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Do “healthy” vegetable oils make you hungry?

I’ve got news for you.

That bottle of vegetable oil in your pantry is making you fat.

So says Sarah, in her recent post over at The Healthy Home Economist.  Do you agree? How much vegetable oil do you consume?

How Vegetable Oils Make Us Fat

Even Earth Balance, the so called natural oil blend that sells like hotcakes at your local healthfood store, is expanding your backside with every spread of the knife on your morning toast and you don’t even realize it.

Vegetable oils, plantaardige oliën; from left ...

The reason is that these vegetable oil bottles and spreads are loaded with omega-6 fats.   Omega-6 fats are primarily found in the Western diet via soy, corn, cottonseed, and canola oil (which also contains rancid omega-3 fats) and are a category of polyunsaturated vegetable oils found in seeds and grains.

While eating seeds and grains is not a bad thing, concentrating the oils from them is.

The fact is that there isn’t a whole lot of oil in an ear of corn or a soybean, so to make an entire bottle of corn or soybean oil takes violent and heavily industrialized processing.

Earth Balance doesn’t sound so earthy after all, does it?

Omega-6 vegetable oils are not fats that you could easily produce in the comfort of your own kitchen like the simple and age old process of pressing olives into olive oil (a monounsaturated omega-9 fat) or churning cream into butter.

Here’s where the fat part comes in.

While a very small amount of omega-6 fats are necessary for health, when consumed to excess as happens with the Western diet, vegetable oils contribute to overproduction of neuromodulatory lipids called endocannabinoids that are responsible for signaling hunger to the brain.

Guess what these little guys do?

They give you the munchies!

Olive oil from Imperia in Liguria, Italy.

You may wonder why the name endocannabinoids sounds a bit like cannabis (weed).  Weed is famous for giving people the munchies too so you can consider omega-6 vegetable oils the marijuana of fatty acids.

Now you know why you can’t stop eating a jumbo bag of chips made with corn, soy, or sunflower oil.


Is that why it’s so easy to eat an entire box of Archway Frosted Lemon Cookies in the blink of an eye!

What about that organic dressing loaded with omega-6 oils that tops your salad at lunchtime?  Could it be the reason behind the urge to overeat on the main course or the snack attack at 3pm?

Just try to gorge yourself the same way with a box of cookies made with butter, coconut oil or palm oil or wolf down a plateful of french fries that were cooked in beef fat (tallow).

No can do.

You see, saturated fats satiate you and keep your blood sugar steady so you stay full and comfortable and eat much less.  Omega-6 vegetable oils, on the other hand, cause you to keep on eating and eating and

eating until you have perhaps even made a complete glutton of yourself in a major way.

Some Omega 6’s, however, are necessary for human health along with omega-3 fatty acids. A healthy diet contains a balance of both. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, so make sure you are taking a

fish oil supplement to help you have a healthier balance of Omega 3’s & Omega 6’s.

The University of Maryland Medical Center claims that the typical American diet tends to contain 14-25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids.  And this is where we are going wrong!

It seems with America’s weight problem now at crisis level, it’s time for a return to the traditional, nourishing fats of our ancestors which didn’t contribute to overeating or weight issues.

Isn’t it high time to stop listening to the talking heads on TV and take matters into your own hands?  Chuck that tub of Earth Balance in the trash and switch to simple, wholesome butter and other truly healthy fats.

Your stomach and your backside will thank you.


Source:  Why Women Need Fat, William Lassek MD