Dear Dr. Blonz: I recently came across the “Hateful 8” theory from an M.D. who casts “industrial seed oils,” such as canola, safflower and corn oils, in catastrophic and deadly terms. In short, this doctor claims that they increase inflammation, disrupt metabolism and destroy your health. This doctor also says there is a link between the consumption of these oils and the most dangerous effects of the coronavirus. What do you advise regarding industrial seed oils? — S.H., Tulsa
Dear S.H.: This theory is off the mark and misleading. These oils can be assets in an otherwise healthful diet — they can contribute essential fatty acids, for instance — and should not be considered “catastrophic” or “deadly.”
Making a vague connection between the use of seed oils and “the most dangerous effects of the coronavirus” is a bit irresponsible. Where’s the evidence? Certainly, if a person is poorly nourished and in a suboptimal state of health, they will be at greater risk should they get this virus. But to point to seed oils as a villain in any circumstance is without merit.
Using “industrial” as a derogatory descriptor is also off. All foods, including organic ones, are produced by an industry.
The key with diet is to balance all elements and not to overdo it. There is no basis to reject seed oils in the preparation of healthful foods, and they should not be rejected based solely on the unsubstantiated statements of this individual.