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Which oils to avoid?


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2023 Jan 21, 7:13pm   26,623 views  185 comments

by Patrick   ➕follow (60)   💰tip   ignore  

I'm increasingly frustrated at the rapeseed oil (euphemistically called "Canola" oil by Canadian producers) and palm kernel oil that seems to be in almost all food. Pretty much everything at Trader Joe's seems to have one or the other. I was even at a Russian shop in Palo Alto today (Samovar, fun place) and found the poppyseed cake my grandmother used to make - except it was with margarine instead of butter, ugh.

Which of them are worth avoiding entirely?

Here are the fats and oils I think are bad:

- margarine (which is just canola and other crap oils hardened to make them stick in your arteries better)
- canola oil
- cottonseed oil (especially bad)
- palm kernel oil

I'm undecided about these:

- soybean oil
- sunflower seed oil
- avocado oil
- coconut oil
- peanut oil

I'm sure these are pretty good for you:

- olive oil
- butter
- lard (yes, I think lard is OK to eat)


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79   komputodo   2023 May 17, 7:36am  

I'm not a scientist like some of you guys. As a matter of fact, i just have a HS edumacation. But i was pondering why is it that fried food is so much crispier than other type of preparations. And I started thinking it was because OILS and Fats are just a vehicle to constantly deliver 370 degree heat to 100% of the foods surface. Water can only deliver 212 degrees at sea level. Air can deliver 370 degree heat but air is a poor delivery vehicle for holding heat so it can drop instantly just by opening the oven door. Which is why air friers work better than ovens because they are a small enclosed area heated by a large heat source.
if there was another type of liquid that could be heated to 370 degrees, it would probably make food crispy also.
Am i fucked up?
80   mell   2023 May 17, 7:44am  

Patrick says

Brave search synopsis:


Canola oil is made by slightly heating and crushing canola seeds at a processing facility. The seeds are then flaked to release the oil. Almost all commercial canola oil is extracted using hexane solvent, which is recovered at the end of processing. The extracted oil is refined using water precipitation and organic acid to remove gums and free fatty acids, filtering to remove color, and deodorizing using steam distillation.
(some text omitted to shorten quote...) ntent. Also known as low erucic acid rapeseed (LEAR) oil, it has been generally recognized as safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration.[4] Canola oil is limited by government regulation to a maximum of 2% erucic acid by weight in the US[4] and the EU,[5] with special regulations for infant food. These low levels of erucic acid do not cause harm in humans.[4][6]


Just keep saying "It's safe and effective, safe and effective, safe and effective..."

They say you ingest more hexane daily via industrial/car fumes etc., but it seems like a no-go to start with if an oil needs this process just to keep longer, why expose yourself.

gabbar says






Have been doing a bit of research and it doesn't seem to be clear cut. I side with cooking with Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, and Coconut oil mostly, but I am not worried about ingesting seed oils via processed food that was cooked/fried with them. I do think soybean oil should be avoided, as it's usually heavily preprocessed, unstable and easily oxidized (plus not good for men in excess). Linoleic acid is controversial, but research is not conclusive, similar to PUFAs etc.
81   richwicks   2023 May 17, 7:50am  

komputodo says

I'm not a scientist like some of you guys. As a matter of fact, i just have a HS edumacation.


You're probably smarter than all of us for that reason alone.

komputodo says

if there was another type of liquid that could be heated to 370 degrees, it would probably make food crispy also.
Am i fucked up?


I think you're right.

You know what you could do? You could fry a small piece of meat in different oils. Safflower has a smoke point of 510F, and olive oil is only 375F. That was the widest range in temperatures I could find.
82   NuttBoxer   2023 May 17, 8:12am  

mell says



but I am not worried about ingesting seed oils via processed food that was cooked/fried with them.


If you're ok with eating processed food, why would you care what oil its in?

