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Why vegetable oil is bad (High Omega 6, inflammation and oxidised LDL)

Foxo Health

In this video I talk about why vegetable oil may be harmful to us. Some examples of vegetable oil are corn oil, sesame seed oil, sunflower and canola to name a few. Vegetable oil is very high in the omega-6 fatty acid, which in high quantities is extremely harmful, driving inflammation and potentially heart disease. We don’t just receive vegetable oil from the standalone source of cooking oil. Vegetable oil is in almost all processed foods. We are getting far too much it! To really explain this, I need to talk a bit more about omega-6 and also omega-3. We require both, but the ratio of our intake is critical. Before the introduction of grains to our diet, it is believed that our ancestor’s ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 was about 1:1. This is what our bodies have adjusted to over tens of thousands of years. With the introduction of grains (around 10,000 years ago) the ration went up to 2:1 in favor of omega-6. However, somewhere in the middle of the 19th century, this ratio went up to 15:1. Why is too much omega-6 harmful to us? You are probably aware that chronic inflammation is bad for us. It’s the driver for a whole raft of diseases, including heart disease, autoimmune and perhaps even cancer. Inflammation is actually a perfectly natural response to stress, and good for us in small amounts. It’s a natural pathway/mechanism in the body. We start to have a big problem when chronic inflammation occurs, the natural inflammatory pathway in our body is being hammered. It’s chronic inflation that drives disease. Omega-6 actually triggers our inflammatory pathway! Remember that we have evolved to optimize a 1:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega 3. Well think what a ration of 30:1 is doing! Omega 3, on the other hand attenuates inflammation. Omega-6 is very unstable, meaning it is very susceptible to oxidation. You have probably heard somewhere along the line that oxidative damage is bad. Oxidation can cause havoc in the body, which is why it’s so important to get plenty of anti-oxidants from fruits and vegetables. Too much Omega-6 harms your cells, making them more and more fragile. Omega-6 is causing the cholesterol in your body to become oxidised. We really don’t want that. If we want to understand our risk of heart disease, a much better bio-marker than total cholesterol (which on its own doesn’t really tell us much) is our level of oxidised LDL cholesterol. We can now test for this and it’s proving to be a much more reliable predictor of heart disease.

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