Don’t Use These Oils.

Via Dr. John Douillard
on Jul 5, 2012
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Editor’s note: we do not approve of the use of palm oil, which goes under many guises/names, and is in just about everything.


When you buy a “cold pressed” cooking oil, do you assume that the seeds were pressed safely at a cool temperature to protect the oil from rancidity, trans fats and other toxic processing chemicals?

Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth!

Modern cold pressing heats the oil multiple times to staggering temperatures, rendering most oils rancid.

Additionally, unrefined oils are so delicate that even just one photon of daylight will trigger a chain reaction of free radical damage that creates trans fats and other by-products that experts believe to be even more harmful than trans fats!

“How can they sell cooking oils in clear plastic bottles that are exposed to the light?” you may ask. Well, they shouldn’t—but they do!

You will be disturbed to find out what happens to a seed on its journey to become your favorite cooking oil. Join me this week for a detailed look into the process, and learn how to choose oils that are good for you.

RBD Oils: Refined, Bleached and Deodorized

Udo Erasmus, author of the book, Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, claims that—

Cooking oils are highly processed, using manufacturing methods that are destructive to oil molecules. These practices are utilized primarily to lengthen and stabilize the shelf life of oils.

He goes on to explain the manufacturing process:

After oils are pressed or solvent extracted from seeds and nuts, they are degummed, refined, bleached, and deodorized. The result is known as an RBD (refined, bleached, deodorized) and these oils, as a result, become colorless, odorless and tasteless.

In addition, valuable beneficial ingredients are removed during processing, including:

•    Antioxidants—like naturally occurring vitamin E, carotene, and others, which protect the oils from oxidizing as bad cholesterol in the blood.

•    Phytosterols—which support and protect immunity and cardiovascular function.

•    Chlorophyll—which fertilizes the gut with pre-biotic support for the proliferation of good bacteria, and is a rich source of magnesium, which is essential for heart, nerve, muscle and blood sugar function.

•    Lecithin—which helps to emulsify fats, making sure they are easily digested.

•    Naturally occurring flavor molecules, color molecules, and other oil-soluble beneficial molecules.

Cooking Oils—Then and Now

Traditionally, seeds were hand pressed under very low temperatures and delivered to homes like milk, in dark amber bottles due to the volatility of these oils. Today, as a result of such massive processing, most vegetable oils are so refined that they can be sold in clear bottles. In my opinion, these should be thrown away.

Modern Cooking Oil Processing

Note: Cold pressed oils can legally state that they contain no additives, preservatives or special flavorings, because the vast majority of the chemicals added during processing are subsequently taken out. The question is: which chemical residues remain, and how many nutrients, vitamins and minerals are lost?

Step 1: Cleaning and Grinding

During this process, the seeds are washed, cleaned, de-hulled and de-skinned. The coarse material is then ground into a matter from which the oil will be pressed. The grinding process adds significant heat from the grinding friction, rendering volatile oils rancid.

Step 2:  Cold Pressing

The material is then put in a screw press, where temperatures can reach anywhere between 130-200 degrees Fahrenheit. Most oils go rancid when temperatures exceed 125 degrees.

Step 3: Solvent Extraction

Most seeds are not suitable for cold pressing, because it would leave many undesirable trace elements in the oil, causing it to be odiferous, bitter tasting, or dark. Because of this, a solvent extraction technique is commonly used.

Hexane is typically used as a solvent to dissolve the oil out of the seed cake after pressing and is then reabsorbed through evaporation and distillation.

Step 4:  Refine, Bleach, and Deodorize

•    The oil is then refined to remove color, odor and bitterness, along with many minor but important constituents of the oil. Refining can heat the oil to between 107 and 188 degrees and involves mixing chemicals, like sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate, into the oil.

•    Oils are also degummed at this time by treating them with water heated to dangerously high temperatures—between 188 and 206 degrees Fahrenheit—with steam or a combination of water and acid. The natural gums, most of which are phosphatides, precipitate out.