We now have to avoid most desserts as well, as even organic ones tend to have sunflower lecithin. Maybe that one is ok, haven't looked into it. Interesting that Costco carries a brand of bacon without sugar, but read the ingredients, and they add sunflower oil, to BACON. Almost as if the food industry is trying to trick us into poisoning ourselves...
83   komputodo   2023 May 17, 8:32am  

NuttBoxer says

Interesting that Costco carries a brand of bacon without sugar

have you noticed that there a lots of bacon that isn't even from the belly of the hog? substituting cuts that are more plentiful and cheaper. Kinda like "boneless" chicken wings.
84   mell   2023 May 17, 8:44am  

NuttBoxer says


mell says



but I am not worried about ingesting seed oils via processed food that was cooked/fried with them.


If you're ok with eating processed food, why would you care what oil its in?

We now have to avoid most desserts as well, as even organic ones tend to have sunflower lecithin. Maybe that one is ok, haven't looked into it. Interesting that Costco carries a brand of bacon without sugar, but read the ingredients, and they add sunflower oil, to BACON. Almost as if the food industry is trying to trick us into poisoning ourselves...


Agreed, processed foods by themselves are a less healthy choice than fresh/raw foods, so the oils used are secondary. They use whatever is cheapest, bo deliberate attempt to poison. But there is also a lot of bs peddled on both sides. Palm oil has gotten a really bad rep, but mostly because of sustainability/esg bullshit, but if not adulterated it's actually quite healthy. Sunflower/Safflower is not that bad either from my initial research. I think canola and esp. soybean are to avoid, grapeseed oil likely as well. Sesame oil should be good to consume, just imo. Of course you need to keep in mind the use cases, smoke point if you're cooking etc.
85   NuttBoxer   2023 May 17, 9:11am  

I don't know that any of those oils we're avoiding leave us deficient in health in any way, and they might be inflaming our systems, so avoiding them doesn't have any downside. And with the high level of inflammatory disease in this country, for a while, it's gotta be coming from somewhere.

We do occasionally use Sesame and Peanut for Asian flavored dishes. Don't know that I've noticed an ill affects.
86   komputodo   2023 May 17, 9:32am  

mell says

but if not adulterated it's actually quite healthy.

kinda like cheap grocery store olive oil? if not adulterated it's actually quite healthy.
87   mell   2023 May 17, 9:58am  

komputodo says


mell says


but if not adulterated it's actually quite healthy.

kinda like cheap grocery store olive oil? if not adulterated it's actually quite healthy.


Probably, at the end of the day you have to trust your sources. But I doubt it's all extremely unhealthy in moderation. Every MD has their own diet to promote $$ and culprits. You can avoid most of those pitfalls if you're worried by avoiding processed foods, and eat mostly raw/cold food in general. I'm not doing this, but I probably eat more cold food than most, may have started out as laziness. But there are people who swear by it, saying it gave them great health into old age, not to prepare meals unless absolutely necessary. Eat raw as long as your stomach is up for it.
88   clambo   2023 May 17, 10:48am  

Avoid hash oil.
89   mell   2023 May 17, 10:49am  

clambo says

Avoid hash oil.

unless you want to get stoned
90   rocketjoe79   2023 May 17, 11:28am  

Also, Nuts are highly recommended in moderation. You're getting a bit of oil, but not enough to worry about.
I started getting high triglycerides a few years back, and started taking fish oil pills. They didn't do a thing for me until I saw my flight surgeon. He asked my dose and I said 1000mg per day. He said it's 4k per day! Since then, my tri's have dropped 50%. If I go off, they go back up.

I think this is pretty close to Mom feeding you Cod liver oil back in the day. Little sardines on a cracker (Chicken of the Sea ) are still a favorite of mine.
91   mell   2023 May 17, 11:31am  

rocketjoe79 says

Also, Nuts are highly recommended in moderation. You're getting a bit of oil, but not enough to worry about.
I started getting high triglycerides a few years back, and started taking fish oil pills. They didn't do a thing for me until I saw my flight surgeon. He asked my dose and I said 1000mg per day. He said it's 4k per day! Since then, my tri's have dropped 50%. If I go off, they go back up.

I think this is pretty close to Mom feeding you Cod liver oil back in the day. Little sardines on a cracker (Chicken of the Sea ) are still a favorite of mine.

