healthier alternatives and there is no reason or need to consume these types of fats. The main culprits to watch out for are:

  • Canola Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • “Vegetable” oil
  • Peanut Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Cottonseed Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Margarine
  • Shortening
  • I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter (You better believe it!)
  • Smart Balance (Not a Smart idea!)
  • Any fake butter or vegetable oils products

There is no nutritional need for these oils and healthy fats can be found in higher amounts and better ratios in many other types of fats. This article has a great breakdown of the Polyunsaturated, Monounsaturated, and Saturated content in the above oils.

While it is simple enough to avoid these oils themselves, the tougher challenge is avoiding all the foods they are in. Check out practically any processed food, and you will find at least one of these ingredients, often labeled as “partially hydrogenated corn/soybean/etc. oil” or “May contain soybean or canola oil.” These foods in particular often contain one of the above unhealthy oils:

  • Salad Dressings
  • Store Bought Condiments
  • Mayo
  • Chips
  • Artificial Cheeses
  • Store bought nuts and snacks
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Snack Foods
  • Sauces
  • Practically anything sold in the middle aisles of the store

Oils and Fats to Use Freely:

There are so many wonderful and healthy fats that are beneficial to the body, so there is no reason to consume the unhealthy ones above. Fats that can be consumed freely for optimal health are:

  • Coconut Oil- Filled with Medium Chain Fatty Acids and Lauric Acid, coconut oil is an all star of the saturated fats. Since the fat composition in cells in the body is largely saturated fat, it is important to get enough of it from healthy sources. Coconut oil does not oxidize easily at high temperatures or go rancid easily, making it a good choice for cooking and baking. It also makes a great natural moisturizer and can be substituted for butter.
  • Meats – Meat, especially red meat, has gotten a bad rap, and unfortunately, the animals we eat have been as mistreated nutritionally as we have. Meats like grassfed beef and free range chicken has a very different nutritional profile than their feedlot counterparts. Grassfed and free range meats have higher nutrient levels, healthy forms of saturated fats and even omega-3s. If possible, consume these forms of meat.
  • Butter- This one food is usually the one people are happiest to start using again. Butter tastes delicious, and pastured grassfed butter is an excellent source of fat soluble vitamins, healthy saturated fat and other nutrients. In contains a compound that Weston A. Price called Activator X, known to improve nutrient absorption and have preventative benefits against disease.
  • Organic Cream- also a good source of healthy saturated fat, organic heavy cream is essentially liquid butter, and is great served whipped on top of fruit, in desserts or in cream based recipes.
  • Olive Oil- High in monounsaturated fats and low in polyunsaturated fats, olive oil is a great oil for salad dressings, homemade mayo,  and cold recipes. It shouldn’t be used for cooking since its high monounsaturated fat content makes it susceptible to oxidation at high temperatures.
  • Palm Oil- Has a high saturated fat content and is also heat stable. Some sources claim that palm oil production often encroaches on the natural habitat of some endangered animals, though sustainable versions can be found. If in doubt, just use coconut oil.
  • Avocados and Avocado Oil- A good source of monounsaturated fats and great on salads or in guacamole. Avocado oil is milk tasting and can be used in salad dressings.
  • Fish- Fish are naturally high in Omega-3 fatty acids and can help improve the Omega-3/Omega-6 balance in the body. Look for sustainable wild caught sources, and stick to small fish like tuna, sardines, salmon, etc to minimize mercury.
  • Eggs- Another all-star in the healthy fats community, eggs are loaded with vitamins, healthy fats and necessary cholesterol. Consume them daily from free range sources.

Oils and Fats to Consume In Moderation:

Some fats are nutritious and beneficial to the body but should still be consumed in moderation if they are eaten. Many contain high levels of Omega-6 fats and can therefore mess up the balance of fats in the body.

  • Flaxseed Oil- Though it contains a good amount of Omega-3s, it also has a lot of Omega-6s and its high Polyunsaturated fat content makes it prone to oxidation if heated. Fish oil is a much better source of Omega-3s, and in general, I don’t recommend flax oil, though it certainly is not the worst option.
  • Walnut Oil- Also high in Omega-6 fats, but it has a great rich taste and can be safely used occasionally in dressings or desserts. It also has a slightly higher resistance to oxidation at higher temperatures than other nut oils.
  • Macadamia Nut Oil- This is one of my favorite tasting oils, but it is expensive. It is great in salad dressings or mayo. It has a lot of monounsaturated fats and low levels of polyunsaturated fats.
  • Nuts- Most types of nuts (remember peanuts are not nuts) are a good source of protein and healthy fats and can be eaten in moderation without problem. Just check to make sure they haven’t been cooked in vegetable oils, which is often the case. Nuts also contain phytic acid, so consuming them in excess can be problematic for tooth and bone health.

What to Do With the Vegetable Oils You Have Already?

If you already have some of the unhealthy vegetable oils in your house… don’t eat them! I’m not a fan of waste either, so use them up in other ways. They can be used to make homemade play dough or floor cleaner. You can also stick them in your shed for oiling tools. (Did I mention, don’t eat them!)

Are you ready to throw out the vegetable oils? Still think canola oil is heart healthy? Share below!

Reader Comments

  1. says

    Ok so I’m feeling silly here – I love all this info but of course as I learn more and more it becomes overwhelming. What kind of butter should I be buying? I saw my store sells organic, grass-fed butter but I know organic doesn’t always mean healthy. I have some stuff now that is free of hydrogented oil.

    • says

      Organic grass fed butter is great, that means it is pastured and that the cows were eating grass not grains. It will be much higher in fat soluble vitamins and nutrients. The organic stuff is more expensive though, but worth it, in my opinion. It also has a much richer taste!

      • Jaideep says

        Katie – What is your take on the Balade Light Butter (u can get them at Trader Joes) that is marketed as Butter but has modified corn starch in it. May be on your next trip, you can check the label or I can take a pic and send it to u,, Appreciate your thoughts.

    • Lori says

      Hi Mel, and others. I usually buy Organic Valley’s “Pasture Butter” or Kerry Gold. Why, because they are butters made from milk from cows that were grazing on green growing grass. If you compare the color of these butters with other butters, you will find that they are much yellower. The yellow color comes from the vitamin K in the grass.  This is how most butter used to look and why, when margarine first came on the market, it was called “oleo” (which is the name of the yellow coloring added to make them look more like butter). Enjoy!

      • Wild Bill says

         That’s all good except for one serious glitch.
        If the milk/cream from which the butter has been made, was pasteurized then it is no longer a healthy food regardless of how it was grown.

        • Abe Blue says

          It does lose enzymes but fat is not destroyed with heat. You can heat butter and it doesn’t change into a different substance like olive oil does. Grass fed butter has many vitamins that grain fed doesn’t even have. There are studies showing the comparison. Also homogenization is what destroys the fat in milk. Real milk has cream floating on top that has to be shaken back in before use…yum! Homogenization is the real culprit for most people not being able to handle milk.

        • Blake says

          Agreed, wild Bill. Raw butter is by far the best. And of course organic and grass fed. Fats are affected by heat – the hotter the more lipid peroxide that are created as a byproduct of the cooking.

          • Blake says

            Plus you lose all of the enzymes and beneficial bacteria. And the higher the heat the more destruction you are causing to all nutrients.

      • Erin says

         Interesting about the color. I was told that butter is actually a very pale color, and that to distinguish it from lard, which is white, it was colored yellow with calendula flowers. Apparently, that is the reason that butter used to be said to be good for burns – calendula flowers are good for healing wounds and promoting cell regeneration.

        • Eerroorr says

          please do not follow eaxtly what this article has said…. search the web and you can easily find alot of information that is not true.. E.g. Using coconut oil.

          • serriekue says

            Coconut oil is the most healthy oil out there not just for cooking but for over 50 other things.  Coconut oil got a bad rap years ago when some food nazis complained about the movie theater popcorn and as it turned out there is no better oil for popcorn to be popped in.

          • Joanna says

            Please be aware that any information you may have seen on the harmful effects of coconut oil are based on the HYDROGENATED kind – & we all know how harmful *any* hydrogenated oil is – the organic cold pressed oil is actually excellent for increasing HDLs, fat burning (metabolism), addressing dysbiosis, and a whole host of other health benefits. Check your information for the form used before you discredit real coconut oil. Cheers!

          • Abe Blue says

            You are reading studies not using pure coconut oil. Eating real fats actually makes you lose weight. Unsaturated is what actually hurts hearts and brains. It is crazy how the system pushed today has is backwards and wrong!!!

          • Iris says

            Exactly, and palm oil is one of the worst oils. And Sunflower oil is not that bad. Many thinks that I have read here are mistaken.

      • kaatya says

        In the book Little House in the Big Woods, Laure Ingalls Wilder describes her mother colouring the butter using a grated carrot tied in muslin. I believe that this was necessary only in winter, but check original source for the full story!

    • Erin says

       Grass fed dairy is the best there is! Cows are meant to eat grass and thus those that do produce healthy dairy and meat for us to eat. The vast majority of animals used for human food in this country are rasied indoors in feeding stations – ie massivly overcrowded warehouses for animals where they are fed corn and grains NOT what cows are meant to eat- and never see grass past six months old. If a cow is grassfed, it has had a good life and is going to produce good milk.

      • Gary Loewenthal says

        Dairy cows – on all dairies – have their babies taken from them. They have been bred over centuries to overproduce milk, which takes a constant toll on their bodies and increases the chances of painful mastitis infections. They are killed when around 5 years old – young adulthood. That’s not a good life. We have no need for dairy, it’s linked to a ton of diseases and afflictions, it *inherently* has 3 dozen hormones that are foreign to the human body, countries with the highest rate of dairy consumption also have the highest rate of osteoporosis, and in a study of 14,000 Seventh Day Adventist men, those who regularly consumed soymilk instead of cows’ milk had a 70% lower rate of prostate cancer.

    • Abe Blue says

      Grass fed butter is amazing. I can’t believe I’ve just found out about it. Coconut Oil is also a must. Grass fed butter is superior to organic because cows need grass to be healthy and produce vitamin rich cream. Cows that eat grains need medicine to not be sick.

  2. Lisa says

    Do you have any thoughts/recommendations on formula or alternatives? We adopted our first child at birth and are hoping to adopt again (if the diet doesn’t turn our infertility around first!). Our daughter was fed Enfamil and did very well on it, but the ingredients listed include “vegetable oil (palm olein, soy, coconut, and high oleic sunflower oils)”, and now I’m not sure what to do if we need to use formula for our next child.

        • Wild Bill says

           And… if they are properly raised animals (not grain and “slop” fed) they are perfectly good sources of food.

          • Mightycline says

            So how would you know, buying in a city store. The source must be certified by yourself or it is a useless certification and will not be 100% “properly raised” as you naïvely state it.

          • Jennifer Wohlander says

            You might also consider something we’re doing now… we live in DC but have a nearby farm that provides grass fed beef – we bought a 1/4 of a cow which lasts us a ridiculously long time. We also get raw milk delivery weekly. After reading about pasteurization and the A2 protein in store bought milk I just had to try something else for my kids’ sakes.

          • flanders says

            I dont think there is vegan gelatin, it comes from bones of animals who lived in misery, you can find agar agar though and that will be a good substitute in most recipes, and nothing had to experience unbearablepain to get it :)

      • Madzthegreat says

        Hello just happen to read your article? JUST WONDERING , if fish is high in omega 3 and since Omega 3 is sensitive to heat. Does that mean we should eat it raw. Otherwise we are eating another toxic or just protien?

          • Robert Wall says

            Holy moley, I should hope not! No meat is cooked to an internal temperature of 350 degrees. 180 degrees would be high for beef, let alone fish.

            Fish is cooked to an internal temperature of between 125 and 145 degrees (beyond that it can get rubbery rather quickly).

            Omega-3 presence in fish depends on how the fish is cooked. Fried is the worst. Baked/boiled is the best. Do a little bit of research – there are lots of studies out there.

            Of course if you’re into raw, tuna sushi is pretty darn tasty. :)

            Or you can toss a little ground flax seed in a smoothie and get the Omega-3s + some protein + some good fiber. :D

    • says

      Hi Lisa, I was actually going to recommend Nourishing Tradition’s
      recipe as well! Thanks Lizz for sharing! You can also mix coconut oil
      into first foods to help get the medium chain fatty acids and lauric
      acid that are provided by breastmilk (coconut oil also bakes a great
      diaper cream)

      • Sugarlovechick says

        Liz- you could also attempt to lactate by pumping and taking certain herbs. I would contact a lactation consultant for the specifics. I personally know someone who has done this. The other option is donated breast milk. What a gift you are giving this new child by adopting!

  3. TheresaM says

    This is a lot of information. Informative, but also a little overwhelming, considering we just started changing our diet. I could probably come up with a ton of questions but I’ll try to limit it to just a few. I know it’s easy to make salad dressings, but what about other condiments, such as ketchup, bbq sauce (I make my own, but it contains ketchup), or mayo? Do you make your own? If so, what kind of shelf life do they have? I use shortening in my icings for cake, and also in pie crusts. Do you have any suggestions for a substitute?

    • says

      Hi Theresa! We make our own ketchup and BBQ sauce too. I’ll post
      those recipes soon. They can be made from store bought tomato sauce/
      paste or from fresh tomatoes that you can yourself. I make mayo also,
      the link is under recipes. The mayo lasts a couple weeks and the
      ketchup/bbq sauce last over a month.
      For shortening, replace with coconut oil. It works really well and
      has a richer taste in my opinion. It also binds really well in cakes,
      even if you use almond or coconut flour.

    • says

      In general, the more health claims are made on the product label, the worse it is for you. AFAIK the “heart-healthy” logo is available to anyone with a $7500 check and whose product doesn’t immediately kill people.

  4. Katie says

    Wow what a great post! I had no idea just how bad the stuff was. I am tossing my canola and peanut oils and pulling out the enormous tub of food grade coconut oil I over-ordered for soap making! Finally a use for it! lol
    Just a silly question, I currently use a commercial olive oil spread in place of marg or butter – bad idea?

    • says

      It isn’t as bad as some, the problem is that it too has to be
      hydrogenated to become semi-solid. Butter and coconut oil are
      definitely better, and if you are worried about getting enough
      monounsaturated fats in or just like the taste, whip a little olive
      oil into some pastured grassfed butter for non-cooking uses… tastes
      great!

      • Katie says

        After posting this message I went a had a look at the ingredients and found that, of the oils used in the spread, only about 25% of them were olive oil, the rest were vegetable oils. Question answered. Goodbye crap tasting ‘olive oil’ spread – hello butter and avocado! Thanks for your answer :-)

  5. says

    I have a few rules about what I eat. One is “If you can put it in a truck and the truck starts, it’s not food.”

    Beef tallow is great to cook with. It’s not hard to make your own from suet, or even trimmings, but I absolutely recommend wet-rendering as it tastes much better. Dry-rendering tastes a bit burnt and excessively beefy to me.

    For traditional pie crusts and cake, use leaf lard, like your grandmother did. (Not regular lard.) It’s tough to find, though: you might have to find the kidney fat and wet-render it yourself.

    Important fact: there is substantial unlabeled trans fat in canola and soybean oil (and probably all other polyunsaturated vegetable oils), created by the process of extraction, deodorizing, etc. that Katie talks about. I wrote an article about that here, with a link to the original study:

    http://www.gnolls.org/1240/eat-more-heart-healthy-trans-fats-we-hid-them-in-plain-sight/

    • says

      I love this: “I have a few rules about what I eat. One is “If you
      can put it in a truck and the truck starts, it’s not food.””

      I’ve been experimenting with rendering tallow and lard lately….
      definitely a new experience, but I do love using it in certain types
      of cooking!

      Thanks for the link to your article also… I always enjoy reading
      your posts!
      -Katie

      • says

        Much appreciated! I love what you’re doing here, as it brings healthy eating to a very different audience than most of us have.

        I also like to note that coconut oil comes in refined and unrefined versions. Unrefined probably has more nutrients in it, but it tastes strongly of coconuts. I’m not a fan of the standard industrial RBD oil, but you can get cold-pressed, organic refined oil that has a completely neutral taste.

