Why vegetable oils are the devil

Jan 01, 2021
Vegetable OIls are Toxic


Vegetable oils are not made from vegetables, and they are definitely not healthy. In fact, they are extremely volatile when heated — so much so, that when you consume them, they create unchecked free radical damage in your body. Corroding arteries, creating fatty deposits on your organs, and oxidizing everything in their path (think: rust on a car — yeah, that shit is happening INSIDE your body).

The gist: Americans have been misinformed for decades, thanks to a dude named Ancel Keys. Because he incorrectly interpreted that saturated fat was bad for us, we began eating OBSCENE amounts of unsaturated fat in the form of - you guessed it - vegetable oils. This is also about the same time that our country saw a dramatic spike in diabetes, heart disease, cancers and other chronic conditions. We were eating the wrong type of fat!

Take action: Clean house. Get rid of any vegetable oils you may be cooking with, and make sure to also look closely at the ingredients list for everything in your pantry. If you see any of the common oils shown below, toss it.

The Full Scoop

If you’ve seen my recipes here or on Instagram, you’ll notice that I cook with a lot of extra virgin olive oil. This is a healthy fat, and we want lots of those in our diet, like this “Myth, busted” blog post discusses. But using EVOO serves another important purpose.

It keeps us from cooking with vegetable oils.

Why are vegetable oils bad for you? The unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils, when they're heated, tend to oxidize. In this form, they're more dangerous to body tissues and can trigger inflammation, a known risk factor for making blood-vessel plaques unstable enough to cause a heart attack. When you consume a lot of vegetable oils over time, it can even lead to cancer.

What are common vegetable oils? Soybean, rapeseed, canola, sunflower, safflower, peanut, cottonseed, anything labeled as “partially hydrogenated.” These are all types of vegetable oils and all incredibly dangerous for your health. Please read every food label of the products you purchase and avoid eating anything with these ingredients.

Still don’t believe me? Well, here’s some data-based evidence. These vegetable oils are known as PUFAs (PolyUnsaturated Fatty Acids), hence the labeling of this graph.

Type 2 diabetes wasn’t recognized and probably didn’t exist before we started eating seed oils. Most metabolic disease is also related to excessive seed oil consumption.


I get it, this is a tough idea to wrap your mind around. Hell, even the medical community is fraught with conflicting views on it. Dr. Cate blatantly calls out Harvard and Yale for getting it wrong — check out this excerpt from her site (I think she’s spot-on, by the way):

If you care about your health, ignore Harvard and Yale–at least for now. While many leading MDs are waking up to how wrong we were to insist that saturated fat was unhealthy, these two schools are digging their heels deep in the 1950s-era dogma.  Their recommendations is to avoid saturated fat as much as possible, and get roughly 25% of daily calories from polyunsaturated fat-rich foods like vegetable oils. The only evidence that supports this position is statistical (they do not offer a plausible physiologic mechanism), and their statistical work is seriously flawed by wrong assumptions and confounding variables.

It’s not enough to simply avoid these in your cooking. Big Food hides these cheap and volatile vegetable oils in nearly every type of processed foods — granola bars, “healthy” veggie crisps, margarine, pre-made baked goods, etc. You’d be shocked.

So what oils should you use instead? Avocado oil, Butter, Coconut Oil, Duck Fat, Ghee, Lard, Olive oil, Peanut oil, Tallow, Sesame oil, Flax oil, Walnut oil, Almond oil, Macadamia nut oil. Also: Anything that says cold pressed and unrefined. It must say unrefined! If it says cold pressed but is refined, it’s not good. 

The bottom line: When it comes to your health and diet, if you only apply two changes consistently, I hope for your long-term well-being that it is a reduction in added sugars and an elimination of vegetable oils from your diet. These two modifications alone can slash your risk for ANY type of cancer by up to 80%.

Go Deeper

Dr. Cate Shanahan — the foremost authority on metabolic health — very clearly explains the differences in types of fats, and spells out which ones we should avoid vs. embrace. Read more from her here.

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