Omega-6

PROCESSED SEED OILS:
Toxins that will destroy your health


BY STEVE BORN

We need two essential fatty acids (EFA) for life—omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids. Our bodies cannot make either of them, so we must obtain these fatty acids from dietary sources. Omega-6 is important because they produce specific molecules (prostaglandins and leukotrienes) that are, in appropriate amounts, necessary for proper immune system function. Omega-3s also produce prostaglandins and leukotrienes; but,they’re less inflammatory and are associated with many health benefits.

While both are necessary in the human diet, most people consume an excess of omega-6– and their omega 3 intake is woefully lacking. While research points to a 1:3 or 1:4 omega-3 to omega-6 ratio as ideal, most people’s diets show a 1:20 ratio or even higher. Dr. Artemis P Simopoulos explains:

In the past three decades, total fat and saturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories has continuously decreased in Western diets, while the intake of omega-6 fatty acid increased and the omega-3 fatty acid decreased, resulting in a significant increase in the omega-6/omega-3 ratio from 1:1 during evolution to 20:1 today or even higher. A balanced omega-6/omega-3 ratio is vital for health.

Clearly, a 20:1 omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is very much out of balance. This imbalance causes excess inflammation and oxidation throughout the body, significantly disrupting optimal health and increasing the likelihood of chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and more.

The primary culprit for the excess? Health-destroying amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. The increased use and consumption of industrially processed seed oils referred to as vegetable oils. An expert on the subject, Dr. Chris Knobbe, states that these industrially processed seed oils “drive the oxidation. They’re pro-oxidative, proinflammatory, and toxic, but of all of these, it is oxidation. That is by far the worst.”

Cardiovascular research scientist, Dr. James DiNicolantonio, agrees and refers to these omega-6 seed oils as “drivers of coronary heart disease.” He summarizes:

Omega-6 polyunsaturated fat linoleic acid consumption has dramatically increased in the western world, primarily vegetable oils. Numerous lines of evidence show that the omega-6 polyunsaturated fat linoleic acid promotes oxidative stress, oxidized LDL [the “bad” cholesterol], chronic low-grade inflammation, and atherosclerosis. Omega-6 is likely a primary dietary culprit for causing CHD (Coronary Heart Disease), especially when consumed as industrial seed oils, commonly referred to as vegetable oils.

To reestablish the proper balance of omega-6 to omega-3, we need to reduce or eliminate the consumption of the following oils: Canola oil, Corn oil, Cottonseed oil, Grapeseed oil, Peanut oil, Rice bran oil, Safflower oil, Soy oil, Sunflower oil.

It’s important to remember that most (if not all) of these highly processed seed oils are found not only in oil form but in processed/fast foods as well, so we also need to strive to eliminate such foods from our diet. As Dr. Catherine Shanahan states, “More than any other ingredient, vegetable oil is what puts the ‘junk’ in junk food.”

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