Losing weight is all about burning more body fat than you build. That’s why metabolism is so important when it comes to weight loss. A slow metabolism burns fewer calories, which means more gets stored as fat in the body, while a fast metabolism burns calories at a quicker rate, which explains why some people can eat a lot and not gain extra pounds. Thankfully, there are some foods you can eat (and some you’ll want to avoid!) that can help boost your metabolism so your body can burn calories quicker. In particular, health experts recommend avoiding one type of oil because it disrupts your metabolism so severely, that your body can’t burn its own fat as easily as nature intended.
If you are looking to eat healthier and want to lose weight, stay away from processed vegetable oils, such as soybean oil, corn oil, and any type of processed seed oil. Most of the vegetable oil we eat today is processed in a way that is making it harder for people to burn fat. To learn about the pitfalls of cooking with vegetable oil, we reached out to Jay Cowin, a registered nutritionist from ASYSTEM, and Jill Mongene, a registered dietitian. Find out more below!
As you probably already know, cooking oil is an essential staple in every kitchen and pantry. It's used in nearly any recipe involving the stovetop or oven. One of the most common, and as it turns out detrimental to your metabolism, is vegetable oil. Vegetable oils are oils extracted from seeds or from other parts of fruits. Soybean oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, and coconut oil are some of the most common vegetable oil. Even though it may seem healthy because of the use of "vegetable" in the name, vegetable oil is not intrinsically good for you.
The term ‘vegetable oil’ is rather vague and can therefore indicate that your oil is coming from a number of sources, but the most common one is soybeans. After undergoing a process called hydrolysis, soybeans become the vegetable oil that we use in the kitchen. "What we are now learning is that many of these labeled vegetable oils may have hidden trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils (chemically altered products) hidden under the ingredients label as 'proprietary blend' or 'vegetable oil blend.' Trans Fats and hydrogenated oils have been known to cause cardiac dysfunction like high cholesterol and [eventually] blocked arteries," Mongene warns.
No matter what your vegetable oil is made from, health experts across the board do not recommend it for cooking because of the slew of negative health implications. "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that it is not recommended to use vegetable oil for cooking because it does increase LDL cholesterol and is not as heart-healthy as olive or canola oil," Cowin says.
"The University of California says that it is not healthy to use vegetable oil because it is 80% fat and 20% protein, which means it's mostly made of saturated fatty acids (bad)," he continues. "It also contains only trace amounts of nutrients, meaning cooking with this oil doesn't provide much benefit to your body or diet compared to other oils that are higher in unsaturated fats like olive oil."
Luckily, there are plenty of healthy alternatives to vegetable oils. If you'd like to boost your metabolism and lose weight, health experts seem to agree that Mongene suggests cooking with a small amount of vegetable broth instead. This can still be used to sauté your foods without the fat content that vegetable oil provides. But, it's important to remember that healthy fats are essential for any diet, even those working towards weight loss. Avocado or olive oil are also great substitutes and additions to any meal. We'll be switching out our vegetable oil ASAP!