Vegetable oils, including those made from corn 🌽, sunflowers 🌻, and grapes 🍇, are a common ingredient in many processed foods. For years, these oils have been promoted as heart-healthy ❤️ and a preferable alternative to fats like butter and lard.
However, the manufacturing process for these oils might not be as beneficial as once believed. They are treated with high heat 🔥, chemical bleaching, and deodorizing, resulting in an end product that lacks nutrients and may contain harmful chemicals, trans fats, and oxidized substances.
This becomes a concern when we look at two specific types of fats our bodies need: omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. These polyunsaturated fats are essential for various body functions, but we can’t produce them ourselves; we have to get them from our diet 🍽️. Ideally, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 should be around 2:1.
Omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation 😠, while omega-3 fatty acids reduce it 😌. We need both, but in a balanced way. Unfortunately, the typical Western diet often has 10-20 times more omega-6 than omega-3, thanks to the high content of these unbalanced vegetable oils.
This skewed ratio can lead to long-term health problems. The low-quality omega-6 fatty acids in vegetable oils become incorporated into our cells and can linger there for years. This contributes to chronic inflammation, which is linked to many serious health conditions 🏥.
So, what’s the solution? It involves making a conscious effort to reduce vegetable oils from our diets. We should replace them with healthier oils like olive oil, coconut oil 🥥, and avocado oil 🥑, or even animal fats like butter and lard. It also means being more mindful of our food choices, looking at labels 🔍, and focusing on whole foods like nuts 🥜, poultry 🍗, and avocados 🥑 that contain the necessary, healthy fatty acids.
In short, while vegetable oils may be prevalent in our food supply, understanding their potential health impact and making smarter, more informed dietary choices can lead us toward a healthier lifestyle 💪🥗.
Adapted from a CrossFit Training post, August 2023.
About the Author
Edward Getterman is a Certified CrossFit Trainer (CF-L3) and the owner of Twin Bridges CrossFit in Waco, Texas. If he can’t be at the gym or at home, he’d prefer to be at Walt Disney World. He loves deadlifts, hates running, and believes above all else that CrossFit is for everyone.