How Vegetable Oils Make Us FatUpdated: May 22, 2018 healthy fats
This also includes Earth Balance, the “natural oil blend” competitor to Smart Balance that sells like hotcakes at your local healthfood store.
These factory fats are expanding your backside with every spread of the knife on your morning toast whether you realize it or not.
Omega-6 Fat Dangers
The reason is that these vegetable oil bottles and spreads are loaded with omega-6 fats. This fat is also called linoleic acid (PUFAs) and is distinguished from the healthy omega-6 gamma linolenic acid which actually helps you lose weight.
The rancid omega-6 fats primarily found in the Western diet come from soy, corn, cottonseed, and canola oil (which also contains rancid omega-3 fats) and are a category of polyunsaturated oils found in seeds and grains.
While eating seeds and grains is not a bad thing, concentrating the oils from them is.
The fact is that there isn’t a whole lot of oil in an ear of corn or a soybean, so to make an entire bottle of corn or soybean oil takes violent and heavily industrialized processing.
“Earth” Balance doesn’t sound so earthy after all, does it?
Omega-6 vegetable oils are not generally fats that you could easily produce in the comfort of your own kitchen like the simple and age old process of pressing olives into olive oil (a monounsaturated omega-9 fat) or churning cream into butter.
Here’s where the “fat” part comes in.
While a very small amount of omega-6 fats are necessary for health, when consumed to excess as happens with the Western diet, vegetable oils contribute to overproduction of neuromodulatory lipids called endocannabinoids that are responsible for signaling hunger to the brain.
Guess what these little guys do?
They give you the munchies!
You may wonder why the name endocannabinoids sounds a bit like cannabis (weed). Weed is famous for giving people the munchies too so you can consider omega-6 vegetable oils the marijuana of fatty acids.
Now you know why you can’t stop eating a jumbo bag of chips made with corn, soy, or sunflower oil.
Is that why it’s so easy to eat an entire box of Archway Frosted Lemon Cookies in the blink of an eye!
What about that organic dressing loaded with omega-6 oils that tops your salad at lunchtime? Could it be the reason behind the urge to overeat on the main course or the snack attack at 3pm?
Just try to gorge yourself the same way with a box of cookies made with butter, coconut oil or palm oil or wolf down a plateful of french fries that were cooked in beef fat (tallow).
No can do.
You see, whole natural fats like tallow satiate you and keep your blood sugar steady so you stay full and comfortable and eat much less. Omega-6 vegetable oils, on the other hand, cause you to keep on eating and eating and eating until you have perhaps even made a complete glutton of yourself in a major way.
What’s most troubling is that food manufacturers are doubling down on the vegetable oil scam. Instead of switching their products to better fats, they continue to use the most damaging ones, even marketing some of them such as CLA safflower oil as a weight loss aid!
It seems with America’s weight problem now at crisis level, it’s time for a return to the traditional fats of our ancestors which didn’t contribute to overeating or weight issues.
Isn’t it high time to stop listening to the talking heads on TV and take matters into your own hands? Chuck that tub of Earth Balance in the trash and switch to simple, wholesome butter and other truly healthy, natural fats that don’t require a factory to produce them.
Your stomach and your backside will thank you.
Get the Skinny on Vegetable Oils and other Fats
Check out my book Get Your Fats Straightto get the whole story about what fats to eat for optimal health and what fats to avoid in an easily understandable, comprehensive format.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Source: Why Women Need Fat, William Lassek MD
The Healthy Home Economist has been a Nutrition Educator since 2002. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Nutrition nonprofit the Weston A. Price Foundation since 2011.
Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Economics from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Government (Financial Management) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mother to three healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, National Review, ABC, NBC, and many others.