The Seed Oil Detox Is A Health Trend We Can Get Behind — Here’s How (And Why) To Do It

While there isn't a one-size-fits-all diet that works for everybody, there are some common denominators that can be helpful to every person's health. That includes eliminating toxic seed oils and replacing them with more nutrient-dense options.

By Gina Florio3 min read
shutterstock 1747423040 (1)

The way we think about nutrition today has been significantly shaped by national food policy and educational information that has been passed down to us by public health organizations for the last several decades. In the past we were told that margarine is a better choice than butter and vegetable oil is better than animal fat. In many cases, this information isn't of the past; it's staring us right in the face from reputable health organizations like the Mayo Clinic, which claims that replacing saturated fat such as butter and cream with unsaturated fat like margarine will lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. This couldn't be farther from the truth and it has already been debunked.

It can take a lot of unlearning when it comes to nutrition, because unfortunately we have simply been given the wrong information for a long time. That's why few people understand the dangers of seed oils and how bad they are for our overall health and wellness. But the more you learn about seed oils, the easier it is to decide to give them up for good—or at least give yourself a detox from them.

Why Are Seed Oils Bad for You?

You've been convinced by health organizations like the American Heart Association (AMA) that vegetable oil is a much better alternative for your heart health compared to butter, but this information was manufactured by experts who were paid off by junk-food corporations such as Procter & Gamble, who were attempting to manufacture and sell as much vegetable oil as possible.

Seed oils are highly toxic because of their content of linoleic acid.

Procter & Gamble partnered with pathologist Ancel Keys; the corporation helped him shape public policy and health education for the masses, offering a huge investment to convince the AMA to tell Americans that saturated fat was causing heart disease, and vegetable oil and margarine were heart-healthy options. Procter & Gamble was producing and selling high amounts of polyunsaturated vegetable oils and margarine, two items that had a very high profit margin. This is where the low-fat, cholesterol-free myth was born, and money-hungry corporations made a big buck off of it.

But more and more evidence is coming out to explain why seed oils such as vegetable oil are actually terrible for your health. Seed oils (canola oil, grapeseed oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and any other vegetable oil) are highly toxic because of the content of linoleic acid, a predominant n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) that is naturally found in very small amounts in animal fats like tallow. For reference, seed oils contain anything from 30-70% linoleic acid while tallow only has 2% linoleic acid.

Linoleic acid is 40 times more likely to oxidize than saturated fats found in butter and meat, and when linoleic acid oxidizes, it produces free radicals, which are unpaired electrons looking to find a match. They then attack and restructure cell membranes and red blood cells, and damage DNA. Free radicals play a significant role in just about every chronic disease or illness, from obesity to diabetes, and they cause premature aging and wrinkles. Linoleic acid also causes chronic inflammation, which is the underlying factor of pretty much every severe medical condition and chronic illness we see today, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, etc. Our bodies were not made to properly process linoleic acid, so the development of fatty tissue in our body is a direct reflection of how much linoleic acid we're consuming. In other words, consuming large amounts of linoleic acid results in excess weight gain and even obesity.

The toughest part about eliminating seed oils from your diet is eating out.

Seed oils are also an omega-6 fatty acid; a buildup of omega-6 can lead to heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, blood clots, and chronic bloating. Plus, seed oils have a sneaky way of making you feel hungrier rather than satiated. That's why it feels impossible to close the bag of potato chips or say no to French fries. Seed oils are hyper-palatable and make it nearly impossible to stop eating when your stomach is actually full. This of course leads to overeating and excess weight gain.

How to Eliminate Seed Oils from Your Diet

Now the question is how to properly detox from seed oils. The biggest problem is that seed oils are in just about everything, from protein bars to oat milk to salad dressings to bread. The very first thing you have to do is learn how to read the nutrition labels, because companies do a great job at sneaking seed oils into foods that don't even need them. If you see any seed oils (canola oil, grapeseed oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and any other vegetable oil) on the label, don't buy it. You might find that this limits a lot of what can go into your grocery cart, and that's okay. You have to search for appropriate replacements or just avoid packaged food altogether and instead learn how to cook most of your own food.

Next step is to take out all the seed oils from your cabinet. Stop cooking with vegetable oil, soybean oil, canola oil, etc. Replace those manufactured PUFAs with coconut oil, butter or ghee, beef tallow, or high-quality extra-virgin olive oil. These are the only fats you need in your kitchen. If you're cooking and you see a recipe calls for seed oils, just replace it with something from above.

The whole point of a seed oil detox is to feel your very best.

The toughest part about eliminating seed oils from your diet, even temporarily, is eating out. If you're someone who orders takeout often, you're going to have a rough time adjusting your diet. It's nearly impossible to find a restaurant that doesn't cook its food in seed oils, use seed oils in salad dressing, etc. You can always ask the cook nicely to prepare your food in olive oil or butter, but it's not a guarantee that they're able to do that, especially if you're ordering food over an app. That's why it's best to learn how to cook at home often and prepare all your own food. Meal prep as often as possible, put a batch of protein in the fridge so you don't have to worry about a quick lunch or dinner, and experiment with new flavors to keep yourself excited in the kitchen.

Closing Thoughts

You might be surprised at how much better you feel after completely eliminating seed oils from your diet. Many people report feeling more energized and clear-headed, having better digestion and bowel movements, and even losing excess body fat that was lingering around. If you choose to do a seed oil detox, don't let yourself get too stressed. Just do the best you can, cook as often as possible, and don't beat yourself up if you don't hit the mark perfectly. The whole point of a seed oil detox is to feel your very best, and you won't achieve that if you're stuck in a negative mindset.