        • Chartje23 says

          Hi! I have a question about the organic refined oil. I have coconut oil here what claims to be organic but also odorless ( = refined, right?) So that confused me. But reading your comment, i can conclude this oil IS organic AND refined, but still has the same amount of benefits and nutrients as the unrefined coconut oil? ( because I don’t like the taste either )

    • Navwig says

      If you want to render good beef lard ask you butcher for kidney fat. It has very little beefy taste and is the purest fat you will get from animal

    • BGriffin says

      J. Stanton,
      If your rule is “If you can put it in a truck, and the truck starts, it’s not food”, you’ll have to say goodbye to grandma’s pie crusts and cakes made with lard.
      Many vehicles that can run on vegetable oil require a tan heater to keep the oil viscosity sufficiently low, with that very common attribute, a vehicle can be made to rule on tallow just as easily as it can be made to run on vegetable oil.
      Maybe you should reconsider your rule, and perhaps change it to something that will allow you to burn your fuel and eat it too.

  6. Cathy says

    I hope no one that references this website and all the facts is indeed a smoker. That is going to be one of the worst things you can do, you would smoke but then care that your oils and margarine are bad for you!

    • says

      I agree… smoking is one way to deteriorate your health very
      quickly. I usually assume that most readers aren’t smokers, but I
      suppose some are. I would say that avoiding vegetable oils is even
      MORE important for smokers though, because the smoke and toxins would
      cause the oils to oxidize faster in the body and create a worse
      reaction than in a non-smoker.

  7. Tar Gzip says

    Varied things:

    @endlesswellness:disqus  I read on a book that some of the harmful, processed, bleached, etc. oils had a natural, pressed version which was healthy, though it had a short shelf life. Is this true?

    @00c8eb3f6e6a1884216044ca29cf868a:disqus : My parents say that when they raised their own pigs the lard was very different from the one in nowadays’ supermarkets. That it tasted better and was “less bland”. How can we (city dwellers) find good lard (general advice, please, I don’t live in the USA)?

    @0b12ee5576d92ef4d5b32980d6d8d130:disqus  My brother makes an olive oil spread by mixing olive oil, ground herbs and ground fresh garlic _and he stores it in the coolest shelf of the fridge_ . This keeps it semi-solid to help spreading and is natural :)

    • says

      You are right that there are natural cold pressed versions of some
      oils that are somewhat healthy (though rapeseed aka canola is never
      healthy!) though even the naturally produced ones have a high Omega-6
      ratio, which is not good in any large amounts. Since the natural
      versions of these oils are much more expensive anyway, I still opt
      for better choices like coconut, olive, or even tallow or lard if
      given the choice.

      Lard- that is a tougher one! I know a few resources here in the US,
      but don’t know of any overseas. My best advice would be to ask your
      butcher for the fat and render your own tallow or lard. There are a
      lot of tutorials on this online, but I’ll also be chronicling my
      experience with it soon.

      I love the idea of the olive oil spread! Definitely going to have to
      try that one!

      • Mightycline says

        Start a class action suite against those Canadians and States businesses that provide rapeseed only in the fashion you cite. Should make billions for millions of “injured” folks all across North America?

  8. Tar Gzip says

    Varied things:

    @endlesswellness:disqus  I read on a book that some of the harmful, processed, bleached, etc. oils had a natural, pressed version which was healthy, though it had a short shelf life. Is this true?

    @00c8eb3f6e6a1884216044ca29cf868a:disqus : My parents say that when they raised their own pigs the lard was very different from the one in nowadays’ supermarkets. That it tasted better and was “less bland”. How can we (city dwellers) find good lard (general advice, please, I don’t live in the USA)?

    @0b12ee5576d92ef4d5b32980d6d8d130:disqus  My brother makes an olive oil spread by mixing olive oil, ground herbs and ground fresh garlic _and he stores it in the coolest shelf of the fridge_ . This keeps it semi-solid to help spreading and is natural :)

  9. Lori says

     This is a very “western” outlook. From my information sources, peanut oil has been used in Asia for centuries. So I presume it is a healthy oil. Also, in addition to cod liver oil, the ancient Vikings used to use rapeseed oil, granted, without all the weird modern processing.

    • says

      You’re right that some of these oils have been used in other places,
      though to my knowledge, they are cold pressed, and don’t undergo any
      of the chemical processing, which changes the structure considerably.
      They all still have high Omega-6 content though, and many people
      today already consume far too much of these type of oils.

  10. Anonymous says

    great information about the vegetable oils.  I recently purchased my first jar of coconut oil this is all new to me.    Do you have any insight about sesame oil?  I didn’t see it on any of the lists good, bad or in between.

  11. Anonymous says

    great information about the vegetable oils.  I recently purchased my first jar of coconut oil this is all new to me.    Do you have any insight about sesame oil?  I didn’t see it on any of the lists good, bad or in between.

    • says

      It’s not bad, and it is great for flavor. It doesn’t undergo the processing that most vegetable oils do, but it shouldn’t be your main oil Great in salad dressings and stir frys though!

      • Bethany says

        do you consider toasted sesame oil to be bad because of heat treatment? Sometimes I make stir fry just because I want that smell in the kitchen.

  12. says

    What a wonderful article about vegetable oil.  Now it makes me wonder even more as to how vegetable oil can be used as alternative fuels for diesel engines. 

  13. Chris says

    Can you explain a bit more on the heating of olive oil?  Is the only ill-effect that it depletes your body of vitamin e?  Can that be offset by taking additional vitamin e? 

    • says

      taking additional vitamin E would help, but it is hard to find a bioavailable and stable supplemental source of vitamin E. We use tallow, lard or coconut oil to fry and personally, I think they taste better anyway, plus they don’t smoke at high heat!

  14. says

    What an informative and thorough article!  I will be coming back for more info.  I recently read Ramiel Nagels book, Cure Tooth Decay based on Weston Price’s teaching and the reversal on my daughters cavities have been amazing.  We basically were on a low fat diet and have now been on a high fat diet for the last 3 weeks.  In such a short amount of time, her teeth look better, my son had gained weight and my cheeks look nice and rosy.  I now add a spash of cream into my green smoothie and my digestion has improved so much!  I am always learned new things about nutrition!  I look forward to your mayonaisse recipe.  I have not made it because I was avoiding using vegetable oil.  I will see how you make it :)  Thanks.
    Ester

  15. Chef Jem says

    Tank You for this excellent article!

     Real Butter is one of my favorite topics and my top health food!
    Some more blogs for you all!:
    “Healthy and Well With Butter”:http://curezone.us/blogs/fm.asp?i=1782587
    “The Toils of Oils”:
    http://curezone.us/blogs/fm.asp?i=1506541
    “Real Butter – An Amazing Health Food and Food As Medicine!”:http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=1558277“The Use and Benefits of Very High Vitamin Butter For The Control of Dental Caries”:http://curezone.us/blogs/fm.asp?i=1282566Butter Up!Chef Jem

  16. says

    I’m a bit confused now.  I was pretty much ready to throw out all the vegetable oils I have, and probably will, but I was at Trader Joe’s website and noticed they have an Expeller Pressed Canolla Oil, http://www.purecanola.com/cooking-oil.html, and this stuff claims to be GMO free and uses no chemicals during the extraction process.  Am I missing something?  It’s ratio of Omega 6/Omega 3 is quite a bit better than Olive Oil as well (5.5 vs. 12.8).

    • says

      You can find expeller pressed ones, but from my understanding, they will have some chemical properties. I’d still stick with olive oil
      and balance out with good food sources of Omega-3s and use coconut oil, tallow, lard, etc for frying.

    • Joann says

      There is an expeller pressed canola oil. I work for a company that produces it. There are no chemicals involved (not bleached, dyed) and depending on the process there is some heat involved so it can not be called cold pressed. Often it is called single press. The studies I have seen state that the ratio of Omega 6 to 3 is well balanced (2 to 1 being optimal), and that canola oil is actually higher in Omega 3 than is Olive oil. Definitely the highly processed oils are something to avoid, but please don’t take one persons word that “all” canola oil is bad for you. Do your own research.

  17. Emami_009 says

    People should never eat palm & soya oil; as manufacturing of such edible oils is from crude oil. In my openion oil brands like “Gemini” & Nature Fresh” are the worst brands in market.
    People should recommended to not purchase such brands.

  18. SkygreenWash says

    Folks have been using olive oil for years. And peanut oil is natural. Take natural peanut butter and let it sit a few days and you have peanut oil. Same with any nut butter, the oil rises to the top, so your propaganda is flawed.

    • says

      I don’t have a problem with olive oil and dislike peanut oil because it is from a legume technically and in most cases is chemically extracted. All of the other oils are almost always chemically extracted and our bodies have absolutely no nutritional need for them

      • Danielle says

        Technically is the peanut oil at the top of all natural roasted peanut butter considered a bad fat, even though peanuts are legumes? In the natural peanut butter it is not extracted, correct? I am referring to all natural peanut butter with no additives, just peanuts.

  19. MDMTahiti says

    Sept. 2010 I stopped consumption of all vegetable oil and replaced them with olive oil and butter.  I also stopped eating sugar (as much as possible).  I shed 30 lbs. and have kept it off.  I increased protein consumption.  More than a year later, HDLs are up, LDLs about the same – HDL/LDL ratio MUCH better (and still <200), and triglycerides are down too.  Oh, and I cut my BP meds in half, and I feel great at 60.  I wish I had read this article 10 years ago! 

      • Gary Loewenthal says

        Grains have been a staple of most civilized societies for thousands of years. In studies – on humans, not mice – they lower colon cancer. Most lean populations eat lots of grains – wheat in the Near East, millet in Africa, rice in Asia, etc. Grains are clean-burning fuel, they fill you up, and since they’re ow-fat they tend not to store toxins. Some people are sensitive to gluten, but that seem to part of a systemic rise in allergies and autoimmune conditons across the board.

        • says

          It depends a bit on your ancestry. People of European descent tend to respond much more poorly to rice than, say, Asians. It makes sense, after all. Colder climates lend more to the hunting and gathering lifestyle, whereas tropical climates lend more to agriculture and living off the land.

          The key is figuring out how you’ve evolved to eat, and eating that way. Humans aren’t supposed to weigh 300 pounds. Even if you eat everything in sight, there’s no reason why all that food should be stored in your body. It doesn’t make sense from an evolutionary perspective. The only situation where it would make sense is if there’s an extreme shortage of food. Then you could see the benefit in being morbidly obese. This is probably what’s happening in all cases of obesity. What we need to ask ourselves is what signals are we sending to our body that’s causing it to believe that food is in short supply. Eating food that is not our body’s preferred source of calories seems like a pretty obvious signal to me. Not only does it make sense, the science backs it up.

          The way I see it, you wouldn’t add diesel to a gasoline fuel tank. Why should people who have evolved to eat meat and fat, start eating grans and vegetable oils?

          • Jasmine says

            The reason why there are 300lb people can be largely attributed to one thing… MSG. (a.k.a. natural flavors, corn oil, yeast extract, malt extract, plant protein extract, hydrolyzed protein, hydrolyzed plant protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate… to name just a few) This prevalent food additive was first used to create obese rats for laboratory tests studies of weight loss products. It also creates obese people. Good luck finding anything in your supermarket that doesn’t include it! Check out this article for more details http://rense.com/general52/msg.htm

          • says

            I would argue that we haven’t evolved to eat meat and fat, we’re meant to eat fruit and veg most of the time and get a bit of meat when we are lucky enough to catch something :)

  20. Besiaka says

    what kind of coconut oil should i use.  the one in my local store is mechanically processed and refined.  i am guessing both are bad? do i need to use non refined one? the bottle also says its made for medium high heat.  what defines medium high? is 400F considered medium high or high? i also read that coconut oil (unrefined) has a low smoke point.  any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

    point 2, my husband is allergic to dairy.  i have been baking / cooking with margarine because of that (dairy free).  sounds like thats a bad idea.  if i can’t baking with that, what should i use instead?

    thank you!

    • jcblank says

      How frustrating!  I just typed up a response, and it disappeared!!  
      Anyway, that’s not your problem. :-)  I think I’ll be less wordy this time around, though.

      Unrefined coconut oil is something I use all the time, and I haven’t noticed it having a low smoke point.  The refined is probably higher, but the unrefined is fine.  You can get really good quality of both unrefined and refined at Wilderness Family Naturals or Tropical Traditions.  

      As for dairy free baking, you can use palm shortening.  You can get it at the store, Spectrum brand, or online at Tropical Traditions.  

      Another option, if you husband can tolerate it, is ghee.  In case you’re unfamiliar, ghee is butter oil.  The milk solids and moisture are removed from butter.  That removes the casein and lactose, so that most people who can’t tolerate dairy can tolerate ghee.  It’s also shelf-stable.  I like Purity Farms, because they use butter from pastured cows, and they test for casein.  I’m sure there are other good brands, too.  Right after going dairy-free, my son couldn’t even tolerate ghee.  But he now tolerates it fine.  I use it as a spread, and in baking, and to cook our eggs, and…

  21. Jo Atkinson101 says

    Hi Mel
    Are you able to provide links to the references you used for this? I have tried clicking on the links, but they aren’t working.
    Thanks in advance
    Jo

  22. Cfrance78 says

    Why do you not like safflower oil?  My nutritionist recommended this to me.  Also, what type of coconut oil do you recommend.  I have Virgin Coconut Oil, which says medium heat up to 280 degrees.

    • says

      Depending in how it is made, safflower oil is either high in monounsaturated fats or polyunsaturated fats. As such, it is not very stable at high temperatures and can go rancid easily. It should not be heated. most people already have too much of these type fats in their diets, which is another reason I recommend Coconut oil. From my understanding, as a saturated fat, coconut oil is much more stable at high temperatures and is not prone to going rancid or breaking down.

  23. Jenn pierce says

    A couple years ago, we switched to all butter (no margerine) and gained about 10lbs in a month!!  Any advice on how to avoid the weight gain?? 

    • says

      Did anything else in your diet change at the same time? Switching to butter shouldn’t have made this much of a difference, unless you were eating it on a lot of breads, pasta, and starchy foods. Overall, how many starchy foods do you consume on a given day? In my experience, weight gain is more often related to more starches than different types of fats.

  24. Brenda says

    I have been fats somewhat, and this is the best summary I’ve read. I use coconut oil and butter for most of my cooking but when it comes to salad dressings or marinades I didn’t know what to use since they end up being refrigerated. Olive oil strong tasting in salad dressings and shouldn’t be heated as marinaded food will eventually be. Coconut oil turns hard on the frig. I thought grapeseed oil was suppose to be good but then I would read conflicting info on that one.  So I wasn’t sure what to do. So glad to see that walnut oil is an option. Macadamia nut oil is expensive so not an option for now. I had not thought of avocado oil so I will have to try that. I do like sesame oil and especially toasted sesame oil for Asian dishes and marinades. Nothing was said about those oils? What do you think??? I assume they would be on the bad list since all other seed oils are.

    Glad to see you reported olive oil shouldn’t be heated. I have been to cooking demos where the chef put olive oil in a skillet and heated it to the smoking point because that was the way they wanted it. I would sit there and cringe. I have read that Italians add olive oil at the end of cooking or after they take it off the heat because they know this.

    Thanks for the detailed and very informative post.

