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Seed oils on a Keto diet, good or bad?

Please noteThe information on this website is NOT intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. Always consult a physician or qualified healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet. Please see our disclaimer if you have doubts.

Claudia Münch
Master of Science, Nutrition, obesity and eating disorders.

 

Seed oils are Worse than Sugar on a Keto (Low Carb) Diet

The keto diet has been gaining in popularity in recent years. Many people are worried about their weight gain and cardiac health, so they choose to go on a keto diet. A ketogenic or low-carb diet eliminates all sugar and processed carbohydrates from your diet. However, substituting seed oils for such meals may be more detrimental than beneficial. This article discusses why avoiding seed oils should be just as important to you as cutting down on sugar.

This is not just About Saturated vs. Unsaturated fats

For many years, we believed we had figured out the easy formula for determining which fats are healthy for humans and which are not. It was easy to eat. It was said that saturated fats should be avoided and replaced with seed or vegetable oils made from plants like soybeans, canola, maize, cotton seeds, peanuts, sunflower, or safflower seeds.

We used this straightforward strategy for many years, but then a few issues crept up and began to muddy the distinction between what we had previously considered good and harmful fats.

For example, coconut oil is mostly made up of saturated fatty acids. However, it contains many lauric acids, a unique fatty acid. High-density lipoproteins, or HDLs, have risen considerably in response to lauric acid. We consider HDLs to be healthy cholesterol. [1]

We have saturated fat here that has a preventive impact, even though we have been taught that consuming saturated fat increases your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Additionally, many studies began to support the notion that saturated fats are not the primary cause of heart disease, as previously believed. [2]

When it comes to health, saturated fats are not entirely exempt. Saturated fats may increase LDL cholesterol, and your genes may influence your body’s response to a diet heavy in saturated fats.

What’s the Problem with Seed Oils?

There’s a lot of confusion out there about seed oils and whether or not they’re healthy. The short answer is no; they’re not. Seed oils are worse than sugar in a keto diet.

Here’s why:

i) Seed oils contain omega-6 fatty acids, so they cause inflammation

The problem with seed oils is that they contain a high amount of omega-6 fatty acids, which are pro-inflammatory. They enhance inflammation in the body. This is the opposite of what you want on a keto diet, as you are trying to reduce inflammation. And we all know that inflammation is the primary cause of various disorders, including cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. [3,4]

ii) Seed oils are difficult to extract. Hence, they are prone to degradation

Seed oil extraction uses heat or hazardous chemical solvents that destroy them. Seed oils contain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Their chemical makeup includes several double bonds between carbon atoms. As a result, these molecules are less stable and are searching for a free atom, such as an oxygen atom.

When the fatty molecules are exposed to substances like light and heat, this lack of stability is exacerbated. If this oxidation does place, the oil is degraded, and it causes the release of oxidation products like free radicals from the oil, which may harm cells.

We use unstable seed oils that have already been heated during the extraction process to cook chicken nuggets and French fries in very hot deep fryers. As a result, the cell-damaging oxidative products increase.

iii) Seed oils can form trans fats

But the biggest issue with seed oils is that they can form trans fats when heated. Vegetable and seed oils undergo hydrogenation because of the available bonds that enable them to attach to hydrogen. Because this process transforms the liquid oil into solid fat, the hydrogenation of seed oils is popular among food makers. The food has a much longer shelf life as a result. Trans fats are incredibly harmful to your health and are linked to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. So, if you’re cooking with seed oils or using them in your food, there’s a good chance you’re consuming trans fats without even realizing it.

For all these reasons, it’s best to steer clear of seed oils when you’re on a keto diet.

Conclusion

The keto diet is about reducing carbohydrate intake to encourage your body to burn fat for energy. However, seed oils are a type of fat that can interfere with this process.

Seed oils promote inflammation in the body. Inflammation can make it harder for your body to enter a state of ketosis and lead to weight gain.

So, if you’re trying to follow a keto diet, it’s best to avoid seed oils. Instead, stick with healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados.

 

Resources

1. Chinwong, S., Chinwong, D., & Mangklabruks, A. (2017). Daily consumption of virgin coconut oil increases high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in healthy volunteers: A randomized crossover trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2017, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/7251562

2. de Souza, R. J., Mente, A., Maroleanu, A., Cozma, A. I., Ha, V., Kishibe, T., Uleryk, E., Budylowski, P., Schünemann, H., Beyene, J., & Anand, S. S. (2015). Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: Systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. BMJ. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3978

3. Loef, M., & Walach, H. (2013). The omega-6/omega-3 ratio and dementia or cognitive decline: A systematic review on Human Studies and biological evidence. Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics, 32(1), 1–23. https://doi.org/10.1080/21551197.2012.752335

4. Simopoulos A. P. (2008). The importance of the omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio in cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.), 233(6), 674–688. https://doi.org/10.3181/0711-MR-311

 

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