Vegetable oils have gradually sneaked their way into all the aspects of our food supply. If you buy  so-called “healthy” snacks, chances are, they are made with vegetable oils. Or when you eat out, most likely your food is cooked in some type of vegetable oil. If you buy mayo, dips, salad dressings you will find vegetable oils as part of the ingredients.

Did you know that vegetable oils were practically non-existent in the early 1900s? In fact, During the time of steam power, one of the best lubricants available was derived from rapeseed oil (aka canola)?

Until that time, most people cooked with animal fats like tallow, lard, butter, cream, etc. As animal fats are the most natural and traditional form of cooking fats.

Today, people consume,  about 70 lbs of vegetable oils yearly. Vegetable oil consumption increase can date back to the 1950s, when a governmental agenda was pushed on people to convince them to eat vegetable oils and margarine and avoid “artery-clogging saturated fats.”

These oils include: Canola Oil, Sunflower Oil, Soybean Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Peanut Oil, Safflower Oil. Rice Bran Oil and Corn Oil

Is Vegetable Oil Healthy? What the Science Says - Dr. Robert Kiltz


Unlike olive oil that has been pressed for centuries, most vegetable oils such as sunflower oil need heavy industrial processing. Sunflower oil production has the following manufacturing processes: cleaning of the seeds, grinding of the seeds, pressing and extraction of crude oil from these seeds and then further refining the oil obtained before packaging. A volatile hydrocarbon like hexane is used as a solvent to extract the oil.

Hexane is one of the most commonly used solvents in the edible oil industry . Commercial hexane consists of some isomers of six-carbon paraffins, normally n-hexane and it has toxic effects.
Hexane is a cheap by-product of gasoline production that should never be a part of our food.  In fact. a lot of Hexane residue is left behind in the oil and, unfortunately,  the FDA does not require food manufacturers to test before residue! Residue tests done by the Cornucopia Institute in 2009 found Hexane residues in soybean oil.


Did you know that even short-term exposure to air contaminated with hexane affects the nervous system and can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches, and even unconsciousness? Chronic inhalation exposure to hexane is associated with sensorimotor polyneuropathy in humans, with numbness in the extremities, muscular weakness, blurred vision, headache, and fatigue observed. If swallowed, it may cause severe abdominal pain and damage the respiratory system. Personal protective equipment is needed whenever handling hexane. So would you still want it in your food?


Sunflower oil comes from sunflower seeds, which are very nutritious, providing good amounts of vitamin E, A, folate, and choline.  However, sunflower oil is quite different as it’s extracted from a different type of seed. Additionally, due to the way it is processed, the oil itself is not that nutritious at all.

Unfortunately, the essential fatty acid profile of sunflower oil can be more inflammatory than not.

Industrial seed oils are perhaps the most significant contributor to the imbalanced omega-6-to-omega-3 ratio characteristic of Westernized diets and thus play a significant role in chronic inflammatory diseases.

Sunflower oil fatty acid content consists of:

  • 60-65% PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) – Linoleic acids
  • 20-25% MUFA (monounsaturated fat) – Mid-oleic acids
  • 10-15% SFA (saturated fatty acids) – Palmitic acids

As we can see, sunflower oil is very high in polyunsaturated fats.  Polyunsaturated fats  are long strands of fatty acids that can be easily broken and, thus, oxidized. PUFA’s tend to react with oxygen which can cause chain reactions damaging other structures and even vital structures like DNA. These fatty acids tend to sit in the cell membranes, increasing harmful oxidative chain reactions.  Consequently, excess linoleic acid can have negative health effects. It oxidizes easily, can promote obesity, and may lead to heart disease.

In a European study, rats were fed lifelong diets of either virgin olive oil (high in oleic acid) or sunflower oil (high in linoleic acid. The results showed more DNA damage, higher triglycerides, and reduced antioxidant capacity in the sunflower oil rodents.

In another study, a diet rich in saturated fats was replaced with a diet rich in omega-6 vegetables oils. Even though cholesterol levels dropped, the risk of death from all causes, heart disease and coronary artery disease risk increased.

Additionally, any excess heat, which happens during pressing the oils which includes expeller pressing also  will damage these fragile PUFAs. Expeller pressed only means that the manufacturer did not use dangerous solvents like hexane to extract the oil.

Avoid these oils at all costs since these oils are so delicate, unstable and can create some long lasting health effects.

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