In the “Inspired” interview above, I discuss what I believe are some of the most important dietary and lifestyle strategies to safeguard your health, starting with avoiding seed oils (also commonly referred to as vegetable oils). Examples of cooking oils to avoid include canola, corn, rapeseed, cottonseed and soybean oil.
The reason for this recommendation is these kinds of industrial seed oils contain high amounts of a harmful omega-6 fat called linoleic acid (LA). LA is not dangerous in and of itself. The danger is really in the dosing. Most people consume up to 10 times more LA than they need, and the excessive amount is what causes the problem.
LA is referred to as an essential fat, which is true. You do need some. But it’s present in nearly all foods — including whole foods but processed foods and condiments in particular — so there’s virtually no way for you to become deficient.
In all likelihood, you’re getting far more than your body needs, and in excess, LA creates free radicals that cause oxidative stress and damage your DNA, cell membranes and mitochondria. In this way, they contribute to chronic degenerative diseases of all kinds and premature aging.
The best way to ensure your LA intake is within the safe range is to use a nutritional calculator such as Cronometer. Ideally, it is best to enter your food for the day before you actually eat it. The reason for this is quite simple: It’s impossible to delete the food once you have already eaten it, but you can easily delete it from your menu if you find something pushes you over the ideal limit.