  25. Science tech says

    No disrespect in what I am going to say and also don’t think I’m defending margarine which I am not, but I feel like answering your post  because there are so many mistakes in what you say that you gave me a headache :-) You also put a smile on my face because it’s funny to see how you spread the word(errors actually) and people probably believe them. I won’t even try to defend my pont of view in full because I would be arguing with someone who practically forgot the basic high school chemistry and biology and for instance who doesn’t realize that “vegetable oils” are fats (triglycerides) that have been part of the human diet and people were just fine using them in their diet for millenia. Olive oil, sun flower oil and palm oil are for instance some examples of vegetable oils that have been around in our food for a very long time. You repeatedly classify “vegetable oils” and “margarine” as similar while they are very different. The basic method of making margarine consists of emulsifying a mixture of purified vegetable oils with
    skim milk, and cooling it to solidify the mixture (you actually say that at some point, but I assume you didn’t understand the difference as long as you keep saying “vegetable oils and margarine”). Your readers are probably horrified by those chemical reactions Canola oil has to go through :-) So, let’s remember one of our chemistry classes: we take a piece of sodium metal, we heat it, and we immerse it in chlorine gas (which is extremely dangerous and poisonous to all forms of life, and its well known compounds are bleaches with which we disinfect pools and toilets). This is how we produce sodium chloride (table salt). People have been adding table salt to their food for a long time and I don’t think they were in any danger (unless someone tried to scare them and told them what’s table salt made of…that gas that kills us and out of which we make stuff that disinfect toilets….oh mine, how can we eat that?) . The point I am trying to make is that in a chemical reaction chemicals combine and become new compounds that are not necessarily dangerous.
     You also talk about genetically modified crops as if that would be a deadly thing. Do you know what that means? It means that you select for the best crop/plant and you do it over and over until you end up with the most resistant plant. Is it dangerous to selects for the most resistant and the best seedling of your crop? It looks like you are very scared of that (you probably thought that the oil was made of a plant that underwent some sort of mutagenesis which is mutation breeding using radiation !….oh no, it didn’t happen that way ). You also talk about the Canola oil that is produced  from crops treated with high
    levels of pesticides. Didn’t you know that all the vegetables we buy on the market today are treated with herbicides and pesticides? If you ever find a worm inside an apple, a slug inside your lettuce or a caterpillar in your cabbage….well, those things would be “100% organic” and you should be happy the insect was in there because would prove no insecticides were used on that crop. So that’s old news… almost everything we eat has been treated with chemicals.
    What intrigued me while reading your article was that you say absolutely nothing about OLESTRA which is actually one type of fat that was proven to be dangerous for human consumption. We didn’t need scientists to do research for 20 years to prove it, people felt bad right after eating food containing this type of fat. OLESTRA is indeed a synthetic oil, it’s produced in laboratories and after ingestion, it dissolves fat soluble nutrients in your gastro intestinal tract and it eliminates them through excretions. OLESTRA is banned in Canada and some countries in Europe, but we can still buy food, especially chips made with Olestra in the United States.
    One last thing: you quote scientific literature. When a group of scientists publishes an article, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they found a solution or that they found “the truth.” It’s just research and it’s a hypothesis, and it’s actually provisionally accepted until a theory is produced, in other words, it has to be proven over and over until the scientific world can say “yeah, may be we have an answer now.”
    “In the great wide world of the web false ideas may thrive because of fine presentation or because of moving emotional manipulation” someone once said. I would like to think yours is not precisely that, so please go check reputable sources and try to understand a bit of chemistry and biology before coming up with such a post.

    • says

      Olive oil, sunflower oil and palm oil can all be produced by pressing the plant and don’t require chemical processing. Vegetable oils and margarine are similar in that they both undergo chemical processing and both are vegetable oil based (as you noted, they emulsify vegetable oils to make margarine… kind of how milk and butter are both dairy. obviously not the same, but similar).
      As for the chemistry of salt… yes, it can be created in this way, and I’d advise readers to avoid chemically created salt as well, since natural salt with trace minerals is abundantly available in our oceans and isn’t just two isolated molecules.
      You should do more research on GMO crops. You are talking about selective breeding, which is not what I’m referring to at all. Companies like Monsanto have altered the genes of plants in a lab to be resistant to the pesticides that they spray on them in extremely high doses. “Round-up ready soybeans” for instance can be sprayed with large doses of herbicides and won’t be affected. (I know this firsthand, as they grow the toxic stuff in a field near our house and I see how much is sprayed on it and what happens to all other vegetation in the area).
      Thank you for reinforcing my point that all of these things have been treated with high levels of chemicals. I recommend organic produce, and eat it myself (and I’ve never been bothered by having to wash insects off of organic produce from my garden). Just because our food supply is constantly treated with toxic chemicals is not in itself an argument for the safety of these chemicals.
      I didn’t mention olestra because THAT is old news. Most readers on this blog are well aware of that and wouldn’t be eating chips anyway, though I will probably write a specific post on it at some point.
      Obviously, when scientists publish an article it isn’t guaranteed to be 100% truth (see: “The China Study” for an example of misinformation!). I find it funny that while you quite “science” and even use it in your name, you provide no actual research or studies that prove the safety of these foods, and no sources to back up your claims.
      I’d still challenge my readers (and anyone) to remove vegetable oils from their diet as there is no nutritional need for them, they are harmful, and many people see health improvements from removing them. (and to clarify again, as I did in the beginning of the article, I am referring to oils that have to be chemically created and didn’t exist before the last century, such as canola, soybean, peanut, corn and other artificially created oils… not olive or palm oils, which can be cold pressed.)

      • Science tech says

        Wellness Mama,
        You twisted my comment here and there, and you assumed I said things I didn’t say. This is to answer your post as well as some of your paragraphs:
        ***I never made any argument for the safety of any chemicals. This answers your:
        ["I recommend organic produce, and eat it myself (and I've never been
        bothered by having to wash insects off of organic produce from my
        garden). Just because our food supply is constantly treated with toxic
        chemicals is not in itself an argument for the safety of these
        chemicals."]
        ***I don’t have to quote scientific literature when I give the definition for “vegetable oil” unless I quote the dictionary, I don’t need to quote scientific sources when I explain how to produce table salt in the lab, I don’t need to quote any historian when I say that human kind has been using vegetable oils for millenia, and so on and so forth. Common knowledge doesn’t have to be quoted. I didn’t back up any foods as safe either (where did that come from?!?). This answers your:
        ["I find it funny that while you quite "science" and even use it in your
        name, you provide no actual research or studies that prove the safety of
        these foods, and no sources to back up your claims. "]
        *** Olestra is NOT old news and I think you should indeed start a specific blog about that. Olestra is still used in many foods and not only for producing chips as most people probably think. Please check Procter&Gamble’s website (its producer) : http://www.pgfoodingredients.com/default.asp?p=faq
        So today we find Olestra in bagels, biscuits, English muffins, bread,
        bread sticks, cakes, cookies, corn bread, corn muffins, tortillas and
        taco shells, croissants, crackers, doughnuts, muffins, pancakes, crepes,
        French toast, sweet pastries and pies, meat and vegetable pies and
        pastries, rolls, sweet rolls and quick breads, waffles, and pizza crust;
        and in the cheese portion of prepared foods, frostings and icings, mayonnaise, ice cream and frozen yogurt, breakfast/granola/nutrition bars, chocolate confections (Oh my God….). This answers your:
        ["I didn't mention olestra because THAT is old news. Most readers on this
        blog are well aware of that and wouldn't be eating chips anyway, though I
        will probably write a specific post on it at some point. "]
        Anyway, keep up the good work, I love to see people enforcing healthy diets and you do a great job on this side. My comments are meant to be constructive and help you gain credibility for a different type of readers. That’s all.
        Respectfully,
        A “science tech”

        • Linus Guadalupe says

          Science Tech, I think that you see yourself to come off as vastly more logical,more objective,more informed than the rest of us here who you undermine, but you don’t…I’m actually breathing a sigh of relief now because I don’t feel that urgent need to tell you what I think of your reply in full since your moderately illogical and fragmented posts lead me to believe that you are some bored homebound teenager assuming an identity of something you perceive as much greater as yourself….or just someone with a skewed sense of their own intelligence,importance..

    • Joanna says

      Please eat as much margarine, hydrogenated oils, genetically modified & non-organic food, & oils simply labelled “vegetable oil” as you possibly can, we will consume organic cold pressed coconut oil, butter, non-GMO & minimal sprayed goods. In 20 years, we’ll all meet up back here (with our offspring) to document some science. See you then!

  26. Maria Castro says

    I was feeling great about only using butter, olive oil, animal fat and coconut oil to cook, but I also only drink rice milk since I dont do too well on cow milk and goat milk is very hard to find here…I looked at the ingridients in my rice milk box today and it says it contains safflower oil and/or sunflower oil and/or canoil oil  :(  What can I do?

    • Science Lover says

      Sorry, that was supposed to post above, and it didn’t. Got to love technology sometimes! Maria Castro, I have similar troubles myself, and I was just looking to find a link for you for homemade coconut milk (anything you can make at home is great, because then you KNOW what you put in it!), and lo and behold, wellness mama already had that covered. Try it, or if you can’t do coconut (sometimes my IBS doesn’t tolerate coconut very well), try almonds or different combinations of other things.

      I’m lucky enough to live in a very food-progressive area, and better and better items are becoming available in our stores all the time, many of them produced locally by folks I know. If you come across anyone producing something acceptable in your travelling somewhere, get the name and information of the manufacturer, or better yet, buy it and take the empty container with you, and take it to your grocery store. Often times they will special order items for you, if they can, especially if you can convince a few neighbors to start requesting it as well. Most stores want to supply things they know you’ll buy from them, and are happy to take your input/feedback on it. Sometimes it’s not possible for awhile, as they have to develop working relationships with suppliers and have to get a truckload of things on a shipment. If their current suppliers don’t carry the healthy kinds of items you’re looking for, continual pressure from customers that encourage a steady demand for new items will help the grocery store feel confident enough to change to a supplier who carries them. Get your community involved, then everyone wins–you get what you need, your neighbors have options they never knew they could have and may make better eating choices as a result, you’ll reinforce the health-food market all over the country (depending on who the supplier ends up being) which over time helps encourage more supply and competition, which eventually creates higher quality and lower prices, and lastly, your local grocers will happy for the dedicated business they will get by hitting that niche market in your area. We’ve been doing it in our area for the past 10-15 years, and we’re now leading the country in healthy food culture and supply! Not to mention how it has encouraged locally produced goods, which has increased education and awareness as well has has stimulated our economically depressed area and created countless jobs as well…

      Until then, your best bet is to make something yourself. Here’s wellness mama’s link for making homemade coconut milk: http://wellnessmama.com/2447/homemade-coconut-milk/ . But do your community a favor and go a step further–keep watching for those items and work to bring them into your area :). It has many more repercussions than you would imagine, all of them good that I’ve ever seen, and our community is proof. Good luck!

    • Lorin says

      Maria, you could consider doing milk kefir with raw, or at least low-temp pasteurized cow’s milk. The process of the kefir eats up the lactose and many people find that they tolerate it quite well even when normally they cannot tolerate milk.

  27. Suzie says

    Thank you for the good article.  I have never eaten margarine in my life don’t even know what it taste like.  My mother was smart enough to serve real butter.  Thanks also for the article on activated charcol.  Have used it for years.  I will try it on my teeth too.
    Suzie

  28. Lacigrl says

    What do you recommend if I have a dairy allergy? I can’t use butter, so I’m forced to use these things in my cooking as a substitute. Any suggestions for a healthy option?

  29. Tlfymail says

    I buy expeller pressed grape seed oil and rarely eat it,  I use it to make lotions and other skin care products.  It is a shame grass fed meats/products  are not available in food store chains and are so expensive.  We need to make nutritious food affordable, because that in a nutshell is why our diets are so poor.  

  30. buzzkehl says

    I’m sorry if you already answered this one, but we use Smart Balance a LOT at home because my oldest child is allergic to dairy, leaving butter pretty much ‘off the table’ for us. Is a coconut oil spread a good alternative? And does one exist?
    thanks

  31. says

    After following your blog for a few months now I knew to keep off of veggie oils, but didn’t know about grape seed oil!  Another blog I follow, whom I think you do too – Elana’s Pantry, she uses grapeseed in a lot of recipes, so I had used it too.  But would you still recommend grape seed oil for body care?  I find it works really well in my oil concoction I use for face wash, as well as a general moisturizer.  I also had no idea you shouldn’t heat olive oil!  Thanks so much for all you do!

  32. says

    I am trying to convince some of my family and friends to stop using margarine and other polyunsaturated oils.  It is a hard battle because of all the negativity about fad diets, and this articl may be helpful to explain why they should make this important change in their daily routine.  Wish me good luck.

  33. Steven Smith says

    As a scientist with a PhD in biochemistry I would greatly appreciate it if you would substantiate the countless claims you are making in this article with proper citations from credible sources. With out these citations this article becomes nothing more than unsubstantiated propaganda and while I’d like to take you seriously, how can I when I have no idea if you wrote this article based on sound science and nutrition?

    • says

      Steven, as a scientist with a PhD, it should be quite easy for you to prove what true or not true here. You know exactly how to go about retrieving the truth, don’t you?Why dont you do your own research instead of wanting someone else to present you with the ‘proper citations’ to back up the contents on this site??

      • says

        If one is going to write something to make a convincing argument it is their responsibility to make the argument with sound proof and logic. So, Steven is correct in asking for such.

      • Michelle says

        I think the person was more referring to other readers who are reading it and are unaware of how to search this information, that it would be nice to have some credible information.

    • Joanna says

      Which claims do you feel are unsubstantiated propaganda? Perhaps you could provide proper citations to prove your point? Or, maybe you could conduct a double blind, placebo controlled, cross over study to disprove it – now THAT would impress me! =)

    • Friendly says

      I feel the same way with you Steven Smith “Mr. Scientist with a PHD lets see some creds. Propaganda or not you are probably doing the same. Spice your comment up with some good grammar and boom instantly you got a PhD in biochemistry. Bhahahahaha what a fool. All of these people should be attacking you, you soothsayer.
      Oh and im just a regular guy from florida. and that my friend is the truth.

      • Silas McCroskey says

        He’s not making any claims other than that credential; so I don’t think it can really be said that he’s boosting his credibility with vaporous claims (he has no reason to do so). Whether or not you choose to believe his assertion about his doctorate has no effect on your life, so why should he go out of his way to prove it?

        On the other hand, the author’s claims are seeking to change our behavior — what goods we purchase, what foods we consume, etc. Claims of this type should be substantiated. This is of course somewhat contrived, but how do you know the author isn’t getting stipends from the industries that produce the goods she’s promoting?

        Steven isn’t attacking the author. He’s offering constructive criticism, which, if taken, will improve the credibility of the author’s blogs and (hopefully) the thorough understanding of the readers. I urge you to do the same.

    • Claudia Lala says

      Why do you need proper citations? This is common sense. It’s like asking someone to provide proper citations for saying we shouldn’t drink Coke or eat McDonald’s. Duh.

      • Alex says

        Really? I think this whole topic is thoroughly misunderstood and requires more research (hence citations are essential) so not really common sense. It’s funny you suggest McDonalds because in Australia they switched from saturated animal fat to vegetable oil to make their chips more healthy (contrary to this articles claims).

    • says

      You want evidence Mr Smith? Then why don’t you put an hour of your time aside and watch this telling video produced by a fellow PhD graduate – Dr. Peter Attia: The limits of scientific evidence and the ethics of dietary guidelines — 60 years of ambiguity http://vimeo.com/45485034

    • Loren Anthony says

      Lol I’m two days new to Katie aka Wellness Mama’s blog and the first thing I did was read her “about” page which is the first thing all of you should’ve done as well. It clearly states: “I give you fair warning that many things on this blog will go against conventional wisdom. Things I write will go against what your mom taught you, what you learned in school and what you have always held to be true. Bring on the cognitive dissonance!” So in respect to her disclaimer, instead of being on the offense and being disrespectful, it would be nice if you all just chilled out and engaged her in a healthy and enlightening debate instead

    • Josheh says

      I think all of you are a little too quick to attack Steven. Agree with his abruptness or not, a well cited paper should always be welcome and encouraged. Not only does it give weight to the paper’s (article’s) claims, but it also provides an avenue for further reading and research. Especially if you are putting information forward that might challenge conventional thinking, it’s desirable to back that up as such.

      It seems apparent that those that have replied to Steven have already made up their minds on what they want to believe. They have strong opinions that already pit them against the manufactured food industry. Is this article targeted at that audience? If so, then why bother writing it at all? If it’s meant to inform and sway opinion though, of those that aren’t aware, then cited sources and additional reading should be a welcome idea.

      Please don’t assume that I feel this article is Propaganda just because I feel your attack on Steven is a little hasty. I feel that Steven brought up a valid point, though I disagree with the assertions of propaganda. On the surface the facts of the article appear to coincide with what I’ve learned from my own research and such.

      Ronald Potts is correct, it shouldn’t be on the reader to prove the facts, it should be on the writer making the claims.