Out of curiosity, what did you/they consider high levels of triglycerides?
92   Blue   2023 May 17, 2:48pm  

rocketjoe79 says

Also, Nuts are highly recommended in moderation. You're getting a bit of oil, but not enough to worry about.
I started getting high triglycerides a few years back, and started taking fish oil pills. They didn't do a thing for me until I saw my flight surgeon. He asked my dose and I said 1000mg per day. He said it's 4k per day! Since then, my tri's have dropped 50%. If I go off, they go back up.

I think this is pretty close to Mom feeding you Cod liver oil back in the day. Little sardines on a cracker (Chicken of the Sea ) are still a favorite of mine.

Check if this helps,
Dr. Pradip Jamnadas: "ONCE A DAY, it is scientifically proven!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6Yem2T2r2M&patrick.net=
93   beershrine   2023 May 17, 4:25pm  

Patrick, I use olive oil for almost everything but according to this Davis study 53-94% of the imported brands failed standard testing. Read the study and choose wisely. There is another study on Honey that is eye popping.

https://olivecenter.ucdavis.edu/media/files/report2011three.pdf
94   Eric Holder   2023 May 17, 5:20pm  

beershrine says

Patrick, I use olive oil for almost everything but according to this Davis study 53-94% of the imported brands failed standard testing.


I used to work with an Italilan guy whose mom was some kind of "olive oil scientist" back in the old country. According to her only extra virgin olive oil is good, the "light" variety is shit because of the processing it undergoes.
95   gabbar   2023 May 18, 3:55am  


Check if this helps,
Dr. Pradip Jamnadas: "ONCE A DAY, it is scientifically proven!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6Yem2T2r2M&patrick.net=


Check out the comments on this video, they are gold dust
96   Robert Sproul   2023 May 18, 7:22am  

Seed oils are the new dietary Super Villain. My research indicates that ALL imported olive oil is suspect. Apparently it is difficult to detect and some extraordinarily high percentage is adulterated with unknown agents. I now buy only California olive oils.
Also I have switched to animal fats, lard and tallow, for all high heat applications. Highly recommended:
https://fatworks.com/
Even worse than High Fructose, seed oils seem to be THE main poison in our American Ultra-Processed Food Diet.
30-40 minutes but potentially life changing fat discussions:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2UnOryQiIY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kGnfXXIKZM
97   komputodo   2023 May 18, 7:38am  

richwicks says

HAHA - all the top recommended are junk foods except for kale and watermelon, both of which I hate.

You must be black. The reason I say this is because the only people I've ever heard that claim that they hate watermelon were blacks when speaking to white folk.
98   NuttBoxer   2023 May 18, 8:25am  

Buy local and buy organic. Italy exports 3x the olive oil they produce.
99   mell   2023 May 18, 8:32am  

komputodo says

richwicks says


HAHA - all the top recommended are junk foods except for kale and watermelon, both of which I hate.

You must be black. The reason I say this is because the only people I've ever heard that claim that they hate watermelon were blacks when speaking to white folk.

lol I love watermelon!
100   komputodo   2023 May 18, 1:21pm  

mell says

lol I love watermelon!

me too....Whats not to like?
102   RWSGFY   2023 Jul 27, 10:39am  

Patrick says







Eh, sunflower oil is made by squeezing the seeds - I've seen the whole process. What comes out is dark and fragrant oil, not dissimilar from virgin olive oil in appearance.

So no need for any processing if virgin oil is what you want. But if you want light oil, it will have to go through processing and olive oil is no different here.

PS. This is a good example how memes can be effective ... in distorting the real picture.
103   NuttBoxer   2023 Jul 28, 9:12am  

That's one see oil. So you throw out the entire meme for the exception, seriously? And I guess health isn't a concern here either, as you stop your examination at the processing phase.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-sunflower-oil-healthy#downsides

Maybe step back a bit instead of picking through the weeds next time to find a point of contention.
104   Eric Holder   2023 Jul 28, 10:19am  

NuttBoxer says


That's one see oil. So you throw out the entire meme for the exception, seriously?


The point is obviously not "one seed oil", but rather "olive oil in its refined form is heavily processed too". The meme omits the latter completely and makes it look like olive oil requires no processing.
105   Patrick   2023 Jul 28, 10:30am  

My point in posting it was that Canola oil in particular is innately toxic, and heavily processed to get the toxicity down to a level that most people don't notice.

