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Reasons Why Indians Should Avoid Seed Oils If They Are Diabetic

Food, Medicines, and Lies The Health Talk series by Dr. Prritii

dr priti nanda sibla

High Omega-6 Content

Seed oils such as soybean oil, sunflower oil, and corn oil are rich in omega-6 fatty acids. While omega-6 fatty acids are essential for health, excessive intake, especially in relation to omega-3 fatty acids, can promote inflammation and contribute to insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic conditions.

Imbalance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratio

The traditional Indian diet tends to be higher in omega-6 fatty acids and lower in omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming seed oils further exacerbates this imbalance, leading to an unfavorable ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. An excessive omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is associated with increased inflammation, which can worsen insulin resistance and diabetes complications.

Potential for Oxidation 

Seed oils are prone to oxidation due to their high polyunsaturated fat content and susceptibility to heat, light, and air exposure. Oxidized fats can promote oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, contributing to insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk. Traditional Indian cooking methods involving high heat can further accelerate the oxidation of seed oils.

Refined and Processed Nature

Many seed oils undergo extensive refining and processing methods, including solvent extraction, bleaching, and deodorization, which can strip away beneficial nutrients and antioxidants present in the original seeds. Refined seed oils lack the protective compounds found in whole seeds, making them less favorable for health.

Association with Chronic Diseases

Epidemiological studies have linked high intake of omega-6-rich seed oils with an increased risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome. Indians, who are already predisposed to insulin resistance and diabetes, may be particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of excessive seed oil consumption.

Availability of Healthier Alternatives

Instead of relying on seed oils, Indians with diabetes can opt for healthier fat sources such as olive oil, coconut oil, ghee (clarified butter), and traditional cooking fats like mustard oil and sesame oil. These fats are more stable at high temperatures, have a better omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, and may offer additional health benefits.

In summary, Indians with diabetes should be cautious when consuming seed oils due to their high omega-6 content, potential for oxidation, and association with chronic diseases. Choosing healthier fat sources and minimizing the intake of refined and processed oils can help support better metabolic health and reduce the risk of diabetes complications.


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