The Hateful Eight (Industrial Seed Oils To Avoid) | Dr. Cate Shanahan on Wise Traditions with Hilda Labrada Gore

Check out the Wise Traditions Podcast Page & Episode Notes

Key Takeaways

  • The hateful eight industrial seed oils to avoid are Canola, Corn, Cottonseed Soy, Sunflower, Safflower, Grapeseed, and Rice bran.
    • These oils are very high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which promote inflammation and the accumulation of toxins in body fat
    • How exactly are they industrial? Hexane, Bleech and other terrifying processes – Watch here
  • Are Seed Oils Bad for You? YES
  • The average diet includes too many PUFAs, contributing to several chronic diseases
    • An average person has 20-30% of PUFAs in their body fat (instead of the healthy 2%)
    • Examples of conditions caused by PUFAs are: diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, auto-immune disorders, and obesity
    • The high inflammation levels caused by consumption of seed oils increases vulnerability to COVID-19
  • High PUFAs oils are usually found in all junk food but are not limited to them
    • They are hidden in many products that we consume every day, so it can be overwhelming at first to try to cut them out
  • Healthy alternatives to industrial seed oils are coconut, avocado, olive, and peanut oil
    • Some peanut oils are highly refined and you’d want to avoid them

Books Mentioned

  • Deep Nutrition by Dr. Cate Shanahan
    • The book explains the details of the healthy ‘Human Traditional Diet’ that humans evolved with


  • Dr. Cate Shanahan (T: @drcateshanahan) is a board-certified family physician and the author of Deep Nutrition and The Fat Burn Fix.
  • Host: Hilda Labrada Gore (AKA Holistic Hilda) (IG: @holistichilda and T: @holistichilda)
  • In this chat, Dr. Cate Shanahan discusses what are seed oils, are seed oils bad for you, the widespread use of industrial seed oils and their harmful effects on our health

What Are The Hateful Eight (Industrial Seed Oils)?

  • They are 8 industrial seed oils that are widely used but are very harmful to our health
    • Canola (also called “Rapeseed”), Corn, Cottonseed Soy, Sunflower, Safflower are mostly found in processed foods and grocery stores
    • Grapeseed and Rice bran are mostly found in quality restaurants
    • A mnemonic device to remember the hateful eight: CCC, SSS, GR

The Harms of Industrial Seed Oils

  • Not many people talk about industrial seed oils and their harmful effects.
    • Interestingly even in the keto and low carb world, there is not much discussion about seed oils
  • Industrial seed oils are harmful as they are very high in PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids)
    • The average person has 20-30% of PUFAs in their body fat (instead of the healthy 2%)
    • When we introduce more PUFAs than we need, polyunsaturates act like toxins as they accumulate in body fat and promote inflammation
    • Inflamed body fats are not able to produce energy efficiently, making us hungry and reducing our energy levels
  • Inflammation from excessive consumption of industrial seed oils contributes to many conditions for which we normally blame cholesterol and saturated fats
    • Examples of conditions caused by PUFAs include most chronic diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, auto-immune disorders, and obesity
  • We assume that with age people gain weight because their metabolism slows down, but it’s actually being damaged by seed oils over time.
    • People who are metabolically damaged feel hungry when they shouldn’t, and end up eating 600-800 more calories than needed
      • When you are insulin resistant (a sign of metabolic damage caused by seed oils) the body fat doesn’t get released into the bloodstream efficiently, making you hungry

What Foods Contain Industrial Seed Oils?

  • Industrial seed oils can be seen as the defining feature of junk food
    • Cookies, Twinkies, fast food fires, candy bars are all “super high sources of really bad seed oils”
    • Even worse because the oil in these foods gets reheated multiple times
  • Industrial seed oils are hidden in many products that we consume everyday, so it can be overwhelming at first to try to cut them out
    • As you scan ingredients labels you’ll find these oils in products like crackers, cereal, granola bars, salad dressing, and sauces
    • Dr. Cate Shanahan’s created a Shopping Guide to help people find healthy products that do not contain industrial oils

Are PUFAs contributing to the spread of COVID-19?

  • The Coronavirus stimulates inflammation. Industrial seed oils make us more vulnerable to COVID because they contribute to further inflammation
    • “It’s like you’re trying to put out a forest fire with a flamethrower” – Dr. Cate Shanahan
    • If we did not consume so much PUFAs, our inflammatory response would be stronger and our bodies would be better able to handle the Coronavirus

What Are Healthy Alternatives to the Hateful Eight?

  • Oils that come from fruits as opposed to seeds are healthy
    • Olive, Avocado, Coconut are energy-giving fats
  • Peanut oil is an exception (peanuts are technically seeds) and Dr. Cate Shanahan sometimes recommends it
    • Peanuts are “extremely generous” in giving off oil, so they don’t require harsh processing to extract the oil
      • Without being processed the oil keeps the antioxidants contained in peanuts
        • Antioxidants help to stabilize the oil so that it does not hurt our microbiome
      • Some peanut oils are still refined and you’d want to avoid them
        • When a product is refined it tends to have no taste. So a full peanutty taste can be a good indicator that oil is not refined
    • Peanut oil contains PUFAs but not nearly as much as the Hateful Eight

If You Could Do One Thing to Improve Health, What Would It Be?

  • Have a healthy breakfast
    • Avoid unhealthy fats or sugary, starchy carbohydrates.
      • If you eat them in the morning they will set you on “a path of energy highs and lows for the whole day”
    • Examples of recommended breakfast
      • Eggs and bacon
      • Eggs cooked in butter
      • Sprouted green bread toasted with avocados
      • Whole milk yogurt with nuts and berries on it

Are Expeller-Pressed Oils Healthy?

  • If an oil says that it’s expeller-pressed it does not necessarily mean that it’s healthy or unrefined
    • Expeller-pressed means that the oil was extracted mechanically instead of chemically
    • Mechanical extraction is healthier, but it is only one of the many steps in the process of oil production so knowing that the oil was Expeller-pressed does not give us a full picture

Additional Notes

  • Rancidity of flavor does not imply oxidation of the oil
    • Rancidity is not an indicator of oxidation so you usually cannot tell if an oil is oxidized from its flavor
      • Healthy oil can also have a rancid taste
  • Cod Liver Oil is in a different category as it’s not used to cook
    • It is a supplemental oil that can create great health benefits
    • However, since POFUs in Cod Liver Oil are fragile and prone to oxidation, it is very important that the oil gets extracted carefully and that it gets consumed quickly
  • Interestingly some Doctors at places like Tufts and Harvard continue recommending seed oils
Wise Traditions : , , ,
Notes By Giorgio Parlato

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