I don't mean that all seed oils need that much processing.
106   gabbar   2023 Jul 28, 10:41am  

Note that whenever you are eating at any restaurant, this for profit business is most likely using seed oils to cook their food so that they can make more money. I bet if anyone saw the cheap oils they use, we could find it alarming.
107   gabbar   2023 Jul 29, 8:59am  

Patrick says

My point in posting it was that Canola oil in particular is innately toxic, and heavily processed to get the toxicity down to a level that most people don't notice. I don't mean that all seed oils need that much processing.


Costco sells Canola oil, so do other stores. Its affordable. But I suspect that most restaurants use seed oils that are much cheaper than even Canola oil. Cotton seed oil?
108   RWSGFY   2023 Jul 29, 10:20am  

Patrick says


My point in posting it was that Canola oil in particular is innately toxic, and heavily processed to get the toxicity down to a level that most people don't notice.

I don't mean that all seed oils need that much processing.


Does anybody eat canola seeds? I don't think so. Maybe a good rule of thumb would be if you can eat the seeds the oil is more or less ok, but if you won't eat the seed the oil is probably better be avoided too.

PS. Again we see the limits of memes: just like 140-character tweets they require lengthy clarifications.
109   Patrick   2023 Jul 29, 12:11pm  

Good point. You cannot safely eat rapeseeds (Canola is just a marketing term to avoid the proper name, which contains the triggering word "rape") or cottonseeds.

I know memes have limits, but they also have a lot of virtues. They get to the point quickly. Most people simply don't have time to read everything.
110   gabbar   2023 Jul 29, 3:17pm  

Coconut oil is healthy and affordable but sells the least at Costco, imo. People buy other unhealthy oils. Coconut oil does give a taste to the food, I didn't like it.
111   Patrick   2023 Jul 29, 3:48pm  

I like the taste of coconut oil myself. Works well with fried Japanese sweet potato strips I think.
112   mell   2023 Jul 30, 1:01am  

I'm not convinced that seed oils are bad in moderation. Sure canola is bad due to hexane et. al. But omega 6 isn't necessarily bad, it's actually shown that it helps for certain conditions, e.g. borage oils for neurodermitis. It's like with everything quality and amount that matters. That being said, I do believe they are inferior to olive, avocado or coconut oil. So if you consume a lot, better go with the latter.
113   richwicks   2023 Jul 30, 2:18am  

komputodo says

richwicks says


HAHA - all the top recommended are junk foods except for kale and watermelon, both of which I hate.

You must be black. The reason I say this is because the only people I've ever heard that claim that they hate watermelon were blacks when speaking to white folk.


No, I just don't like it. I like bananas fine. I'd say pears and pineapple are the best fruits.
114   NuttBoxer   2023 Jul 30, 9:19pm  

Eric Holder says

The point is obviously not "one seed oil", but rather "olive oil in its refined form is heavily processed too". The meme omits the latter completely and makes it look like olive oil requires no processing.


I hear you opinion, but it's never been corroborated by a single doctor that I've been to, or any research that I've done. And you're still getting lost in the woods with your friend. Health affects, good or bad, don't end at processing. If I follow the meme rather than your nit-picks, I will be overall healthier. I believe that's the whole point...
115   NuttBoxer   2023 Jul 30, 9:20pm  

RWSGFY says

Does anybody eat canola seeds? I don't think so. Maybe a good rule of thumb would be if you can eat the seeds the oil is more or less ok, but if you won't eat the seed the oil is probably better be avoided too.

PS. Again we see the limits of memes: just like 140-character tweets they require lengthy clarifications.


Wow, you literally just did what you blame the meme for, but your advise will lead to worse health. Again, big picture PLEASE.
116   NuttBoxer   2023 Jul 30, 9:22pm  

gabbar says

Coconut oil does give a taste to the food, I didn't like it.


Any sweets, like popcorn, pancakes are good with coconut oil. Or if you are cooking bitter vegetables and need to balance them out.
117   NuttBoxer   2023 Jul 30, 9:23pm  

mell says

I'm not convinced that seed oils are bad in moderation.


Say that again after reading the link I provided.

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