      I think the idea that proper citations aren’t needed, as Claudia suggest, is a bit, eh, improper. Claudia might find the contents of this article “common sense”, but I think that’s a bit of a bias opinion on her part. Her opinion is already swayed. Even if the consequences of eating such food as McDonalds or drinking Coke are widely known, it’s still important to cite where you’re getting your information from so a more informed decision can be made if further questions need answers beyond what is provided. It’s common sense that the sky is blue, but why is it unheard of to want to know more, to want to know exactly why it’s blue?

      The next person down, “Friendly”. You attack Steven rather than putting forth any actual argument. You’ve done nothing to prove Steven’s points wrong. Steven might have been lofty in sticking his supposed credentials out there, but you’ve done nothing but show you are no better than him. You mock someone that ask questions, that wants cited resources. What if this was a Coca Cola blog talking about the benefits of high fructose corn syrup? Would you mock the man that asked them to cite their sources and back up their claims? I doubt it. There would be a train of people behind him in support. So why do we attack Steven here? Perhaps you perceive him as the enemy, because his views don’t apparently align so quickly with yours. Rather than bring forth any information that proves your side right though, you just attack him. This isn’t right.

      Loren Anthony commented on the disclaimer that was given. This is no excuse for not properly citing sources. Anyone can write such a warning to their readers and still be incorrect in their assertions. Part of challenging the way we think is also providing the information and sources we used to come to the point we’re making. It’s not enough to say A is B, sometimes we need to explain why A is B, how we came to that conclusion.

      I’m sorry if I offend any of you by siding with Steven in the claim that citation would be desired (Like I said, I don’t agree with his assertion of propaganda and I think he’s a bit harsh in his tone). I think it’s good though to question, to wonder, to not just take things at face value. Proper citation can help substantiate a writer’s claim though; it can help to prove their findings to even those that might be skeptical. Really, it’s the skeptical ones we should want to convince, too.

      TL:DR, stop hating on Steven for being skeptical, you should work towards proving your point, not attacking him, and you should all learn to be a little skeptical. That’s how we learn, improve, change.

    • Lorin says

      This is not a scientific journal article. And while citations may be nice, they are not required. In fact, we should all be doing our own research. Wellness Mama doesn’t need to “prove” or “substantiate” anything. She is providing a lot of useful information already. Information that we are all clearly interested in or we wouldn’t be here in the first place.
      If you don’t like what she says or don’t believe her then feel free to do YOUR OWN RESEARCH and write your own blog. Quit wasting time by hating on someone who goes to such effort to help us. Say thank you or gtfo.

  34. Tidyaron says

    A good article but terrible that you don’t suggest what to have otherwise, my fiancee has chron’s and has to avoid vegetable oil full stop and to make things worse she can’t have dairy so what is she supposed to have instead to help her bake cakes etc to make her food diet more interesting?

  35. Wendyc says

    I can’t believe you have put on Palm Oil on the list. It is not an environmentally sustainable oil. Not only for animals but for the soil and indiginous people. You only need to fly over Indonesia and Malyasia to see how much palm oil plantations there are where there used to be rainforests. Palm oil plantations are built in tropical areas – and tropical forests are being cut down so that we can grow more palm oil. We can do something about global warming by stop cutting down the rainforest, which also affects the peat swamps the water levels drop around the areas of palm oil plantations, then the peat swamps release all the carbon they have been storing for hundreds of years back into the atmosphere. The United Nations Environment Programme has announced that palm oil plantations are now the leading cause of rainforest destruction in Malaysia and Indonesia in Southeast Asia. Throughout Southeast Asia, an area of forest equal to 300 soccer fields is being destroyed every hour.
    It’s great to think of your heath but what about the health and well being of the indigenous people of Indonesia and Malaysia. If this was happening in a Western Country there would be outrage.

    • says

      I agree with you and the only Palm oil I”d ever suggest is the one from Tropical Traditions that is made sustainably in Western Africa, not Southeast Asia, and which supports the environment and small business. I agree that there need to be huge changes in mass produced Palm oil, but I don’t think throwing out Palm Oil all together is the answer, but encouraging sustainable and fair production.

    • Raelene says

      Might I suggest that those who argue for the sustainability of palm oil in support of “the health and wellbeing of Malaysia and Indonesia” actually talk to Malaysians or Indonesians about how the industry is also providing many of them basic economic needs? Many of those working on the plantations need the work to feed their families, and what they earn in a month is barely the average daily wage in a Western country.
      Yes, there are many criticisms against the industry but bear in mind that many of the arguments raised are based on emotional fallacies, and many of them were hyped up by stakeholders preserving their soy and corn interests, very much like those people who bang-ed on about unhealthy saturated fats so they can sell their vegetable-derived creations. For example, hectar by hectar, palm oil produces more oil than does corn or soy, for longer periods of time (we are talking about years) while corn and soy need to be replanted after harvesting. There we already have less carbon emissions! And throughout the whole growth and harvesting time, they still use carbon dioxide in photosynthesis, so yes, while in comparison to rainforests they pale in their contribution to reduce carbon, they definitely do better than corn and soy plantations.
      And it is rather ironic that it is those who are in Western Countries who run around advocating about the evils of palm oil destroying the environment when in fact, the same occurred in their own countries when massive tracts of land were cleared to plant corn and oil. Maybe one day someone like the Wellness Mama will write about the marketing manipulations involved in the whole competition between palm oil, soy and corn.

  36. says

    This article is full of holes. First of all, vegetable oil is scientifically proven to be better for you. What matters is the TYPE of vegetable oil. For instance coconut oil is by far the worst because of the saturated fat and high calorie content. Whereas olive oil is VERY healthy for you. No animal fat or oil is EVER good for you, which is what I think the author is implying. Secondly, vegetable oil has been consumed for thousands and thousands of years, there is nothing new about it. Native Americans would crush nuts and boil them for their oil. In the middle east, olive oil production has been going on before we started recording history. I recommend that everybody studies science more and not listen to false facts.

    • says

      I’d love to see some of your “proof” that it is better for you. It is financially proven to be more lucrative for companies… Coconut oil is actually one of the best foods you can consume (I drink 1/4 cup a day straight…) and does not cause heart disease or high cholesterol (more here http://wellnessmama.com/1853/prevent-heart-disease-eat-more-cholesterol/ and most of the links in there are to studies). I am not only implying that animal fat is good for you… I’m flat out saying it. The vegetable oil we consume today has not been consumed for thousands of years (though those *dreaded* animal fats and coconut oil have been consumed that long and longer). If you’ve got “science” I’d love to see it. If not, you’re doing the same thing you are accusing me of doing (and there are links to studies in this article as well.)

    • cfbcfb says

      Actually science has never proven anything at all with regards to any health issues involving animal fats. Ancel Keys ran the “lipid study” which eliminated the data from 17 of 22 countries to come to his “conclusion” that animal fats are bad for us. The 5 countries he kept in his study consumed a lot of vegetable oils, sugars and processed starches, and had unhealthy populations. Among the 17 he omitted, most of those did not eat a western diet, ate lots of saturated fat and enjoyed lower incidence of heart disease and cancer.

      Read this, from a cardiac surgeon, with lots and lots of proof points and sources:
      http://lewrockwell.com/miller/miller38.1.html

      Your examples of how we consumed vegetable fats forgets that the only way we had to render them was by crushing them, not chemically extracting them from genetically modified source seeds, with the primary genetic modification being ’roundup ready’ which allows the plants to be indiscriminately sprayed with roundup. I’d prefer to avoid eating roundup and the chemicals associated with extracting modern vegetable oils. In truth, we ate very little vegetable fat because it was too hard to render, and animal fats are readily available and easily rendered.

      Why are we fooled into eating this crap by bad science and even worse reporting standards in the nutritional press? We have billions of people to feed, its expensive to make quality food, its expensive to raise animals and render animal fat. Its much cheaper and more profitable to grow GMO grains and seeds, spray them with chemicals to avoid any labor costs, extract them with chemicals, then concoct “food” out of processed starches augmented or cooked in crap fats, sprayed with salt and sugar. Sure is convenient and tastes good to our western palates.

      Do recall that we were told that cigarettes were good for us for a good 50 years and doctors even lined up to endorse particular brands. There were even cigs for asthma sufferers. I’ll bet those worked really well. Common wisdom and the guidance of those who should be experts in the matter is therefore not a very good divining rod.

      Real proof? Up until two years ago I ate the “good diet”. Low fat, high grains, fruit juice, smoothies, etc. Poor calorie to nutrition ratio, and large jolts of nutrition from juicing. I had steadily gone from 180lbs as a young man to 260lbs, with high blood pressure and diabetes and a load of other things. I took 17 prescription pills a day while lamenting to my doctor that I was eating the supposedly ‘good’ stuff, why wasn’t it working? He offered more pills.

      So I had a funny epiphany while watching “survivorman”. Les gets dropped into a wilderness and survives on what he can find, much like we did for 10,000 years or more before engaging in organized agriculture. He eats berries, seeds, green shoots, a root now and then, eggs he can find in a nest, small critters he can trap, bugs, small fish…you get the idea, although I skipped the bugs. I adopted the coconut oil craze (I must have 4 gallons of it) and butter as my primary cooking oils. I used olive oil sparingly in cold applications. I eat entirely super duty organic products. My fruits and vegetables are grown by a farm like its the 1800′s, from composts only and no sprays or chemicals. My meats are grass fed and free range from a local farm, rendered by a local business and not a factory. I eat what Les did, augmented by probiotics and fermented foods. I also eat a lot of charcuterie, since it tastes great. Bacon, sausage, pate’s, rillettes, confits, etc. Try to keep the calories under 2000, and its not hard with this diet. I’m never hungry, I don’t experience sugar rollercoasters or cravings.

      Results? In a little over a year I lost 80lbs. I weigh what I did in high school. I developed improved energy and mood almost immediately. I was able to stop taking every single pill. My blood work is pristine. I feel great. With a diet that is almost 50% fat (by calorie intake), much of that saturated, much of that animal based.

      The only hilarious problem I have now is that almost nobody ‘fixes’ their body like this, and my kaiser doctor apparently is unable or unwilling to note that I’m no longer suffering from the huge range of diet related illnesses I used to suffer from. I’m constantly nagged for blood tests and to come in and have my BP checked. The modern medical system doesn’t allow for people to get well!

    • Chartje23 says

      Your comment has only superficial facts and info rather than this article. it only testifies of your lack of information about these problems and that the information you have is pure commercially given.

  37. Rebecca says

    I was raised exclusively on vegetable oil and margarine. My mom would scoff at people who used butter and say that it was so disgusting and was clogging their arteries. I really think it’s a generational thing. She always took pride in raising us so “healthy.” I became much more well informed in early adulthood, and use only butter and olive oil. I still use vegetable oil and crisco for baking sometimes, but after reading your article I will switch to coconut oil. I just didn’t know how to substitute for it before now.

     
    All of this information is really overwhelming to me. I feel like everything in my cupboard is going to kill my family. I am so tired all the time from working full time during the day, staying up late to do housework then being up nursing my daughter all night long. The thought of making everything from scratch is overwhelming to me. Do you have any advice of how to prioritize what to change and what’s not as bad, e.g. crackers and food from the middle aisles of the store? Do you have any advice for time management for busy moms with no help? 

  38. jcblank says

    I don’t think that it is common knowledge that people have been eating vegetable oils for millenia.  As a reader of your comment, I would disregard that statement, given your misinformation about GMO.  If you want people to take you seriously on this, you should offer up some historical evidence that people have been eating vegetable oils for millenia.  So far as I know, there is no such evidence.  Yes, people have been eating olive oil, but that was not referenced here as a vegetable oil.  I’m not sure about sesame oil, as I haven’t read up on it.  But the others were NOT around for more than 100-200 years.  

  39. jcblank says

    In some places, it’s pretty inexpensive to find good fats.  I can get a big bag of beef fat from my butcher (grass-fed) for $1/lb.  I then bring it home and render it.   

    I agree that some things are not common enough, but they are becoming more and more common and accessible.  

    Good quality food often costs more.  That is, in part due to the government subsidies for many foods, which creates a lower cost (but it still costs us, we just don’t see the bill).  Also, cheap food often causes us to pay more in healthcare costs.  We have to learn to pay what good quality food is worth.  

  40. Daz says

    Articles like this are what make the Internet brilliant.  The word is spreading (forgive the pun).  Saturated fats are good for us.  So the Asians were right about dairy, Ghee is good! Replacing oil for ghee was acually doing us harm!  Right the ghee laden curries are back on the menu.

    Scientists and Medical people mostly give bad advice in my experience and will never waiver from their views especially when talking to a laymen.  Scientific proof bla bla bla, we do not believe your scientific proof, we believe common sense and also stories from real people whos health has improved.  Scientists are perdantic people and would rather critise than learn from peoples experience.

      • Joanna says

        I believe he/she may have been referring to the arrogance and superiority complex issues many (but not all) medical professionals have which prevents them from taking an unbiased look at the possibilities of something other than what they’re comfortable with actually being true. Don’t worry, the science will catch up eventually, in the meantime follow whichever diet you feel is best and time will tell who wins the Darwin Award =)

  41. Heather says

    I’m an artist, and the only time I buy vegetable oil is to use in cleaning oil paint out of my brushes! Wipe off excess paint, swirl the brushes in oil in a jar, and then a plain ol’ bar of soap to scrub the brushes on.

  42. Justaguest says

    Pretty sad to see Palm oil on the recommended list.  It’s one of the big contributors to the destruction of the rainforest.  Shame shame..

  43. Jfisher says

    Palm oil is one of the most dangerous oil there is. Ban from some
    european counties. I CAN NOT believe its listed as a heathy alternative.

    Although accurate in many areas, there are information here that is
    absolutely Wrong! Anyone read this article should be made aware of.

    Totally irresponsible. I the author get herself a proper education or
    represent the information accurately.

    Dr J Fisher.

  44. Tiffany says

    I was raised on vegetable oils and margarine. My family thought it was healthy, as most people do nowadays. We would use it from cooking to baking, in almost anything that called for oil. But after reading this article, I will definitely get rid of all of it!

    We like to have homemade meals instead of eating out, so cooking oil is a necessary in our house. What will be the best cooking oil to use? Will extra virgin olive oil do? I’ve read that it is ok to use good quality evoo for cooking because the better the evoo, the lower the level of acidity and this increases the smoking point of evoo. Is this true? I know that coconut oil is very healthy and safe to cook with because of its high smoke point, but the virgin coconut oil will give a coconut taste to all my savory dishes including fish and sauteed vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love everything coconuts but I don’t want something savory to have coconut, especially my pan seared wild salmon! The other alternative would be refined coconut oil, but I heard it’s bad since it has been refined, bleached, and deodorized. There’s also butter, but I wouldn’t want to use butter everyday or in everything I cook/bake, so any recommendations?  

    Thanks for your great and informative article!

    • says

      Olive oil oxidizes when heated, so its great for salads and cool dishes but not for hot ones. Ghee is a good alternative to coconut oil without the taste, or grassfed tallow is a great sources of CLA and Omega-3s.

  45. KT says

    I have no idea why the author believes rapeseed oil is bad.  Rapeseed (real) oil is extracted by mechanically pressing the seeds, which contain 50% oil, and about 1/3 pure oil of this  THere is no chemical process going on there, get your fact right? A high quality rapeseed oil have very little saturated fats in it, and it considered one of the better oils. It can also take higher heat than ie. olive oil and has higher content of the good fats. 

    • says

      I’d love to see your documentation on this. Rapeseed (canola) oil oxidizes very quickly at high temperatures. It is low in saturated fats, which is a BAD thing and high in Omega-6 Polyunsaturated fats which is also a BAD thing. If you couldn’t/wouldn’t eat the food the oil comes from in high quantities, eating the oil isn’t a great idea either! The common way of producing this oil involves hexane and chemical bleach and deodorizer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canola.

      • says

        I live in the country, right beside several Canola fields. Canola plants routinely crop up in my lawn. My kids pick them and put them on the kitchen table. They smell kinda nice, but I promise you, there is no way to cold press oil from these little flowers. There is no oily seed that you can squeeze. Plenty of oils are obvious, but soybean, corn, and DEFINITELY canola are not.

