Seed oils such as soybean, corn, and canola oil, are commonly used in cooking and food manufacturing due to their affordability and availability. However, their impact on our health, particularly our hormones, is often overlooked. They contain high levels of omega-6 fatty acids. While omega-6 fatty acids are essential for our body, an excessive intake can lead to an imbalance in the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. This imbalance can directly impact hormone production and create adverse effects on our health. Below are some of they ways they can cause harm:
- Inflammation and Hormone Balance:
An excessive intake of seed oils can increase inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation disrupts hormone balance and can contribute to various health issues, including estrogen dominance, insulin resistance, and thyroid dysfunction. These imbalances can lead to weight gain, mood swings, fatigue, and even fertility problems.
- Thyroid Disruption:
Seed oils contain compounds known as goitrogens, which interfere with thyroid hormone production. When consumed in excess, these oils can impair the thyroid gland’s ability to synthesize and utilize hormones effectively. This disruption can lead to symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue, weight gain, and brain fog.
- Estrogen Dominance:
Seed oils, particularly those from soybeans, can have estrogenic effects on the body. They contain phytoestrogens, which are plant compounds that mimic the hormone estrogen. Excessive consumption of seed oils have the ability to mimic estrogen dominance, leading to hormonal imbalances in both men and women. Symptoms of estrogen dominance include mood swings, breast tenderness, and menstrual irregularities.
- Insulin Resistance:
Insulin resistance occurs when our cells become less responsive to the hormone insulin, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. This condition can disrupt the delicate balance of hormones involved in regulating appetite, metabolism, and energy expenditure, contributing to weight gain and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Healthier Alternatives to Seed Oils
To reduce the negative impact on hormones, consider incorporating these healthier alternatives into your cooking and food choices:
Rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, olive oil is a stable and healthier option for dressings, but not for cooking which makes the EVOO go rancid.
With its medium-chain fatty acids, coconut oil is easily metabolized and provides a quick source of energy. It has been shown to offer various health benefits, including improved hormone regulation and metabolism. It’s a wonderful alternative to cooking at high temperatures.
High in monounsaturated fats, avocado oil is a great choice for high-heat cooking also. It contains essential nutrients that support hormone production and aids in nutrient absorption.
Clairfied butter (ghee) can be an excellent alternative. It is rich in healthy fats, fat-soluble vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for hormone synthesis. It doesn’t contain casein like normal butter, which is often linked to food sensitivities and hormone imbalances.
So next time you’re looking at the back of the ingredient label of some foods, make sure your foods are free from seed oils!