Cooking Oils – Then and Now

Traditionally, seeds were hand-pressed under very low temperatures and delivered to homes like milk, in dark amber bottles due to the volatility of these oils. Today, as a result of such massive processing, most vegetable oils are so refined that they can be sold in clear bottles. In my opinion, these are not foods at all!

Today, vegetable seed oils are industrially processed and oxidized to such an extent that for commercial cooking oils to have a stable shelf life, all the nutrients and protective antioxidants in the seed are processed out. These vegetable seed oils are boiled to over 400° Fahrenheit, denatured, bleached, and then deodorized because they smell so bad after processing.

Canola oil

One of the most shocking revelations I’ve uncovered is the use of canola oil in our food. Canola is derived from rapeseed, which was banned for human consumption in 1956 due to high levels of erucic acid. In the 1970s, labs developed strains of rapeseed with low levels of erucic acid and found ways to remove the bitterness. Canola oil is now one of the most commonly used ingredients in processed food, despite being known to cause cancer and catalyse unhealthy brain function, heart disease, liver problems, hypertension, strokes, and stunted growth in children.

What’s even more alarming is that most of these problems are not immediate but caused by accumulation. Canola oil is used in almost every processed food we consume, and most restaurants use it to fry and cook their food. And the FDA is allowing it.

Cold pressed

When you buy a “cold pressed” cooking oil, you assume that the seeds were pressed safely at a cool temperature to protect the oil from rancidity, trans fats, and other toxic processing chemicals?

Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth!

Modern cold pressing heats the oil multiple times to staggering temperatures, rendering most oils rancid.

Additionally, unrefined oils are so delicate that even just one photon of daylight will trigger a chain reaction of free radical damage that creates trans fats and by-products that experts believe to be even more harmful than trans fats!

You will be disturbed to find out what happens to seed on its journey to becoming your favorite cooking oil.

Cooking oils are highly processed, using manufacturing methods that are destructive to oil molecules. These practices are utilized primarily to lengthen and stabilize the shelf life of oils because modern food production is focused on profit above nutrition.

After oils are pressed or solvent extracted from seeds and nuts, they are de-gummed, refined, bleached, and deodorized. The result is known as an RBD (refined, bleached, deodorized) and these oils, as a result, become colorless, odorless, and tasteless.

In addition, valuable beneficial ingredients are removed during processing, including:

  • Antioxidants – like naturally occurring vitamin E, carotene, and others, which protect the oils from oxidizing as bad cholesterol in the blood.
  • Phytosterols – support and protect immunity and cardiovascular function.
  • Chlorophyll – fertilizes the gut with prebiotic support for the proliferation of good bacteria, and is a rich source of magnesium, which is essential for heart, nerve, muscle, and blood sugar function.
  • Lecithin – which helps to emulsify fats, making sure they are easily digested.
  • Naturally occurring flavor molecules, color molecules, and other oil-soluble beneficial molecules.

Cold-pressed oils can legally state that they contain no additives, preservatives, or special flavorings, because the vast majority of the chemicals added during processing are subsequently taken out. The question is: which chemical residues remain, and how many nutrients, vitamins, and minerals are lost?

Most oils go rancid when temperatures exceed 125 degrees. All seed oils are processed at 150-300 degrees

All seed oils, except extra virgin olive oil, have been processed by these destructive methods. When extra virgin olive oil is fried, it is extensively damaged. It should not be used for cooking above 160 degrees but can be added to foods after they are removed from the heat as was traditionally done in Italy where olive oil is drizzled onto the dish after it has cooled from the oven.

The best oils to use for cooking are:

ghee-learn all about it thru my article here


extra virgin olive

coconut oil-has become very popular, in Ayurveda it is only recommended for very warm climates due to its excessively cooling quality.

How do we digest these seed oils?

Highly processed high linoleic acid vegetable oils are so stable, they use them to preserve food and extend shelf life. You will find them all in packaged food in the middle of your grocery store. Linoleic acids are so fully oxidized that not only are they toxic and damaging to the arterial wall, but intestinal microbes that typically feed on essential fatty acids and fiber won’t touch them.

Bread, for example, years ago would get hard and stale in just one day, making your local baker a regular stop on your shopping list. Today, breads stay soft for months thanks to highly processed vegetable oils used to extend shelf life—but not your life.

Beneficial microbes ingest good fats, but if microbes will not eat the processed fats in your bread, your bread will not go bad or mold. But when you eat the processed bread, those same microbes now in your gut won’t eat or digest them either. All the indigestible omega-6 fats end up in the liver to be broken down as toxic waste or stored in your fat.

Luckily Ayurveda has ways to cleans these toxins from your body and remove the waste products blocking your fat cells and channels. Chat to us today about improving your digestion, eliminating toxins and re enlivening your cells inner intelligence!