  46. Wild Bill says

    Grass fed derived milk and butter are awesome foods as long as they come from A-2 cows (Jersey and Guernsey for instance) and have not been cooked (i.e.; pasteurized).
    I’m not aware of any milk/butter available in stores that has not been cooked.
    Are you?

  47. Wild Bill says

     Grass fed derived milk and butter are awesome foods as long as they come from A-2 cows (Jersey and Guernsey for instance but not Holstein) and have not been cooked (i.e.; pasteurized).
    I am not aware of  any milk products in stores that have not been cooked.
    Are you?

  48. CanDoGirl says

    I always thought grapeseed oil was one of the “wonder” oils.  I see here you’ve listed it as an oil to avoid so I will adjust however, as I’ve been combing your site for all the amazing homemade recipes, I noticed one of your recipes for baby massage oils says I can use grapeseed oil.  Now I’m confused. Is is ok to use it topically yet not ingest it?

  49. Buchanansc says

    I was bummed to see grapeseed oil on the list of don’t-eats. I’ve heard so much good about it ~ as long as it’s cold or expeller pressed. Does that redeem it somewhat? I’ve been using it as a lotion, rubbing it straight on my skin. Not good?

  50. Caseylait says

    I don’t recommend flax in any form because genetically modified seeds are passed off as natural (FDA has not classified it as a food, so the growers/sellers can say what they want). Many European countries have banned human consumption of flax in any form because of this. My mom used to clean with linseed oil–flax seed oil!

  51. Buchanansc says

    If grapeseed oil is expeller pressed and you don’t heat it up, is it okay? I use it to make mayo because of it’s more mild flavor. Olive is so strong and less versatile as mayo.

  52. NoVeggieOil! says

    I stopped eating vegetable oils a few years ago and I immediately noticed a HUGE change in my body. I was suffering from constant burning mouth (it’s an actual syndrome, believe it or not, and it’s awful), fatigue,  and cystic acne which, for a woman in her 30s, was distressing. As soon as I cut out vegetable oil in all forms, my symptoms literally disappeared within in a matter of days. If I slip and eat vegetable oil, they come right back! I’ve never had such a drastic response to a dietary change.
    Thanks for sharing this information. I get some crazy looks when I tell people I can’t eat vegetable oil, so I appreciate having this information to share with them.

  53. Rodneydownsling2 says

    Hello!  You should definitely try Memory Oil!  Memory oil is very healthy and is way healthier than vegetable oil!  Only $10 a bottle and I put it in almost all my meals!  You won’t regret buying it!  Check out memory oils!!! :)

  54. Dom says

    A very informative article but one major mistake with the fish references, tuna are not small fish and do accumulate high levels of mercury, salmon are medium sized and also accumulate toxins.  Stick to the sardine or even better go for krill oil capsules or algae supplements.

    • says

      Certain kinds of tuna are actually low in mercury when tested. For anyone interested, Chris Kresser has some interesting info on the benefits of seafood vs. the actual mercury exposure. I would recommend Fermented Cod Liver Oil over krill though!

  55. Curious says

    Hi after sharing this very interesting post on my FB one of my friends said in UK there are no transfats in margarine anymore. I found this: ‘

    No brands of spread on sale in the UK contain hydrogenated oils any more andall vegetable oil based spreads are virtually free of trans-fatty acids. The amount of saturated fat in spreads hasconsistently been falling and now, even at the highest end of the scale, content is at least 25% less than that of butter.’ from this website http://www.margarine.org.uk/MSA-Butter-and-Spreads.pdf

    Can I trust that this is true, and there is no hydrogenated fat’s and pesticides in margarine any more? How do one know what to believe in?

    Thank you for a very good post!!

  56. angela says

    I quit reading after the author states “The human body is about 97% saturated and monounsaturated fat, with only 3 % Polyunsaturated fats” ….. If we were 97% saturated fat we would all be dead. Obviously this was another poorly outsourced piece of literary garbage that was not edited before posted.

    • says

      You are certainly more than welcome not to read anymore… but I can assure you that this was not outsourced and was written by me. I agree that that sentence was poorly worded, and it should say (and I will correct it to say) that 97% of the fat in the human body is saturated. Enjoy your vegetable oils…

    • Joanna says

      You know, it pays to read the whole article without your own prejudices getting in the way, & if you don’t finish what you start, you may never learn anything… Besides, I read it to mean “of the fat in humans, 97% is saturated” – but I thought THAT would be common sense… *sigh*

  57. Cheryl says

    It’s a shame to support Palm Oil. It’s absolutely devastating the forests of Indonesia and many of it’s inhabitants, especially Orangutans. Avoid Palm Oil at all costs!!

  58. delrashid says

    I have been researching natural health for the last 3 years, but have not been able to write about what i have discovered. I truly believe that Mother Nature does not create LIFE so that we can eat it as food. With this in mind I wondered why do plants go to such efforts to produce vegetable oils.

    The answer is that in Nature plants produce oils as a pesticide to kill insects, by either blocking the breathing holes or by polyunsaturated lipids oxidising the digestive tract of the insects. I have also become aware that companies do not have to state the origins of the oil i.e is it soya etc,

    Also pregnant women should avoid vegetable oil and margarine in their diet, as their compromised immune system is susceptible to the biological effects of vegetable oil lipids, as such increasing the chances of allergies and asthma in their children.

    Also avoid cooking with oils, I would only recommend 24g of cold pressed olive oil added to salads and food per day.

  59. jennab says

    I gave all my “vegetable” oil away to a local non profit for their senior citizens’ fish fry they were having. I now only use organic olive oil, organic butter, and organic E.V. coconut oil. I do have a small bottle of sesame oil I occasionally use with oriental foods.

  60. says

    Holy crap, I’ve been eating vegetable oil and eggs almost every day for the past 6 months. I thought that was the good oil. I hope I have olive oil around here. If not I’m picking it up. This stuff has got to go.

  61. says

    I read David Gillepsie’s book “Big Fat Lies” recently which I thought was very informative as is your article. Consumers are not aware of how vegetable/seed oils and margarine are being produced. Personally I much prefer a little bit of butter and don’t worry so much about saturated fat. I’m French and France is a large consumer of saturated fat (cheese, cured meat, pate) and still has one of the lowest rate of heart disease! It’s what specialist called the French paradox.

  62. Wendy says

    I’ve been cooking in cold pressed olive oil for most of my life because I thought it was healthy to do so. So are you saying that I am turning the oil into a processed product by heating it?

    • says

      Olive oil does oxidize quickly at high temperatures, so it isn’t the best for cooking, especially at high temps. Oils and fats like coconut oil, tallow, ghee, etc have a much higher heat tolerance and are better for cooking.

      • Carson Collins says

        Does ghee leave a taste when you use it to fry things? I’m planning to make latkes for friends and one of them can’t stand coconut, so I’m avoiding using coconut oil to fry them. Would ghee work without a significant taste? Thanks

    • daisygarden says

      Wendy, you got it right.

      Subjecting healthy, cold pressed olive oil to the heat you make it prossesed and oxidized. .And,first,cold pressed,olive oil is reach in VIT E!!! By heating you destroy vit E. while choosing cooking oils watch for SMOKE POINT. According to my

      knowlage GRAPE SEED OIL is most sutable for cooking. It has very high smoke point. Refind oils have higher smoke points but many of them are unhealthy so use very sparingly.
      Read “THE ANTI INFLAMATION ZONE” by Dr.Barry Sears . You will find all the answers you need ,and you will be surprized !!!!!! Good luck

    • says

      It is great for cool things or for low temp cooking, but because it is largely unsaturated it can oxidize easily too. Basic rule of thumb: oils (liquid) for cold foods, and fats (solid at cooler temps) for hot foods…

  63. Stefa folle says

    My last comment doesn’t seem to be here! I wanted to know, you didn’t mention sesame oil, it is suppose to be a good oil for high heat as far as I know. What is your take on that? Thanks!

  64. cool_jd13 says

    this is so true, many people don’t know this, they think just because it’s in the stores and it tastes good that it’s not harmful. while companies gain millions of dollars by selling cheap, unhealthy oils.

  65. Stefa folle says

    One more question about oils. I have these bouillon cubes I love, been using them a lot over the years and would find hard to replace. Only thing, the last ingredient is cold press sunflower oil. What do you think, need to look for something else?

      • Stefa folle says

        Well, I make it when I cook a whole chicken but it only gives enough to make one or two soups and I usually add a couple of bouillon cubes to add flavor. How many whole chicken do you cook in a week? Also I am wondering how many dozens of eggs you go tru in a week because as I am trying to transition I am realizing that I’ll never have enough eggs!!! We are a family of 6.

        • says

          I save bones and also make beef broth/stock, so we always have broth on hand and simmering on the stove. We go through 2-4 chickens a week because with the kids, we eat 2 at a time. That is enough to make a big batch of stock. We also go through 12-18 eggs a day at this point I think…

      • tane wallis says

        K, couple questions, pardon my lack of knoledge ….. Is it only saterated fats from unhealthy oils that decrease healthy colesterole and increase unhealthy colesterole( resulting in cardio problems)??

        Is butter really still that good after the pasterization prosess as i thought all or most life is killed by heat?

        What are your thoughts on raw veganism? I was quite surprised to see that intake of nuts need to be monitored. I have kind of been under the impression we are not really designed to eat meat due to the long digestion trac, ajustible jaw, the need to cook the meat unlike any other carnivorious mamals to my understanding and the fact we tend to eat the muscle and fat of an animal rather than the organs where the bulk of the nutrients are… or at least thats what i have been told. I’m also not sure but dont a lot of the good things we get from the meat like vitamines and minerals come from what the mamal eats and therefore isn’t it better to just go strait to the sorce?? I guess there is protien but it is animal protien which i think is not very digestible… aswell as being quite acidizing for the blood stream?

        I would be massivley greatful if you know the truth of any of this and would have a minute to clear it up for me.

        also please excuse any spelling errors, CHeers :)

        • anonymous says

          what most vegans don’t realize tane, is that humans can and have consumed raw meat safely. all humans have an appendix, but it is not as strong as it used to be, so we have to watch the quality of meat we’d try eating raw nowadays in case we get sick (but trust me, it can be done. i ate a steak raw after losing a bet before and was perfectly fine, although it did taste terrible lol).

          humans have been eating meat for many, many years. it’s been an integral part of our diet for such a long time. i can’t grasp why vegans believe it would be ok to just eliminate nearly half of our diet after so long and survive on fruits and vegetables.

          they say we aren’t hunters, because of flat teeth (which actually isn’t true, we have incisors for tearing) and slight frames, yet we used our minds (which can be looked at as the most effective predatory tool) to outhunt every predator. they say we can’t digest meat, because of our digestive tract, and that it is closer to a cow’s in length, when actually it is halfway between a carnivore’s and a herbivore’s. not to mention that we can’t even digest cellulose like herbivores can because we lack the bacterial sacks in our stomachs.

          i’ve read a lot of arguments from both sides, and yet still firmly believe that humans lie in the middle. we were designed to be the most adaptable mammal on the planet. does it not make sense that we would also be omnivores? balance. that is what the body needs.

  66. anonymous says

    I have suffered from IBS for years and tried everything EXCEPT what a naturalist doctor insisted would help me. In the end, in desparation – I did what he said : eliminated all refined oils from my diet ENTIRELY, and use only Virgin cold pressed Olive Oil, sesame oil, butter and animal fats from meat. Honest to God – my IBS vanished after a couple of weeks and has gone from my life. It is now years later – I eat meat, eggs, butter, olive and sesame oil – and feel good. Though anecdotal and of no statistical or scientific value – I truly believe sharing my story above can help some of you suffering from IBS. Give it a try.

  67. says

    Ugh… I had no idea that palm oil production was so horrible for the rainforests. I just bought a huge one gallon bucket of it. It was from Tropical Traditions, but I still feel weird about it. It says it’s made in Columbia. Also, I pay quite a bit for an all-natural non-GMO, expeller pressed safflower oil mayo because I’ve never had good luck making a homemade mayo that tastes good to me. I’m hoping that’s okay in a cold product like mayo… but I’m guessing it would have to be cold-processed as well??

  68. says

    Despite the first chapters of this article being really biased, the last one’s (the actual ones telling us “Why you should never eat vegetable oil or margarine”), have really been good advice. In Portugal, most people actually eat butter, because it tastes better. In my house, I was able to convince my mum to change to margarine, because of her blood pressures, etc, and then I got used to It. The problem with this article is that it doesn’t realistically weight the pros and cons of consumption of margarine or vegetable oils for people with high blood pressure, etc. I will change for butter, but I won’t let my mother change again. This article is very misleading and incorrect as an whole.

  69. Viler says

    wellnessmomma.. i would encourage you stay away from highly technical topics such as this. I read the entire article and all the evidence unscientific. It doesn’t take much more than a high school chemistry class to understand the link between saturated and mono-saturated fats and heart disesase. Please refrain from brainwashing folks with your pseudo expertise!

    • Joanna says

      A little “anecdotal” evidence here: I took EPO to help with skin (eczema) & discovered that it gave me increased dysmenorrhoea & menorrhagia (obviously hormonal & inflammatory-cascade related signs/symptoms) which discontinued when a naturopath recommended I swap to omega 3 instead. Over the years I have discovered that my case was not simply an isolated incident – it’s more common than most would think. I’m so glad I swapped over to purified fish oil instead.

  70. Stefa folle says

    Apparently some olive oils would be mixt w/cheaper oils to make it cheaper to produce.
    How do you find good olive oil w/out breaking the bank?

  71. Michelle says

    I am really curious why EVERYONE, in the medical, nutrition, and science field says to moderate saturated fat and eat more omega 3 & 6 and you say the exact opposite, what is the basis for this? I’ve heard that flax seed is such a good oil because of the omegas to help not only lower bad cholesterol, but it also supports other body functions (body builders and fitness gurus consume this)

    • Chartje23 says

      I think that to understand what is bad and what not, we have to compare the things that has been said. You are talking about the omega’s: ”they” say it’s good for your cholesterol. This article says much more about flax seed AND discusses the meaning of the omega’s. This tells me that I better believe this, than ”they”. More is not always better but sometimes it is I guess

  72. Carrie says

    I’d like to know what you’d recommend for someone who is allergic to dairy… severely. And also allergic to soy… AND cannot have foods med-high in salicylates. We cannot have butter (dairy) or olive oil (high in sals) or coconut oil (high in sals). We also are gluten free and rice free…. meaning all gluten free foods MUST be made from scratch. I have to spend a lot of money to feed my family (and we are scraping bottom). And it is a lot of work. We are very health-conscious. We eat a lot of good clean food. We never eat out (its impossible). So if you have any advice to those with very limited diets I’d be interested – thanks

  73. says

    what a kick ass awesome article – we have been veggie oil free for over a year and are feeling great (grain free too) – my daughter is doing her science project on how margarine is made (grade 6) and this will really help. keep up the great work

    thanks
    lisa
    PS i dont give a crap about your scientific references, everything you say concurs with science i have already read – from many sources – you just put is more clearly and concisely. :)

    paleoasis.com

  74. Laura Dunn says

    I found this post to be very informative, but it also left me with many more questions. I am a very health conscious eater and try to consume only organic foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. I was surprised to find peanut oil and grapeseed oil on the “bad” list, and had no idea that cooking with olive oil at high temperatures is not healthy. So glad to know this now! However, I bake my own granola bars (350F) and have always used peanut oil. I do not like the taste of coconuts, so using unrefined coconut oil as a substitute is not an option. Is peanut oil good as long as it is not fried/baked at high temperatures or if using the unrefined variety? I assume unrefined means the oil was extracted without using chemicals or bleaching to remove the color and flavor. It would be nice if there was a list of which oils are good to eat by category, such as oils to use at cool, room/warm, and hot temperatures. What alternative would you recommend I use for my granola bars? Also, if cooking veggies or marinades, what is a good alternative to the unrefined coconut oil if I do not care for the coconut taste? I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!

  75. Friendly says

    I feel the same way with you Steven Smith “Mr. Scientist with a PHD lets see some creds. Propaganda or not you are probably doing the same. Spice your comment up with some good grammar and boom instantly you got a PhD in biochemistry. Bhahahahaha what a fool. All of these people should be attacking you, you soothsayer.
    Oh and im just a regular guy from florida. and that my friend is the truth.

