5 Reasons Why We Eliminated Vegetable Oils From Our Restaurant

No more vegetable oils!

“I prefer to butter to margarine because I trust cows more than I trust chemists.”

-Joan Gussow

We’ve decided to go against the grain. But don’t worry: it’s for your own good. While 99 percent of all restaurants use vegetable oil for cooking because it’s inexpensive and easily accessible, we decided it wasn’t the best decision for the health and wellbeing of our guests at the Kentucky Castle.

My name is Matt Dawson, and I’m one of the owners of the Kentucky Castle, but I’m also a physician. During my years in the medical field, I’ve learned firsthand just how harmful vegetable oil can be to our bodies. So much so, that I don’t want our guests to be subjected to it. The quote above from Joan Gussow is a great quote cautioning the dangers of simply trusting “progress” and “science” too quickly. Many of the concoctions of chemists in the last century have now been proven to be very harmful.

Vegetable oil can be deceiving. Its name suggests it should be healthy and good for you. However, it’s actually quite the opposite.

Eliminating vegetable oils from our restaurant ingredients is a costly decision for us, considering other healthier oils, like extra virgin olive oil and avocado oils are more expensive. But for us, it’s worth it. Here’s why:

1. Vegetable oils significantly raise the risk of many life-threatening diseases

One of the most common diseases for which we could be at high risk from the excessive consumption of vegetable oil is cardiovascular disease. This is a frightening one, since it's the most common cause of death in the world. Several randomized controlled trials, as well as observational studies have concluded the effects of vegetable oils can drastically increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

One recent study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s National Institutes of Health revealed that people in the U.S.who consumed the most Omega-6 fatty acids had the greatest risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

On the flip side, foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids, which include certain kinds of fish, as well as flax seed, chia seed, and walnuts, have a protective effect against this deadly disease.

There are several other diseases that have been linked with the consumption of vegetable oils. While some of them aren’t yet studied in humans, many observational and animals studies have shown strong evidence of a correlation with vegetable oils. These diseases include depression, cancer, asthma and eczema.

2. They are high in trans fats

Vegetable oils contain large amounts of trans fats, which in short, are detrimental to your health. These deadly substances can greatly increase the risk for many serious diseases.

These diseases include obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. The medical evidence against trans fats is so solid, in fact, that governments worldwide have set regulations for food manufacturers to reduce the amount of trans fats in their foods.

While trans fats also exist in high amounts in certain cookies and other processed baked goods, you may not think of one of the other primary culprits as vegetable oils. This is yet another important reason why we don’t cook with them!

3. Our bodies weren’t meant to process it

Industrial processed vegetable oils such as soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil, and safflower oil, each contain an ingredient that didn’t exist 100 years ago: Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

These biologically active fats can be found in large amounts in vegetable oils and can be harmful to humans when frequently consumed. They replace the fatty acids in your cell membranes with dysfunctional fatty acids. You ARE what you eat!

The processing method of most vegetable oils is also quite disturbing. It involves pressing and heating various industrial chemicals and extremely toxic solvents.

So the unnatural and harmful method of processing, coupled with the excessive amounts of Omega-6 make cooking with vegetable oils a lose-lose situation in my opinion.

4. They can throw off our fatty acid balance

The aforementioned Omega-6, plus Omega-3 are the two essential fatty acids for humans to have in their diets, because the body can’t produce them. However, it’s important to receive them within a certain balance.

Frequently consuming food cooked in vegetable oils isn’t a good way to achieve that balance. People with a high amount of Omega-6 and a low amount of Omega 3 fatty acids in their systems are at significantly higher risk for many diseases and ailments.

In short, excessive consumption of vegetable oils can lead to actual structural changes within our fat stores and our cell membranes. This can lead to harmful chain reactions to various systems such as our immune system, and even vital structures like DNA.

5. They Contribute to Inflammation

We’ve already talked about the importance of having a proper balance of the fatty acids Omega-6 and Omega-3. One of the many reasons this is important is that the proper balance regulates the amount of inflammation in the body.

If the balance is way off, and the Omega-6 intake is much higher than Omega-3, then the risk of inflammation will be higher as well. According to recent medical studies, increased inflammation can contribute to several potentially deadly diseases, including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, depression and even cancer.

The bottom line:

There is strong medical evidence that links the consumption of vegetable oil with many different diseases and ailments. Because of these facts, we decided it’s unsafe to serve foods cooked in vegetable oils to our customers.

We highly value our relationship with you, and we want to prove that we care about more than just your business; we care about your health. That’s why eliminating vegetable oils and replacing them with healthier cooking methods is worth every penny.

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