•    The oil is then bleached by filtering it through bleaching clay, which absorbs certain pigmented material from the oil, making the oil tolerant to light, and thus stable enough to be packaged in a clear bottle. Again, so many more vital nutrients, minerals and other beneficial components are lost here.

•    The oil is then deodorized, because processing incurs rancidity from significant free radical damage, giving the oil a terrible smell. The deodorizing process involves passing steam over hot oil in a vacuum at between 440 and 485 degrees Fahrenheit.

•    The oil is now dead! It’s refined, odorless, tasteless, colorless, indigestible and void of most any nutritional value.

The Good Oils

According to Dr. Erasmus, all oils, except extra virgin olive oil, have been processed by these destructive methods. Extra virgin olive oil, while not damaged by processing, is a poor source of essential fats, as it contains less than one percent omega-3s and only 10 percent omega-6s.

When extra virgin olive oil is fried, it is extensively damaged. It should not be used for cooking, but can be added to foods after they’re removed from the heat.

Oils made with health (rather than shelf life) in mind are:

•    Pressed from organically grown seeds and nuts.
•    Protected from light, air (oxygen) and heat during pressing, filtering and filling.
•    Sold in dark glass bottles that say “unrefined” on the label.
•    Expeller pressed (screw press).  Manufacturers of expeller pressed oils make an effort to keep the pressing temperature low. A manufacturer concerned about overheating oils will mention expeller pressure temperature on the label. Look for pressing temperatures below 122 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the European standard for cold (expeller) pressing.

These oils are safe and desirable—but are not to be used for cooking!
Photo: Chiot’s Run via

The best oils to safely use for cooking are:

•    Coconut oil
•    Palm kernel oil
•    Palm oil

(Although Palm oil and Palm kernel oil could be good for cooking and health, be aware of its destruction on rainforests and orangutans. ~ eds.)

•    Cacao oil
•    Shea nut oil
•    Ghee
•    Butter

These oils are the most heat tolerant.




The 3 Naughty Things I Do With Coconut Oil. {Adult}

The Benefits of Coconut Oil. {Infographic & Video}




Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

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1. Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, Udo Erasmus. Books Alive. 1993

Photo: Google Images for Reuse



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About Dr. John Douillard

Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP is a globally recognized leader in the fields of natural health, Ayurveda and sports medicine. Over the past 30 years, he’s helped over 100,000 patients repair their digestive system and eat wheat and dairy again. He is the creator of, a leading Ayurvedic health and wellness resource on the web with over 6 million views on YouTube. LifeSpa is evolving the way Ayurveda is understood around the world with over 1000 articles and videos proving ancient wisdom backed by modern science. Dr. John is the former Director of Player Development and nutrition advisor for the New Jersey Nets NBA team, author of six books, a repeat guest on the Dr. Oz show, and has been featured in Woman’s World Magazine, Yoga Journal, the Huffington Post and dozens of other publications. —————————————————————————————————–
Receive his valuable health reports in your inbox – sign up for free!
For information on Dr. John’s newest book, Eat Wheat, please visit, and connect with Dr. Douillard on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Eat Wheat is now available in bookstores. It can be ordered from Amazon, and all major booksellers.


25 Responses to “Don’t Use These Oils.”

  1. jamesjonney says:

    Thanks for your reviews. Now i always use good oil product.


  2. please says:

    I believe you can add avocado oil to the list of safe oils to use for cooking.

  3. guest says:

    palm oil also destroys rain forest habitat (and buying "sustainable" palm oil is difficult)
    butter is not suitable for high temperatures.
    I wish articles like this one were written by an expert ….oh well, can't have it all for free..nowadays,everyone can be a "doctor" and an expert.

  4. Paul says:

    Unrefined cooking oils: These oils are typically called salad oils and are used for salad dressings, marinades, and sauces or light cooking oils (light sautes and low heat baking). As a general rule, they should not be cooked at high temperatures. Use for light sautéing, low-heat baking, pressure cooking, sauces and salads. However, safflower oil is the one unrefined oil that can become hot enough to reach the temperature necessary for deep-frying. Unrefined oil contains a full range of bioactive components that not only have healthful benefits and provide full-bodied flavor, but also make the oil more prone to oxidation. Using unrefined oils at temperatures above 320°F accelerates the oxidation of these oils.