  76. Stephen Hahn says

    It’s a spurious argument to “link” vegetable oils with the rise in cancer based on cancer numbers being lower in 1900. The methods for detecting cancer and reporting deaths to cancer was not as advanced, hence of course the number was lower.

  77. MK says

    Just really quickly- please, please, please stop offending English teachers everywhere and not only cite your sources, like Dr Smith down below, but also stop using sensationalist language. Be persuasive without using opinion. “I wonder what seventy pounds of a food not found in nature could do to the body? Wink wink, nudge nudge, this is bad for you!” It’s crass.

    • Chartje23 says

      That’s what we all want to hear. But maybe life is better if you do worry a little bit more about what you put in your body! :)

  78. says

    “What the scientific literature does tell us is that low fat diets for children, or diets in which vegetable oils have been substituted for animal fats, result in failure to thrive–failure to grow tall and strong–as well as learning disabilities, susceptibility to infection and behavioral problems. Teenage girls who adhere to such a diet risk reproductive problems. If they do manage to conceive, their chances of giving birth to a low birth weight baby, or a baby with birth defects, are high.”

    I always find it utterly astonishing that – against the odds, if you believe all this pro-dairy/meat industry propaganda – I’ve managed to raise two exceptionally clever, strong, healthy, massive, way-advanced warrior-women-in-waiting on an entirely vegan diet. must just be genetics. or luck. or something.

  79. loudjazz says

    This is an interesting paper printed in the British Medical Journal this month. http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.e8707.pdf%2Bhtml
    Unprocessed saturated animal fats – yes please! Omega 6 polyunsaturates – no thank you unless you want to die first. This paper confirms that the current thinking on the kind of fats we should use and avoid is WRONG
    After living for years in Italy watching people eating everything (cheese, eggs, olive oil, lardo- cured pork back fat, pasta etc) without paranoia and looking well and healthy the penny finally dropped! Quality, provenance and correct info is everything, processed ‘food’ is a big nutrition free con and fizzy soft drinks are death. Other than that, go for a walk and enjoy. Food is convivial, food is love, food is life. If you are what you eat who wants to be fast, cheap and supersized.

  80. Corey says

    The two healthiest fats on the planet are “Olive Oil” & “Avocado” while there are many other great choices too these are the best. While these are great fats as well. You must eat these as a balanced diet as well. Eating 100 grams of saturated fat from olive oil and avocado is still too much fat for one day. I recommend eating your balanced diet like the recommended daily intake, just substituting all fats for the good ones. Thats the benefit.

  81. keeley says

    I have just read an article on the olive oil sold in North America. It was very disturbing because the olive oil I have been buying for years of any kind is adulterated. This means that anyone who buys olive oil is not buying pure olive oil even thought he bottle says so, which they all do.

    The article I found was one of the head lines on msn.com page about a week ago (Late February, 2013 article).

    In this article it expIained that the monopoly on world olive oil comes from Italy which the Italian Mafia runs. Italy is selling adulterated oilive oil world wide. This means that 80% of the olive oil sold in North America (US and Canada) is adulterated, 70% sunflower oil and only 30% actual pure olive oil blended and labelled as “pure olive oil”. There is no way of them able to find out which of the last 20% sold is actual pure olive oil from Italy.

    Police there have been cracking down on the olive oil producing companies but are having a hard time catching them as there are so many and they don’t have the resources to stop them.oil, which the article stated.

    Just look up adulterated olive oil produced by Italy, you should be able to find this information on it. Buy Portuguese or Spanish olive oil from their actual country origin to escape adulterated olive oil sold. Portuguese is better tasting and fruitier.

  82. Cath says

    This was a very interesting article. It’s very frustrating to read so many conflicting articles online though. It’s really hard to find valid sources and to really know what is true. As we know, statistics are handy things to make whatever we want to sound true, sound true. I’ve been seeing numerous articles in the UK about how rapeseed oil is good for you. Is this because there are a ton of bad writers who do no real research and just recycle information? Or are the growing and processing methods different here? I’m wondering if there is such a thing as an oil that is ok for doing stir fry with?

  83. says

    Rapeseed oil (cold pressed) is very healthy, with great ratios of omega oils, (by the way the optimum ratio is between 2:1 and 4:1 in favour of omega 6) and erucic acid apparently has not been proven to be harmful to humans. Luckily here in the UK we can get very good locally produced quality rapeseed oil; anything mass produced is a no no in our house. Please reconsider your stance on Palm oil, it is causing massive areas of deforestation and enormous cruelty to orang utans. Cream, eaten all the time, leads to gallstones and high cholesterol, and too much meat of any kind is not good for any one. You might like to research what goes into your average farmed meat in the US. If you are a person who cares about others and cares about our lovely planet then please have a read, I bet you will be promoting eating home grown veggies and locally sourced meat from small farmers in no time :) xxx

  84. says

    The reason butter, lard, etc. stopped being used was purely commercial. Edison invented the light bulb and everyone wanted to be wired for electricity. The biggest lamp oil manufacturer was stuck with warehouses full of the stuff. They put scientists to work to salvage it and ended up making Crisco shortening. This was heavily promoted as being “better for you” and people stopped using natural products.

  85. Stefa folle says

    i appreciate all the info on your website and did make a lot of changes in our diet after reading this article. However, one thing I am not convinced about is that coconut oil is good on high temp. It smokes like crazy and smells really bad. Also from a lot of different sources I found that grape seed oil is good for high temp. usage.

  86. Justin Yin says

    I think this article is somewhat informative. It is worth pointing out that the vegetable oils themselves are healthy (not considering whether GMO is bad or not), but only the extraction and purification methods that pose potential dangers.
    Palm and olive oils are extracted by simply pressing, so they are fine. However, many other vegetable oils such as soybean and canola oils are extracted using organic solvents. If you have worked in an organic chemistry lab before, you would know most of the organic solvents are potentially carcinogenic.
    Thus if it is true that many vegetable oils are extracted from the seeds using organic solvents such as hexane, then you don’t need “citations” to claim that the vegetable oils extracted/processed such way may be contaminated with carcinogens and thus pose a risk to consumers.

    Justin

  87. Anji says

    Myth: Heating Olive Oil Will Make it Saturated or Trans-fatty.
    One common myth is that heating olive oil will make it saturated or
    trans-fatty. This is not true. As far as making a saturated fat, according to
    Dr. A. Kiritsakis, a world renowned oil chemist in Athens, in his book Olive
    Oil from the Tree to the Table -Second edition 1998, all oils will oxidize
    and hydrogenate to a tiny degree if repeatedly heated to very high temperatures
    such as is done in commercial frying operations. Olive-pomace oils and virgin
    olive oils are both highly monounsaturated oils and therefore resistant to
    oxidation and hydrogenation. Studies have shown oxidation and hydrogenation
    occurs to a lesser degree in olive oil than in other oils. But in any case, the
    amount of hydrogenation is miniscule and no home cook would ever experience this
    problem.

    The large refinery-like factories that take unsaturated vegetable oil and
    turn it into margarine or vegetable lard do so by bubbling hydrogen gas through
    250 to 400ºF (121 to 204ºC) hot vegetable oil in the presence of a metal
    catalyst, usually nickel or platinum. The process can take several hours. You
    cannot make a saturated product like margarine at home by heating olive oil or
    any other vegetable oil in a pan. We don’t know where this weird notion has come
    from. For more details, see Olive Chemistry.

    Changing a cis-fat to a trans-fat does not occur on a home stove.

    Myth: Cooking in Olive oil Diminishes The Nutritional Value of the
    Food. Another myth is that cooking in olive oil diminishes the
    nutritional value of the food. This a misconception. The fact is that heating
    food will break down its nutritional value. High heat such as frying is worse
    than moderate heat such as steaming, which is worse than eating vegetables raw.
    It is not the cooking oil per se, but the high heat of frying. We are not aware
    of any edible cooking oil which by itself diminishes the nutritional value of
    the food cooked in it. Most nutritionists recommend lightly steaming vegetables
    or eating them. A touch of a flavorsome extra virgin olive oil added at the
    table will add taste and healthful anti-oxidants. Such is the Mediterranean diet
    which has been shown to help prevent coronary disease and have other health
    benefits.

  88. Anji says

    Myth: Heating Olive Oil Will Make it Saturated or Trans-fatty.

    One common myth is that heating olive oil will make it saturated or trans-fatty.
    This is not true. As far as making a saturated fat, according to Dr. A. Kiritsakis, a world renowned oil chemist in Athens, in his book Olive Oil from the Tree to the Table -Second edition 1998, all oils will oxidize and hydrogenate to a tiny degree if repeatedly heated to very high temperatures such as is done in commercial frying operations. Olive-pomace oils and virgin olive oils are both highly monounsaturated oils and therefore resistant to oxidation and hydrogenation. Studies have shown oxidation and hydrogenation occurs to a lesser degree in olive oil than in other oils. But in any case, the amount of hydrogenation is miniscule and no home cook would ever experience this problem.

    The large refinery-like factories that take unsaturated vegetable oil and turn it into margarine or vegetable lard do so by bubbling hydrogen gas through 250 to 400ºF (121 to 204ºC) hot vegetable oil in the presence of a metal catalyst, usually nickel or platinum. The process can take several hours. You cannot make a saturated product like margarine at home by heating olive oil or any other vegetable oil in a pan. Changing a cis-fat to a trans-fat does not occur on a home stove.

  89. Kelly Killeen says

    I’ve kind of lost faith in doctors over the years. I have several health problems and the first thing most doctors want to do is throw medication at me. It seems most doctors only know what they learned in medical school (which features MANY lectures from drug companies trying to get everyone to be on something). It has been a rare occasion for me to find a doctor who has taken it upon themselves to learn what is really good for you. Everyone seems to be sticking to this “saturated fats will kill you story”. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on this subject, but if processed veggie oils just came out about a hundred years ago, and everyone is buying “low” or “no” fat foods, and people are getting heavier and having more heart problems than EVER, it’s not hard to figure out these oils aren’t good for you.
    And to you vegans whining about not wanting animal fat; that’s fine. I believe this article was about the dangers of processed veggie oils. There’s always coconut and olive oil for you.
    Also, I’m not attacking doctors. I belive most doctors truly think they are helping people as best as they can. Unfortunately, most people belive what we are told. Patients belive doctors, who believe what they were taught, who were taught some outdated or flat-out untrue information. Nobody wants to find out what they have been taught to believe is incorrect.
    And thank you for this article!

  90. says

    Well, after reading some comments, I am going to say THANK YOU FOR THIS! I am probably late, but you listed enough articles as well as common sense information for me to justify what i was already thinking. My husband and I love butter and meats but we have family history of HBP and Cardio Issues, but never really believed the vegetable oil/margarine claims since they are so fake or have long processes to make. I am referrancing this article in an upcoming post of mine about clean-eating and how we are doing it to get rid of toxins in our bodies and this will help my readers understand my claim that butter is healthier (at least the organic, all natural kind). Thanks once again!

    ps I hope it is okay that i am linking this article to a post of mine, if not just visit me @ customtaste.blogspot.com and send a quick email.

  91. Silas McCroskey says

    “All one has to do is look at the statistics to know that it isn’t true.
    Butter consumption at the turn of the century was eighteen pounds per
    person per year, and the use of vegetable oils almost nonexistent. Yet
    cancer and heart disease were rare. Today butter consumption hovers just
    above four pounds per person per year while vegetable oil consumption
    has soared–and cancer and heart disease are endemic.”

    Props for citing your sources here. This article looks more reputable, but you managed to take out a glaring problem and use it to make a positive point. This statement itself is a glaring example of assuming that correlation implies causation. This is a highly common and incredibly shortsighted fallacy. Human diets and lifestyles have changed in many, many ways since then. Inferences can be drawn from correlations like these, but this is a case where the author thoroughly oversimplified an extremely complex system in order to make his point seem stronger, which brings me to my next criticism:

    “Nothing like petroleum produced, overheated, oxidized and chemically deodorized salad dressing for dinner…. yum.

    (Compare that to butter… Step 1: milk cow. Step 2: let cream separate
    naturally. Step 3: skim off cream. Step 4: shake until it becomes
    butter.)”

    You’ve taken one process and heavily scrutinized it, moved on to another process and not scrutinized it at all, thoroughly simplified both into sensationalist language, and then claimed that the latter process is simpler, and therefore better. This is wrought with logical fallacies. First of all, the simpler solution isn’t always the better one. It’s just more attractive to the average person because it’s easier to understand. Second of all, you’re betraying an extreme lack of research into the butter-making process. If the process really is that simple, cite a source that shows it.

    Lastly, your constant use of scare tactics (buzzwords like “genetic engineering” can be pretty easily applied when you consider that the term applies to selective breeding and planting, which has been done for centuries), is pretty disappointing. Besides, if you want scare tactics, I have a better one: the mob is controlling your precious olive oil and keeping most of it for themselves, selling fake replacements. This has permeated the market to the point where culinary experts reject the real stuff in favor of the fake in taste tests.

    (admittedly not the most reputable source, but a good read): http://www.cracked.com/article_19896_the-6-creepiest-lies-food-industry-feeding-you_p2.html
    (better sources taken from links in that article): http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jan/13/extra-virginity-tom-mueller-review
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/04/olive-oil-real-thing

    Disclaimer: I’m not making any claims as to whether or not the claims in your article are actually true. Either way, it’s enlightening and it begs further research into the subject, which is always a good thing, since we should always endeavor to understand if the “healthy” things we’re putting into our bodies aren’t actually killing us. I’m just making the point that the tactics you’re using to deliver this are potentially harmful to the layman who believes everything he reads without further research, which is unfortunately your main audience here in all likelihood. Your conversational tone is good, and I realize this is a blog entry and not a research paper. However, when you use your conversational language to oversimplify complex points, it can be detrimental to people’s learning. This is counterproductive when you’re trying to write an expositional blog — you’re showing people that they’ve been wrong in taking false common knowledge at face value rather than investigating it further, and then turning around and encouraging them to do the exact same thing with the information you give. If nothing else, I entreat you to urge your readers to look further into things themselves rather than take you at your word. This should have a positive effect without changing your conversational style (which, again, I do like at some points and I do feel is appropriate for a blog).

    Lastly, I’d appreciate further research into the veracity of the alternatives you offer, as I have some reason to believe that the olive oil industry is corrupt, as I stated before. I don’t want people to pay more for false olive oil under the assumption that it’s better for them (and I believe real olive oil is) after reading this article. That’s a (minor) tragedy I think we’d all like to avoid.

    • Shauna says

      I’ve been trying to refrain from making a comment here, since the article is so old, as are most of the comments, but your comment about “citing a source” for the production of butter struck me as so absurd that I had to respond. I mean seriously, are you that far removed from your food supply that you doubt the process for making butter?

      As someone who has made her own butter, I assure you, the process is that simple. If you have access to raw, or at least un-homogenized, milk, simply buy some, let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours until the cream rises to the top, skim it off (if you don’t, just by heavy whipping cream and skip the settling and skimming part), put it into a mason jar (or faster and easier, a stand mixer with a whisk attachment) and mix until you’re left with a solid lump and the watery liquid (whey) that’s left. That solid lump? That’s called butter. The only difference between how someone can do it at home now, and how they did it in “ye olden days” is the exact method by which they mix it to separate the fat from the whey (which is basically just a hand-powered version of a stand mixer) and they likely did it in far larger quantities than most people would do now.

      Also, I take offense to your assumption that people that read this blog are “laymen who believe everything they read without further research.” The Paleo community is pretty much based on the principle of doing research and not believing everything you read. After all, there are far more articles out there still claiming that coconut oil and butter are “bad,” solely because they’re largely (or, especially coconut, almost completely) saturated fats, never mind the abundant research supporting the benefits of coconut oil, including in lipid profiles, as well as the superiority of butter over traditional margarines and even rapeseed oil. There’s also the total permeation into the very fabric of our society that fat (especially animal fat) is bad, despite that actually being one of the least substantiated claims around! Anyone embarking on any kind of Paleo-esque/ancestral diet pretty much has to be well-researched, due to the constant insistence by everyone around us that we’re on the fast track to a heart attack. Could some people who come across this stop here for their research? Perhaps, but that will happen with them regardless of whether the article is well-linked (which, by the way, there are a ton of references, both directly through the green, underlined links within the text, and indirectly from references within the articles this one links to).

