Why should I eliminate refined Oils?
The refining process- used to extract oil from sources such as rapeseeds (i.e. Canola oil), sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, soybeans, corn, palm fruit and peanuts- involves the application of high heat and chemical solvents, both of which produce oxidants (the opposite of antioxidants, i.e., what causes inflammation and disease).
Refined oils are also a major source Omega-6 fatty acids which, although essential and naturally found in whole foods, are unhealthy in excess. By over-consuming Omega-6's (which we easily do in today's food environment), we throw off our ideal ratio of Omega-6's to Omega-3's, which has been directly linked to illness. According to most experts, an ideal ratio is 4:1; the average American eats a ratio of anywhere between 12:1 to 25:1.
Refined, industrially produced oils are one of the most harmful and yet ubiquitous ingredients in our food system. They are particularly hard to avoid when buying pre-packaged or pre-made products because of their long shelf life, neutral flavor and low cost.