    Unrefined oils are processed by cold-pressed and expeller-pressed methods. Unrefined oils carry with them the true bouquet of olives, corn, sesame seeds, peanuts, soybeans, safflower, or whatever plant was the oil's original home. The strong flavors of unrefined oils can dominate whatever dish or baked good is made with them. Of course, strong flavor is not always a drawback; in some cases unrefined oils are used as flavoring agents. And, typically, where there is strong natural flavor and aroma, there is a higher amount of nutritional value. Best for medium heat temperature range: 212°F – 320°F.

  5. Colin Lively says:

    i love cooking with coconut oil. and is wonderful to know it is healthy..

  6. Sue says:

    rapeseed oil – not mentioned here. I believe it to be excellent for handling high temps

  7. ATP33Toronto says:

    * except don't use most Palm Oil because it's usually associated with deforestation & plundering of indigenous villages, due in part to Monsanto & its subsidiaries, see:

  8. Gemma says:

    I believe almond and walnut oil are good for cooking also – that is what my research has proved – would that be accurate?

  9. Cortland says:

    Any thoughts on grape seed oil? i thought it was ok for cooking but now i'm not so sure. also, i could just use ghee butter and never use oil. do you think ghee is better. i guess, i was thinking that since ghee is solid at room temp it wasn't as healthy as grape seed of some other oils (eg, extra virgin olive oil).

  10. […] re-posting this from Integrative Nutrition. I also highly recommend reading this article on misleading oils within our foods and using it as a guide for fat choices. Posted on May 20, 2012 by Integrative […]

  11. Tyroanee says:

    Palm oil?
    This very oil which is being rapidly harvested, so much depleting the natural habitat of so many endangered species?
    No thanks.

  12. […] herbs or essential oils (handful of herbs, or two to three drops of essential […]

  13. helena says:

    Palm oil is boiled for hours in processing, the boiling causes it to become effectively hydrogenated . so its dreadful for health! as well as being a byproduct of an environmental disaster, Don't use palm oil , read the labels of everything you buy! its in soap, cosmetics , chocolate, cookies and cakes and breads, instant noodles, the list goes on and on, its often vaguely mislabelled as non specific 'vegetable oil'.

  14. brandonwaloff says:

    didn't you guys just post an article suggesting NOT to eat Palm Oil because of how manufacturers destroy acres and acres of forests in south america which kills LOTS of animals?

  15. cequall says:

    Well….need to ask. I have a LOT of allergies and one to which I don't react is Olive oil. I cook with it but never about Medium heat and usually just for onions. I go for length of time rather than speed in cooking. I've heard that olive oil is ok if not cooked at higher temps.
    Help with this?

    • Maria Spiridakis says:

      Hey I live in Crete, Greece, where almost every household has olive trees. Believe me it's cold press without any bullshits. It has been used for generations for any kind of cooking. We are the healthiest in Europe with the highest life expectancy. People in their 80s look ridicously young 🙂 and are super active. Not sure how it's produced in USA, but here we use it even for frying.

  16. Allison says:

    Can someone explain to me what "rancid" means in this context? I didn't know that anything other than meat or dairy could go rancid….it seems odd that heating something at a high temperature would cause oil to go "rancid" when we use oil at high heat all the time. I could just use a little clarification for that use of word in this article. If anyone has the chemistry behind it, that would be great.

  17. Keli says:

    Why advocate the use of Palm Kernel Oil then?
    …it's from the Oil Palm tree as well. It should also be in RED, in my personal opinion.

  18. Amy Landry says:

    I believe Rice Bran Oil is excellent for cooking – with a high smoke point. It was recommended by my Ayurvedic teacher/guru/doctor. Also avocado oil can be used at LOW temps

  19. Debbie says:

    This my be of interest – Camelina Gold

  20. Shelbi says:

    Please do not use Palm Oil!! they are cutting down habitats and killing orangutans just for the palm oil Alternatives are available!!

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