  92. Chartje23 says

    It’s not about comparing things that has the same process, it’s about comparing the oils/butters which can replace each other and are better for you.

  93. JohnBoye says

    Great article. I would like to circulate to friends but know that the first question they will ask is: where did this information come from? I think it would help if you reference your sources. I know it’s true!

  94. Jon says

    And butter is a natural substance for humans to eat, pops out of the cow fully formed, yellow and salty! No – oh that’s right it’s milk for calves, not milk for humans, processed with heat and salt and god knows what else. Shouldn’t we be making our butter out of breast milk? Stop being daft and think! The mediterranean diet is full of olive oil and veg oils and is probably one of the healthiest in the world. No research required. Open your eyes. Butter sucks.

    • Carson Collins says

      If you’re SO concerned about butter, make your own. All you need is heavy cream and salt. Not processed with heat or anything.

  95. paul says

    i’ve switched back to butter and lard,this may sound unhealthy but it’s like most things,just use a little at a time.
    butter and lard are both natural fats so i know chemicals have not been used.
    plus your food will taste much better.
    olive oil is another i use and its great to make your own salad dressings.

  96. paul says

    if you eat mackrel it has the best healthy omega 3 oils around,and fresh mackrel tastes soooooo good.

  97. COOKIE says

    THANKS FOR THE INFO. LATELY I FIND MYSELF LOOKING AT WHATS IN MY FOOD ON THE BACK OF EVERY PACKAGE. AND IF IT HAS VEGETABLE OIL I RUFUSE TO EAT IT IM TRYING TO GET BETTER AT YM EATING HABITS

  98. Monique says

    I have a daughter with sever allergy to dairy protein and beef. We have no choice bu margarine here. Why not coconut? Well because my husband is allergic to it. We use Earth’s Best Organic fake butter. Its the only choice I’ve got unless you have another suggestion…

    • Shauna says

      If your daughter is allergic to the milk protein, then try ghee, or clarified butter. Ghee is made by liquifying the butter and separating the remaining milk (and thus, the lactose and protein) out. You can even make it at home, if you want. Most people who can’t handle regular butter can handle ghee.

      Alternatively, you can also use lard in place of butter. There are even recipes for lard spreads if you do bread.

  99. Deborah says

    Hi, I’ve just been reading this article with great interest. I’ve been
    cooking with olive oil and will stop immediately! However, I keep
    hearing conflicting things about palm oil. When I was living in
    Thailand, I heard most of the health problems of the Thais (rising
    obesity being one) come from their habit of (deep) frying with palm oil.
    So we stuck to coconut oil. Here, palm oil is listed as healthy. I’d love to hear more about this.

    • says

      Palm oil is healthy if not refined, but unfortunately, many sources of it are unsustainable and harmful to either the environment or the workers… We usually stick to coconut oil too, but there is a palm oil from Tropical Traditions that is sustainable.

  100. Brittany says

    I have never once heard anyone anywhere claim that vegetable oil is anything but unhealthy. I have only heard olive and coconut oils being pushed as healthy oils. And I am quite concerned with your recommendation to consume as much palm oil as you desire, considering the devastating consequences it causes to the planet and it’s inhabitants. Not even going bring up the meat and butter.

  101. says

    Fascinating stuff, even two years later! Thanks for such a comprehensive article.

    One question – you mention nuts, but not seeds – what about chia seeds, pepitas and the like? Okay, I know those two aren’t actually very similar, but I tend to add them both to my oats in the morning…

    Also, re Activator X in butter – I thought that it was only in raw butter? Or am I mis-remembering that?

  102. Stephanie says

    I am a student going to school for early childhood education and am currently doing a placement at a child care centre. There is a child in my classroom who was constipated for several days before finally going to the washroom. The child now fears going to the bathroom thinking that pain will return everytime so she is holding it. Her mother brought her in friday morning and said she gave her a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil to help her go to the bathroom. I have heard of many things to help a child go to the bathroom but never heard of this. The child was crying all day saying her stomach hurt and saying her bum burned and only calmed down after i layed her flat on her back rubbing her tummy for an hour. To me this seems like a very strange inappropriate method to “help” her go tot the bathroom but i am wondering if anyone else has heard of doing this?

  103. Paola Bush says

    OK, I see that the title of this post says to never “eat” vegetable oils. What about using soybean oil to make soap? Is it ok?

  104. Jenny B says

    I agree with your article about oils, that most of them should be cut out completely from our diet, but we can’t forget that saturated fat should be limited (Read Dr. Oz’s YOU on a diet). Even as far back as in the Bible, God told the Jews to not eat meat and cheese together in the same meal.

    • says

      That wasn’t because of saturated fat, that was because they weren’t supposed to eat a meat in the milk of its mother. Saturated fat is actually a healthy choice if it comes from a good source :-)

      • Jenny B says

        Have you read YOU on a Diet? Dr. Oz explains in physiological detail how too much sat. fat causes inflammation.

        • says

          Except for some big problems like that he doesn’t differentiate between healthy saturated fats and ones from animals raised in unhealthy ways or trans fats.

  105. Jenni M King says

    My family cannot eat casein (or gluten and should avoid soy as well), so for years we bought Earth Balance. I switched to the soy free version for a while. Then I tried giving it all up: I spread coconut oil on the kids bread (not a hit!), use it for baking and making frosting for birthdays (and I still do since they do not notice a difference). I tried making my own coconut butter- still the kids aren’t happy with me. I tried making my own safe non-dairy “butter” using coconut oil and blending it with olive oil and a smidge of honey and sea salt. Nope- they won’t have it. I gave it a good 8 months to see if their tastes would come around, and I finally have given up. I can’t handle all the complaining, food that has been wasted, all the time and effort for the kids to not eat it. I started buying Earth Balance again. I wish I could give them organic grass fed butter. I could give them ghee, but when we tried that it was a HUGE investment- ghee isn’t cheap, it does not come in an econo-size, no coupons here for it and I have three hungry kids who eat “butter” on their bread, waffles, pasta… they eat it all day every day it seems. Am I going to hurt them by allowing them to eat Earth Balance? What advice would you have for me?

  106. Laura says

    Any advice on how to inhibit absorption of these bad fats should we find ourselves in a social situation where it’s harder to avoid entirely? I’ve come up with chitosan or apple pectin as possible solutions, but seem to find only conflicting opinions – especially with the chitosan.

  107. Vicki A says

    I found this article because I was wondering about a possible connection between acne and hydrogenated oils. As the 20th century wore on, acne problems increased. And so did the consumption of vegetable oils and margarine. Would love to find an answer to this frustrating problem. Thank you for this informative article.

    • Megan says

      Acne is often a hormonal problem. I would bet that the hormones in conventional meat/dairy have had more to do with it than vegetable oil.

  108. Barbara de Lapeyre says

    For some time I have suspected that there is a problem with the vegetable oils. I grew up in Germany with lots of pork fat and things like doughnuts cooked in palm oil fat. When I emigrated to Mauritius, where we use lots of vegetable oils I kept getting those tremendous headaches I had never experienced before. Totally debilitating.

    I have now changed back to lots of butter and our own pork fat (and then LOTS of it) and have never once suffered even from a ‘ghost’ of the ‘vegetable oil’ headaches or heart and related problems.

    Ideally one would tend to have everything perfectly organic but we are living in the real world – which is largely imperfect, which is why I do my best to live by the rule that food processed and reprocessed should be eyed with suspicion and eliminated for simple unprocessed foodstuff.

    One of the items that also set me on edge is processed cheese. Advertised everywhere around the country and brainwashing generations of people into believing that this is REALLY CHEESE. When I see this being fed to small kids, I cringe……

    Thank you, wellnessmama for this great article. It has reconfirmed a lot of info I already had and which I was trying to pass on – mostly unsuccessfully – the ‘non-believers’ are still Under Influence of advertising and brainwashing of the great multi-nationals and anybody else trying to make their billions.

  109. brad uy says

    hi i really like the article. can you let me know please where you got the figure of 70 lbs of vegetable oil consumption per year per person? i’m trying to track it down for some research. thank yOU!!! b u

  110. S Cramer says

    ‘Canola (modified rapeseed oil) is produced by heating the rapeseed
    and processing with a petroleum solvent to extract the oil. Then another
    process of heat and addition of acid is used to remove nasty solids
    (wax) that occur during the first processing.

    At this point, the newly created canola oil must be treated with more
    chemicals to improve color and separate the different parts of the oil.
    Finally, since the chemical process has created a harsh smelling oil,
    it must be chemically deodorized to be palatable.’

    This stuff is all wrong and incorrect. Why are you propagating these misconceptions?

  111. R Neuville says

    Completely reversed my Diabetes Type 2 by:-
    1. Stop eating food with trans fats (man made hydrogenated fat)
    2. Eat a fistful of walnuts per day.
    3. 7 months later No Diabetes Type 2

    Looks like insulin doesn’t like this new man made trans fat in your cell wall membranes!

  112. Jennifer Wohlander says

    Thank you for taking the time to put this site together! Great information. Have you read the book Deep Nutrition; Why Your Genes Need Traditional Foods? I think you would find it very interesting.

  113. VD says

    So what should I use to “saute” in a pan? Butter burn at 350 F, extra virgin oil at 320 F. What about extra light olive oil at 468 F ? I heard light and extra light olive oil was not very healthy too.

  114. Scott says

    I would take the information in this article with a grain of salt… Many of the claims (except for the part about trans fats) go against every credible source, from Harvard University to the CDC and USDA to the Mayo Clinic, which all recommend lowering your intake of saturated fat and increasing your intake of unsaturated fats (mono or polyunsaturated) in order to reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, and other diseases. I’m not saying the information in this article is completely false, because any google search will show you that there are conflicting studies on saturated fat’s link to cardiovascular disease. I am just saying there is not really enough evidence to make the bold claims that are in this article. Not to mention some of the information is simply not accurate such as, “eggs are loaded with vitamins, healthy fats and necessary cholesterol” (this is true, but cholesterol is produced in the liver, and therefore it is not necessary to obtain it from our diet). While saturated fat’s link to heart disease may be questionable, it’s not appropriate to say it is “good for you”.
    -Scott, B.S. Exercise Science, Certified Personal Trainer

  115. Marcio Novaes says

    First, Canola was not genetically modified, the low erucic acid content
    was achieved by selective breeding (not using genetic manipulation)
    like many other grains that we consume. Second, vegetable oils are not
    always produced using chemical processes (solvent extraction!). Like
    olive oil, vegetable oils from oilseeds can also be produced by
    mechanical pressing at low temperatures. last week I cold pressed
    rapeseed with temperature bellow 30 degrees Celsius in my lab press!
    What causes quality losses in oilseeds oils is the refining processes
    employed to produce oils that are colourless, bland in flavours and that
    can be used at high temperatures (frying). The refining processes are
    also used to produce oils with long shelf live and to satisfy the
    majority of consumers that may not like an oil with strong flavours and
    smells like extra virgin olive oil. Sorry but you should check your
    sources better before making wrong statements.

  116. Dawn Robinson Shepard says

    Too bad there is nothing scientific to back up what you are printing here. I just wonder when everyone will stop reading these articles by people who have no scientific background and have done no research on these oils. Many of these oils have are actually very healthy in moderation since oils are high in calories. Do not believe this uninformed article.

    • HRABX says

      To say there is no research is disingenuous. There are stacks and stacks of research and scientific studies. The problem is that the agribusiness lobby companies do most of the funding for food research and as such are the top contributors of the literature and medical universities. If you take all the research on edible oils and throw away the studies directly funded by agribusiness you are left with no evidence whatsoever that these oils are beneficial. In fact, the studies that aren’t funded by agribusiness almost unanimously agree these oils are toxic. They have been ongoing since at least the 80s when the doctors in my family started warning me about margarine. (My mother has been researching diet and nutrition for 40 years) Since then the grain lobby has gone in to overdrive to squash these results and publish their own. I watched it happen and had a front row seat.
      I’m happy to provide references if you don’t believe me. But a quick google should turn up everything you need. In the meantime I will ask my mom to send me a list.

  117. Tiffany says

    I’ve heard and read that there have been some controversy with Kerrygold butter recently. It’s not 100% grass fed and there might even be some GMO’s in the cows’ feed. Is this butter still good to have? I live in Canada so it’s hard to get 100% grass fed butter. I usually get Kerrygold from the States when I go there shopping.

  118. Dawn Robinson Shepard says

    Of course margarine is bad for you because it has trans in it, but other oils that you mentioned are actually beneficial. Saturated fat in small amounts won’t kill you but it is not a healthy fat ‘re beef. Yes d me the scientific evidence you are referring to.

  119. Innes says

    Interesting that you don’t mention ‘more immediate’ response indicators to the vegetable oils/fats consumed,.. though excess of animal source fats can also show some ‘excess’ indicators,… And excess of anything can give such response indicators.

    And so, the ‘more immediate’ response indicators are inflammation on the skin, -typically on the face and head, genital/groin area, or upper torso.

    It’s not like problems such as learning disabilities, developmental disabilities (which you mention), and such, merely creep up on us and strike as such, due to consuming deleterious substances…. but rather our bodies reveal sooner than later by mild response indicators that the body is not safely benefitting from the consumption of a particular substance so that we can figure “Whoa, let’s stop that from happening”, by eliminating, or severely reducing to an insignificant/inoffensive amount, the consumption of the offending particular substance.

    Did you cover this nuance of understanding? Which is that our bodies give us early indicators as to something being more-so problematic, or, conversely, more- so beneficial.

  120. Simon says

    You have given such a wonderful information. I would say – you are more of a doctor than the QUACKS who claim and practice as doctors out there. I am sad to say billions of people, even in the developed world have no idea of this information, so by the time this information reaches the entire world- it’s too late. Many thanks Katie

  121. Giovanni says

    Since safflower oil is not good to consume is it good to put on your skin? I’ve seen some lotions that have it as an ingredient.

  122. yellowdogdemocrat says

    So I come back today to see if the blogger has responded to my post about what oils to bake with. Not only do I not see her reply, my post is gone as well, which leads me to suspect she doesn’t have an answer so she just deleted my post. Is that the case Ms. Blogger?

  123. david frango says

    As far as “oils and fats” to use freely, I am afraid I have to disagree. I used to weigh close to 280 pounds and had a blood pressure of 185/113. Since then, I have changed my diet to vegetarian and taken up the Triathlon. Now I am down to 200 pounds and a resting BP of 127/73. As for the change of diet part of my new lease on precious life, I cut out three of the items in “oils and fats to use freely list”: namely eggs, meat and all dairy products (cream is a dairy product). According to my doctor and the Mayo Clinic, one egg contains 186 mg of deadly cholesterol. Way too much for anyone! And butter contains high levels of cholesterol and high levels of saturated fats. And it is a dairy product—something to avoid at all costs. As for meat, (mostly cow meat, pork,) these products are loaded with cholesterol and should be avoided.
    I plan to stick to the advise of my medical doctor and the mayo clinic, and keep
    away from all kinds of dairy products and eggs for the rest of my life.
    At my age I could never compete in a triathlon with a diet of freely adding eggs, cream and meats to my food intake. I would never make it to the finish line. And the greatest joy of being a triathlete is making it to the finish line!
    My conclusion: the more fruits, grains, nuts and vegetables you eat, with plenty
    of Virgin Olive Oil, and the more you exercise in conjunction with a healthy
    vegan diet, the longer you will live and the greater will be the quality of your physical health.
    I do not mean to discredit this website and there are alot of good things in it that I agree with, especially the importance of keeping away from margarine, due to the high trans-fat content. As for Smart Balance, I don’t know too much about it. I’ll have to research it.’
    Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and the best of health during the holiday season–

  124. sagefire says

    Whatever legitimate information in this post is distorted by the biased, unscientific reasoning. Correlation does NOT imply causation and it is an affront to science and the pursuit of truth to use this unscrupulous tactic to try and prove a point. Heart Disease is much more closely tied to obesity than the type of fats people eat and obesity is a direct result of calorie intake. The problem I have with this type of post is that it’s mostly just hyped-up fear mongering.

