The Cooking Oils you Should Avoid On a Paleo Diet

Whether you’re considering a Paleo diet or simply want to make better decisions regarding what you put into your body, the changes you make must begin at home with the foods and ingredients you buy as well as with the way you prepare your food. 

When you start a Paleo diet or want to completely rethink the foods you buy, eat and prepare, you learn that healthy living and eating better starts with you and the way you treat your ingredients, food choices, and preparation methods.

Cooking Oils to Avoid on a Paleo Diet

The cooking oils you should avoid are significantly processed with additional chemicals and additives while also removing beneficial ingredients and healthy oils which makes these types of oils not only not healthy, but potentially dangerous.   

Another consideration that many of the cooking oils on this list is that many of the sources for these oils come from genetically modified crops.     

While Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) have been approved and added to foods that people consume, there have been no significant studies on the potential health risks or long-term health effects of consuming lab-modified foods.

Common Concerns With These Cooking Oils

The most common culprit of this is Vegetable oil, which unfortunately is one of the more widely purchased cooking oils. With many having the idea that ‘oils’ from vegetables must be good. However, they are anything but, and can be particularly damaging to your body.   

While these oils are made from different sources, the common factor between them is that each has properties that when consumed, can have a detrimental effect on your health.

Oils that are manufactured with the use of chemicals, bleach, and deodorizers are known as RBD oils or refined, bleached, and deodorized oils.  RBD Oils include soy, corn, palm, and canola oils. 

Being Aware of the Cooking Oils You Use

In this article we’re not just going to talk about the cooking oils you should avoid on a Paleo diet, but the cooking oils you should avoid in general due to the potential long-term health effects that their consistent use and intake can cause.  

Paleo diets revolve around simple foods and ingredients you put into your body while avoiding processed foods, preservatives, and additives that can negatively affect your body or your health.   

Cooking oils are no exception to this philosophy. 

The Increase in Risks From Harmful Cooking Oil Vapors

While even Paleo-friendly cooking oils can release potentially harmful vapors when they’re heated to their smoke point, these cooking oils that you should avoid have all been subjected to harsh processing, refinement, and additional chemicals. 

This means that not only can they be harmful when inhaled, but also remain in small amounts and slowly accumulate in your body when consumed consistently which can lead to chronic health conditions. 

The Smoke Point of Cooking Oils

The first thing to consider when choosing a cooking oil is the temperature at which the oil reaches its smoke point, which is when the vapors of the oil turn to smoke and release potentially harmful chemicals.

Reconsidering The Cooking Oils You Choose

Every cooking oil we’ve discussed has a common theme. The manufacturing processes for each involve significantly high temperatures with a combination of chemicals, solvents, and bleaching agents to create them.  

This has stripped them of essential nutrients and left them packed with omega 6s fatty acids which when consumed, especially over time, cause inflammation, autoimmune disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and obesity, which leads to even more chronic illnesses.  

Consistent and long-term use of these cooking oils can lead to the bioaccumulation of the chemicals and toxins used in the manufacturing process and lead to the development of chronic and acute health problems. 

While this may seem like a big list with perhaps even the cooking oils you use every day, there are certainly healthier Paleo-friendly cooking oils that can replace the ones you typically use. 

Cooking Oils to Avoid On a Paleo Diet, Non paleo cooking oils

Corn Oil

Like canola oil, corn oil is highly refined and high in inflammatory omega-6 fats and while corn oil is popular due to its high smoke point, its potential negative health effects outweigh its benefits. 

Healthier alternatives to corn oil include olive oil and coconut oil.   

What oils aren't Paleo, What oils to avoid on Paleo

Peanut Oil

While peanuts and other legumes should be avoided on a Paleo diet, peanut oil should also be avoided on a Paleo diet.  Peanuts by themselves contain peanut agglutinin, which is one of the worst lectins around. and when broken down can result in digestive and inflammatory problems in the body. The very thing many people turn to Paleo diets to avoid. 

Peanuts are also susceptible to a mold that produces aflatoxin, a carcinogen that has been shown to cause liver cancer. Aflatoxin can also cause negative immune system responses when consumed in great quantities. 

Unhealthy Cooking oils, what cooking oils are unhealthy

Vegetable Oil

The creation of vegetable oil involves heavily processing ingredients, chemicals, and solvents to create which means at minimum, traces of these elements that shouldn’t be in your body can be consumed.  

Over time, consistently eating foods with vegetable oils can cause bioaccumulation of contaminants in your body which can lead to health issues later in life that can be avoided. 

Choosing paleo friendly cooking oils

Sunflower Oil

While sunflowers are great to look at (and fun to grow) sunflower oil is certainly not Paleo-friendly.  We like how the Ultimate Paleo Guide summed up sunflower oil.   


To sum it up, sunflower oil isn’t Paleo because it’s extremely processed, usually rancid/toxic due to the high-heat manufacturing phase it undergoes, contains omega-6 acids but not omega-3s, and is not ideal for cooking with.

Cooking oils to not use for Paleo

Safflower Oil

Safflower oil is another processed oil where the manufacturing process strips away many of the beneficial ingredients while using chemicals and additives during the refining process.  

Like the other oils on this list, what’s left is an unhealthy oil that contains no essential nutrients while subjecting your body to the remnants of the manufacturing process.   

Cooking oils that aren't Paleo

Soybean Oil

Soybeans are derived from soybeans of course! However, most soybeans produced are from genetically modified crops (GMOs).

Additionally, the manufacturing process removes everything beneficial to make this oil worthwhile for your health. 

What cooking oils are unhealthy


Margarine was initially invented as a substitute for butter. It’s 2021 and people are still trying to argue that margarine is good for you. It’s not. It’s fake butter!

You should avoid Margarine at all costs due to the significant processing necessary to make something that attempts to replicate the glorious taste of butter. 

How to choose a better cooking oil
Find Paleo Cooking oils

Canola Oil (Also known as Rapeseed)

The first and most important thing that we must note about Canola Oil is that over 90% of the canola crops grown in the United States are GMO.


Paleo Snacks & Meal Replacements

From great-tasting Paleo Protein Sticks, Jerky and Chicken Bites to Paleo Bars including Skinny Bars & MEGA BARS

We’re committed to providing the highest quality Paleo Snacks & meal replacements that give you the essential nutrients you need. 

Find the right Paleo Foods that fit your lifestyle, your taste buds and keep you wanting to come back for more!

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.