Select Page

Short Answer:

No, Vegetable Oils are not Paleo!
are vegetable oils paleo

Why Vegetable Oils are Bad for You?

There is no confusion on what oil to use in the Paleo diet. Animal fats like lard and tallow are best recommended when it comes to cooking Paleo food. Only the unprocessed and most natural food are considered Paleo approved.

It can be deceiving that vegetable oils seem to sound healthy as they come from vegetables and vegetables are good for you. Apparently, vegetable oils are not Paleo and should be eliminated from your pantry. Technology is required to produce these oils. Vegetable oils are produced through series of chemical procedures such as high heating, degumming, deodorizing and bleaching. Most of the time, several refined oils are combined and addition of chemicals such as hexane is required to create a vegetable oil. Hexane, aside from being used to produce more oil, they are also used to make glue, leather and roofing products. Most often, the produce or crops used to create vegetables are genetically modified to be pest resistant. So think of these pesticides in your food?? Not good!

Vegetable oils definitely did not exist during the paleolithic era because technology was not present at that time.

Types of Vegetable Oils

We talked about some of the vegetable oils in our previous post and they are the following;

  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Grape seed oil
  • Rice bran oil

Nowadays, vegetable oils are used in cooking, salad oils, margarine and shortening.  They are sometimes odourless and tasteless and really have high smoke points which are ideal for high heat cooking. But vegetable oils are high in polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) that can increase the risk of heart problems. They have a high ratio of omega 3 and 6 that sometimes reach up to 10 times the normal or balanced ratio which is 1:1 to 3:1. We have discussed that the imbalanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 in the long term can cause inflammation that can result to chronic diseases. Because of the high PUFAs in vegetable oil, they can easily turn rancid even when stored in room temperature. They are also prone in oxidation that can form free radicals in your food (Remember AGEs?).

But There Are Exceptions..

Vegetable oils like avocado oil, olive oil, macadamia oil and coconut oil are exception to the no vegetable rule. These are healthy, natural Paleo-approved oils. Compared to other vegetable oils around, they do not undergo extreme chemical processes to be produced. Most of the time they are available in an “expeller pressed” form which means that they are manually extracted from the vegetable/fruit itself. They are low in polyunsaturated fats and omega 6. They are ideal for high heat cooking except for olive oil as it has a lower smoke point. They are the best substitutes for vegetable oils.

Click here to see what other oils are good and bad from a Paleo perspective.

What Experts Say About Vegetable Oil.. Is It Paleo?

“Industrial seed oils (corn, cottonseed, soybean, safflower, sunflower, etc.) have not been a part of the human diet up until relatively recently, when misguided groups like the AHA and the ADA started promoting them as “heart-healthy” alternatives to saturated fat.” – Chris Kresser

“As you can tell, seed and nut oils probably shouldn’t make up a significant portion of your diet. Some, like coconut, olive, macadamia, palm, avocado, and fish, are great, but the vast majority of oils are unnatural and way too high in PUFAs. And just remember, with some of the more questionable/borderline oils, a little bit goes a long way.” – Mark Sisson

“Vegetable oils were obviously not a component of any pre-agricultural or hunter-gatherer diet, simply because the technology to produce them did not exist.” – Dr. Loren Cordain

All you ever wanted to know about Vegetable Oil and Paleo

The Paleo Diet. Vegetable Oil Fatty Acid Composition

Mark’s Daily Apple. The Definitive Guide to Oils

Mark’s Daily Apple. Dear Mark: PUFAs

The Paleo Diet.Paleo Diet Primer: Fats and Oils

Paleo Leap. What’s Wrong With Industrial Oils?

Authority Nutrition.  6 Reasons Why Vegetable Oils Are Toxic

Ultimate Paleo Guide. Are Vegetables Oils Paleo?

Paleo Leap. Paleo Healthy Fats

FitBomb. Your Vegetable Oil is Killing You!

Paleo Living Magazine. How Cooking Oil is Making You Crazy, Fat, and Dead – 4 Healthy Ways to Improve Any Food

Primarily Paleo: What’s the deal with vegetable oils?

Paleo Plan. Plaeo Diet Food List/Guide

Paleo Mom. The Science and Art of Paleofying—Part 3 Leavening and Fats

The Dirt and the Dish. Paleo Approved Oil Chart

Did we miss anything?

Comment below and let us know what you think. Do you agree with our conclusion?

photo credit: Crisco Pure Vegetable Oil