  125. Cocoluv says

    I can hardly express how thankful I am for this article! It has truly changed my life – to the better of course ;) It is a shame that vegetable oils are promoted as “healthy” and “essential” when in fact they are not.
    From now on I will integrate more saturated fat into my diet by eating full fat natural yoghurt with shredded coconut as breakfast for example.

  126. Julianjulio says

    I have to say that the proof is in the person’s health: the one thing that my body has is a consistent low cholesterol (3.0 h) reading (i.e. for the ‘bad cholesterol’); I am told by doctors that I am very lucky, and to continue with what I am doing (dietry-wise, which is, also, basically vegetarian).
    I have a lot of margarines -which have no trans fats in them -as far as is labelled, fry with sunflower, use olive oil, and have done for years. My skin has this bad tendency fro dryness – and so, in cold seasons, I absolutely RELY on these ‘processed oils- which, to my senses, which is what I trust, are absolutely wholesome (for me/ to me).
    My aunt is a healthy heart scientist in Colorado, and always goes on about the dangers of Palm Oil. Who does one believe?
    I have also used soya (as we call it in the UK) milk, for a number of years, and find it more agreeable than cowsmilk for teas and cereals; and would question, indeed, like other ‘experts’, the reliance upon the dairy industry which is actually cruel (I am not vegan as my body requires yoghurt from a cow, for some reason)

    I don’t respond with ill-will whatsoever; I am just fed-up of the AMOUNT OF VARIATION among ‘experts’. Read / be aware of various views based on evidence and good reason, but listen to YOUR body as to what is wholesome for you, and don;t believe someone who doesn’t connect to this sense! I haven’t read any comments below (I haven’t the time), but would just suggest questioning what we read with our own innate sense and intelligence; believe me, it is there.

  127. Sunshine Karen says

    Where does rice bran oil fit? Healthy or unhealthy? It’s been recommended for my husband who has eczema.

  128. Heidi Lewis says

    What is a good oil to fry chicken in? I’ve tried coconut and it’s not the same. I’ve been using canola and it works great. Suggestions?

  129. spdykyla says

    Thanks for the article Katie! I am a fairly recent coconut oil convert, thanks to your posts, and have been making the effort to eat the least processed food available when I’m at home. I cut out grains about 4 months ago and my blood sugar levels are stable, finally! My boyfriend and I make cheese from raw milk, cook with lard and we just say NO to processed oils! I work on a commercial fishing vessel in AK where local/organic/unprocessed anything is few and far between. I am thankful that there are avocadoes onboard and I bring my own healthy snacks as well. I really enjoy snacking on chia/flax/hemp seed, which I mix with my powdered greens, as well as raw cocao powder, yum! A personal favorite is a pudding I make with cocao powder, coconut oil and almond milk . Delicious! Thanks again for all you stand for, I appreciate the well being your articles have inspired in me and my loved ones! PS- It feels pretty awesome to shower with my own homemade coconut oil soap with ylang ylang essential oil, if only the boat would be still so I could enjoy it :)

  130. Bekah says

    I’m sorry. I’m a total health nut, and I love learning about nutrition, but these types of articles put together in the blogosphere…annoy me. First of all: the consensus on several types of food seems to change and fluctuate over the years. Rapidly. I don’t understand that. One day, it was very, VERY important for all of us to stop taking in dairy and switch to soy products. A few years later, *gasp*, soy products are horrible for you and cause everything from cancer to problems with your boobs testicles. Then it was the wave of almond milk, which they’re now saying causes health issues as well, and people are going back to dairy or trying goat milk. Olive oil was once touted as the be-all, end-all of oils. Then everyone got scared when they discovered that high heat makes olive oil basically turn into…*ba dum bump*: cancer. I should say, high-heat converts the oil or certain properties in the oil into cancer-causing compounds. Yikes. And then peanut oil was good for you. And then it wasn’t. And then taking cod-liver oil was good for you. And then it was found to cause hair loss. And then meat was terrible for you. And then it wasn’t. And now we have the paleo diet, which treats all grains as “evil”. And I’m sure, like everything else, the tides will turn and they’ll find some good in consuming grains again. Whatever. It feels like whiplash. There hasn’t been a damn food on the human radar that hasn’t been vilified, raised from the dead, beaten to death, and then reborn again as time goes on. It’s getting ridiculous. Kale is the superfood of the last few years, and now I’m starting to hear and read about studies showing the link between Kale and cruciferous vegetables and the exacerbation of thyroid problems. Seriously. All of this rubbish has led me to believe in one thing, and one thing only: MODERATION. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. I don’t feel that red meats, butter, eggs or lards are necessarily “healthy” when you consume them in astronomical amounts. And I believe the same way for other oils with mono and polyunsaturated fats. Still, if I am forced to choose between the two, I’ll always pick the latter. I agree with the writer that these heavily processed oils are scary. They’re scary because of their “processing”. The more you eat a well-rounded, organic diet of foods that exist in nature, the better off you’ll be. Plain and simple. One thing that bothers me about this article: you shouldn’t eat a variety of nuts? Since when? Since the nuts are processed and fried and salted in oil? That I can get behind. But if you eat them raw? How can that possibly be bad for you? Everything in nature has it’s purpose, whether it’s to eat or to be used medicinally. Not a problem if you minimize or eliminate the “processing” that goes on. Eat your meats, eggs and butter in moderation, seeing as you don’t find them in abundance like you would grains and plants. The more chemicals contained in a food, or the more chemicals it takes to “process” a food, the more your eyebrows should raise. Other than that, moderation in all things. And before someone yells at me about allergies to wheat, gluten, casein or lactose, let me say this: get tested for allergies. See an energy healer. Deal with it. But I don’t like to assume that most of the population can’t handle one food or another. It’s vastly diverse and depends on a great variety of factors. No blogger, and I might dare to mention, no one doctor or even group of doctors can pinpoint what goes on in the body of every individual. As one who has suffered with unexplainable diseases and ailments over the years, I can competently say that you should listen to your body and get in touch with more eastern forms of nutrition and medicine. After that, you’ll be able to roll your eyes a little bit at all of this sensationalizing. Be wise and choose the most natural food you can find in it’s most natural form. And from there, you should be good. There’s no such thing as natural, “processed” foods. The two can’t coexist in nature. Bottom line: yes, butter is better than margarine. Still, I wouldn’t eat a tub of either one.

    • Teresa says

      That is so true. Part of the reason I developed orthorexia (“healthy eating disorder”) was because all of this. I became so afraid to eat anything so I restricted practically everything. Everything was “bad”. People really do need to eat everything in moderation.

  131. Catalin says

    Just a note about plant-based oils in more traditional (less industrialized/processed) diets:
    I lived for a time in Eritrea as a Peace Corps volunteer and the family I stayed with used freshly ground sesame oil in their cooking. The neighbors had a camel and a large grinding stone. The camel went round and round the stone, causing the mortar part to grind the sesame seeds. People have different opinions about the use of animals for labor, but they’ve been part of farm labor for centuries, and this just seemed like an extension of that. The oil was fresh, the seeds were pretty local, and sesame oil doesn’t go rancid in heat (at least that’s my understanding). I also lived in a remote village in the south Pacific island of Malaita (Solomon Islands) and people added coconut cream (full of coconut oil) to most things they cooked. I don’t know the history, but I imagine that people have been adding oil to their diets in any way they could for our entire history. Oil is dense, filling calories and until relatively recently in human history, easy calories were a plus. I think a reasonable use of oils, mostly still in the fruits, nuts, or seeds they come in is healthy. Processing may be problematic, as you say.

  132. SVC says

    You know, I haven’t read about the others, but I find it highly suspect that sunflower oil is “bad”. Doing a bit of research, I find that Aztecs and other Native American tribes cultivated sunflowers and ate the seeds and the oil… Even in more modern times, sunflower oil has been relatively widespread since the 1700s, so you can’t exactly pin the latest batch of health problems on its conscience. The blog entry sweeps all vegetable oils under the same label (except, apparently, for avocado and olive because of reasons… even though it seems even “extra virgin” olive oil is frequently doctored with other, cheaper oils; you can read about it), with little justification aside from that super-processed canola/corn/rapeseed oil is bad… If you want to say, “don’t eat super-processed fats and oils”, by all means, do so. But sounding the alarm on all vegetable-based oils in the name of “science” is simply misleading.

  133. Jay Sandhu says

    Hey, all this information was a great read, really interesting. In fact it’s actually gave me a bit of a problem……I’m in the process of opening up a Fish and Chip Shop in Scotland and I was planning on using Rapeseed Oil because I had read about the health benefits.

    Would you be able to advise on what type of oil I should fry my chips n fish etc in that would be healthy and fat burning…..that can handle high temperature frying??

    Thanks :)

  134. Joe says

    So you want people to stop eating corn oil, and to start eating more palm oil? What the…. ? Palm oil has five times more saturated fat than corn oil. It’s much worse for your cardiac health

  135. Paula says

    This is a very interesting article, thank you! I already use coconut oil and organic butter but I’m determined to eat more of them. Until recently the only other oil I’ve used was olive oil but then I discovered a cold-pressed organic sunflower oil. It’s delicious, like eating the seeds. Is it really a big no-no? Do you gave any more info about it? Next on my list to try is avocado oil, glad that’s ok as we all love avocados.

  136. Jenna McCann says

    I like making my own mayonnaise but it calls for vegetable oil. What can I use as a substitute or do you have a mayo recipe that doesn’t use these bad oils? Thank you for this helpful post!!

  137. SourcesPlease says

    This page provides quotes from several studies. Please provide footnotes that provide references to your source materials. Thank you.

  138. Rachel says

    Hello Katie, Thanks as always for your articles which I often read with interest.

    I only ever cook with oils such as butter or coconut oil that don’t change their molecular structure when heated. However I have been seeing a nutritionist now for several months who has recommended I introduce cold-pressed vegetable oils into my diet, including rapeseed oil, nut oils, olive oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, pumpkin seed oil etc. I have been adding them to my salads every day and I must admit I have noticed a difference and a big upturn in my health. My skin is much better, I feel much better and people are even commenting on how well I look!

    I live in Europe and some European nutritionist recommend consuming a mix of cold-pressed oils raw in our diets. One example is this one: http://www.phytoquant.net/acide-gras/180-life.html

    Therefore I think it is important we don’t throw the baby out with bath water … what are your thoughts? There is a difference between these cold-pressed vegetable oils and industrialised chemically treated vegetable oils. For example I have treated colds by taking a few drops of grapeseed oil in water daily for a week or so and it works wonders, the infection is repressed right away. So I don’t think the problem is the vegetable oils themselves per se, but how the oils have been processed.

    • says

      I agree that the processing is a large part of the problem, but those types of vegetable oils are very high in Omega-6 fats which can be problematic over the long term, especially in regards to heart disease risk

  139. Emily JS says

    Thank you for posting. This is very informative.
    I have heard that certain oils are ok for frying and high heat cooking while others aren’t good for you in those situations. Whether this is true or not, could you maybe write a post or direct me to one that lists again the “good” oils and fats to eat/cook with as well as which situations you can use them for?
    For instance, my copy-cat PF Chang’s Spicy Chicken recipe calls for a bunch of canola oil and the recipe is fried up in a skillet. What could I use instead? I also fry other things and use olive oil in spaghetti.
    Anyway, it would be extremely helpful to have a list of all that information in one place. Again listing the “good” oils/fats as I’d have to scroll down to the bottom of this post every time.

    I am also new to cooking in general (I’m 23 and grew up on on a lot of Mac and cheese. Lol)

    Thank you :)

    (Also, I don’t know how I’d be notified if there is a response to this. Maybe I have to keep checking this page. If you can view my email address as the blog administrator, please email me. Thank you.)

  140. Emily JS says

    PS

    I do see that you said certain ones are good for heat cooking and what not, but if like to know if frying specifically is ok (I know it’s not the healthiest form of cooking, but I don’t want to turn a good oil into something horrible by frying it)

  141. Meg says

    Great article, fully agree with this.

    A question re Coconut Oil, I have just noticed our Coconut Oil we have been using states it is “100% deodorised coconut oil”… though it does state it has “no chemicals used in refining, and is not hydrogenated” etc etc, it is the deodorised disclosure that concerns me. Does anyone know if this is reason to be concerned? I do think this was the best coconut oil product from the best local supermarket. Maybe a shop to a health food store is required for coconut oil. ( btw I’m in NZ)

  142. Klara says

    Hello Katie,
    thank you for your blog. I find it very inspirational and have been trying your tips with great success.
    I am interested in what you think of cold-pressed hempseed oil (used cold).
    Thank you
    Klara

  143. Chris says

    Hi Katie,
    What are your thought on high-oleic sunflower oil? It is supposed to have a similar composition to olive oil, can be found cold-pressed and it is not GMO (supposedly created using conventional hybridization) .

  144. JCSmith says

    Generally, a good article, but a few corrections are needed. Your recommendation of “tuna” as a low mercury food is way off the mark. Albacore tuna is one of the highest mercury items in the American diet. Even light tuna contains mercury. It should be eaten in moderation only, and NEVER by pregnant women. It must be avoided at all costs. Most grapeseed oil is pressed, like Olive oil, not chemically extracted.

  145. Tyler Zambori says

    This idea that no one ate vegetable oil before the 20th century is ridiculous. What about Olive oil? Also, the Chinese have been consuming soy bean oil for thousands of years:

    http://www.soyinfocenter.com/HSS/soybean_crushing1.php

    Did they have more problems with all the health problems mentioned, than anyone else?
    I doubt it – they are reknowned for having good health.

    • says

      Olive oil is a completely different structure than vegetable oils like canola, soybean etc. The soybean oil the chinese have been consuming is made with a completely different process that renders a less toxic oil. The vegetable oils we eat today are commercially produced and chemically deodorized and changed.

      • Joann says

        That may be true of some vegetable oils, but there is a trend towards healthier processes for some of those oils. For example there are a few small farmer based companies in Canada that produce a single press/cold press canola oil. I work for a company that is starting to market a single press virgin canola oil. No chemicals, bleaching, deodorizing. Please don’t paint all oils with the same brush. Do more investigating.

  146. An says

    Great article… Except for Palm Oil being highly dangerous to your health… Especially because it doesn’t need to be mentioned in the ingredients list of whatever product you buy.

  147. Pepper Culpepper says

    Hi Katie,
    May I have your permission to reblog this article at my site, Zen Living? This is deeply insightful and I am having trouble convincing my family that they should eat butter, coconut and olive oil rather than I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter and Vegetable Oil. They do read my blog sometimes so I was hoping I could reprint it there. A lot of times if I send them links, they don’t bother to read the material, but if it’s on my blog, sometimes they have a look to read the content posted there. I appreciate your help! Thanks.
    Pepper Culpepper

  148. Maile says

    Where does Rice Oil stand? I heard from someone that it’s supposed to be pretty good for you… true/false?

  149. Puja says

    Does avocado oil have a high smoke point? Could I safely use it to cook/fry all meals, particularly Indian food? Is there further information regarding the health benefits of this oil.

    Thanks

  150. Charlie says

    In your text you state that the vegetable oil is hydrogenated, But, there is no hydrogenation step in your chart indicating how the oil is processed. Also, hydrogenation usually produces a solid fat (remember Crisco). I think that you’re wrong about that.

  151. deb says

    So I have a question about oils in recipes like pancakes. I have a pretty healthy recipe I make that calls for 2 Tbsps. canola oil. I could try coconut oil but as you know it is solid. It needs to be mixed into a liquid batter easily… any suggestions? Thanks much!

    • says

      You can melt the oil beforehand… It does not need to be too warm to melt. You can warm a bowl with hot water and then dump out the water and put in the oil. That should melt it.

  152. john says

    well what about high oleic vegetable oils for example is the high oleic safflower oil healthier than regular one because of the high in monounsaturated content.

  153. Thomas Bangalter says

    Chemicals aren’t a bad thing. If anything chemical was bad like you and a lot of others imply, everything would have died out instantly. Everything is chemicals. Please stop spreading misinformation.

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