Is Your Cooking Oil Making You Sick?

Written by
Diana Dutcher
on March 9, 2021
olive oil, olive, extra

You CAN and SHOULD eat plenty of healthy fats every single day, you just have to know where your fat is coming from. This week in The Hassle-Free Family we are taking a dive into cooking oils and sources of dietary fats to uncover the science behind why you should avoid canola oil altogether and drink olive oil like it’s going out of style.

When I say FAT, it might make you feel uneasy. That’s because we live in a fat-phobic society and consuming fat has been stigmatized to the point that people are literally dying while trying to avoid the consumption of any fat at all.

The bottom line is, our beautiful bodies were made to consume fat. In fact, fat is essential to our health and well-being. The human brain is 60% fat and it will use fat as its preferred source of fuel; so let’s give it the cleanest fuel possible!

Now that you know we need healthy fats in our life, let’s get to the business of sorting out what’s good and what’s not. When it comes to cooking fats, we have a lot of choices at the grocery store.

Unsure what the difference is among avocado oil, canola oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, Pam, margarine, coconut oil, MCT oil, butter and ghee? We’ll get to it all.

First I want to talk about WHY you should care.

I used to buy the least expensive oil at the grocery store purely because I didn’t know the difference. Virgin olive oil, vegetable oil, light olive oil, canola, corn, or sesame oil… weren’t they all pretty much the same thing? All I knew at the time was that they all had a lot of calories per Tablespoon and they would all make me fat; they were just a necessary evil to home cooking so I might as well get the cheapest one and save some cash.

When I finally started learning more of the science behind the quality of these fat sources and the processing that it takes to obtain them, the health benefits became extremely clear. Now I won’t compromise on the quality of fats we use for cooking.

I want to say here, I completely understand the confusion. I’ve been there. We “hear” so much misleading information about fats and oils that it is hard to sift through it without going down a rabbit hole. I’ve been down that rabbit hole for you and I’m going to spend the next week posting all about different types of fats you need to be aware of.

Here’s a surprising piece of misinformation from an unlikely source, quoted from world renowned functional medicine doctor, Dr. Mark Hyman M.D.:

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends adults get no more than five percent of their calories from saturated fat, urging people to use vegetable oils instead.

They also advise people to eat at least five to 10 percent of their calories from polyunsaturated fat (PUFAs). Unlike saturated fat, the AHA rationalizes the linoleic acid in PUFAs lower LDL cholesterol levels.

As a result of this and other poor nutrition advice, the average intake of this omega-6 fatty acid has risen sharply: Americans consume at least twice the amount of linoleic acid today than they did in the 1960s.

Increased consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils, which are highly inflammatory to the body and unstable, has subsequently increased inflammatory diseases.  Over-consuming omega-6 fats and under-consuming omega-3 fats increases numerous health issues including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, pre-diabetes, IBS, arthritis, asthma, cancer and autoimmune diseases.”


You might be thinking… “but Diana, I thought omega fatty acids were a good thing!” It’s true that both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential to human health but the proportion of omega-6’s in processed food has thrown the ratio completely out of whack.

Omega-6 fatty acids trigger the body’s inflammatory pathways and counteract the availability of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, creating even more inflammation in the body.

Here is a list of inflammatory oils that are high in omega-6 fats – OILS TO AVOID – soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil. These highly refined oils go through 12+ industrial processing steps including adding toxic solvents at some operations – I’ll show you what those are tomorrow!

Remember I said earlier that the brain will preferentially use fat as fuel, studies show that consuming high amounts of omega-6 fats as found in these refined oils leads to brain inflammation and increases in mood disorders. In fact, this particular study was able to scientifically predict the onset of mood disorders based on the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in the body. “Omega-6 to omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid ratio and subsequent mood disorders in young people with at-risk mental states: a 7-year longitudinal study.”

Based on this information, we should all agree that getting rid of highly refined oils is a good thing.

(I’ll wait here while you go throw out your canola oil, vegetable oil, corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, and grapeseed oil)

Here are some better alternatives that may seem controversial if you haven’t read the science. Unrefined extra-virgin organic coconut oil, avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed ghee and grass-fed butter.

Some can be used for cooking and some should not be exposed to any heat. Tune in to The Hassle-Free Family this week for all the oily details or use this form to have the series sent directly to your email inbox.

See you tomorrow with more great info!

💝 Diana

Diana Dutcher
Written By

I am an educator and entrepreneur who is passionate about non-toxic living. I get to be with my five kiddos (8, 6-year old twins, and 4-year old twins) as much as I want and teach one day a week. It's a beautiful abundant life 💖

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