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Does consuming cooking oil cause inflammation?




While cooking oil doesn’t necessarily cause inflammation in all people, some types of cooking oil can have inflammatory effects on the body. This is because certain oils, such as vegetable oil, contain high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids can trigger inflammation in the body when they are consumed in large amounts.


If you consume more pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids that are found in seed-based oils than anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, found in walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds and some fatty fish like salmon, you are at risk of developing chronic, systemic inflammation.


The cooking oils that we most commonly use in our kitchens are sunflower, safflower, corn, and soybean oil. These seed-based oils are a major dietary source of linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid. While small amounts of omega-6 fatty acids are necessary for optimal health, excessive amounts can contribute to inflammation.


It’s important to remember, however, that not all inflammation is bad. For instance, your body needs this process when it’s fighting an infection or healing from injury. But when inflammation becomes chronic and serves no purpose, it may set the stage for other health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.


Blending edible oils such as rice bran oil with safflower oil, or coconut oil with sesame oil, is a good way to balance your intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

 

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