Published on Tuesday 10 November, 2020
Reading time: 5 minutes
There are many offenders in the modern food supply that only serve to cause health problems.
Some of the worst, in my opinion, are vegetable oils.
Forget what you think you know about these handy oils, this article explores the truth about the harmful impact they are having on your health.
The truth about vegetable oils
Vegetable oils (or more accurately, seed oils) like: safflower; sunflower; rape seed; soybean; and corn oil, are not a natural food stuff. They are created by industrial processes which involve heating the seeds of these plants to extremely high temperatures (150 degrees celsius) in high pressure environments.
The oils that emerge from the seeds are unstable and, when ingested, they breakdown and in the process produce lots of free radicals. These free radicals can cause inflammation leading to heart disease, digestive problems, cancer and the mental health problems occurring at pandemic levels in the Western world such as anxiety and depression.
Just as bad as the seed oils are the trans fats (solid vegetable fat) which are created by heating seed oils to high temperatures and introducing hydrogen under pressure, which has the effect of making the oil more stable which results in a solid fat at room temperature. Examples of trans fats are margarine and crisco. These have the same damaging effects in the body as the seed oils.
On top of all this, the seed oils and trans fats are essentially devoid of any nutrition.
Of course there are good plant based traditional oils like olive, avocado, coconut and palm oil, which are rich in beneficials minerals, vitamins and fatty acids. And unlike the seed oils, you can easily associate these good oils with the fruit they are derived from by smell and taste.
Why isn’t this information more publicly available?
One reason that seed oils are still so prevalent, when the science is in and we know how damaging they are, is because these products are very profitable. And as we are increasingly aware, the rich and powerful have systems in place to ensure their products remain protected: they discredit the competition (like the animal fats), they have powerful lobbies that influence the politics, and they retain doctors to write research that bends the truth to suit their needs.
Of course it then becomes even more difficult to associate health problems with the root cause (seed oils!) when they are marketed as being health promoting all day long.
Why animal fats are better
When we talk about animal fats, we are talking about, for example, butter, pork lard, beef dripping, duck and goose fat – all from animals eating their natural food. These natural fats are perhaps less convenient than the seed oils in that the seed oils are liquid, soft, spread more easily and perhaps don’t smell as bad, but that is where any perceived benefit ends.
Animal fats are the natural fats that our bodies need, want and evolved consuming going back millions of years. When we killed and ate animals, we consumed everything, including and especially the fat. In fact the fatter animals were sought out over leaner animals.
Need more convincing? Consider the so-called Inuit Paradox – a healthy people whose diet is predominantly meat and fats from marine mammals like seal, walrus and whale. And the so-called French paradox – the French diet being high in saturated fat from butter, cream and meat but with low rates of heart disease. There is a reason these nations are so healthy. It is our understanding of animal fats in the Western world that is misguided, which is understandable given the mis-information that exists about them.
The reality is that animal fats are essential for optimal health. Key vitamins A, D and K2 are present only in animal fats — these fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver, fat and skeletal muscle of animals. Western populations are very deficient in these important vitamins as nutrient dense foods like fatty cuts of grass fed meat and organs like liver and kidney fell off the menu decades ago.
Vitamin A is important because it keeps our immune system working optimally, is involved in building bones and teeth, the proper functioning of our hormones and is vital for growth and reproduction. And vitamin D is most widely understood to be involved in promoting calcium absorption in the gut to enable normal mineralization of bone.
Vitamin K2, found in the butterfat of mammals as well as their fat and organs, is important for the utilisation of body-building minerals and tissue components and so plays an important role in infant growth and reproduction. These observations were made by Dr. Weston Price in his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
The root cause of a lot of physical and mental health problems is inflammation in the body; the switching out of animal fats for the problematic seed oils is a major contributor to that inflammation.
Ditching the poisonous seed oils and returning to the healthy traditional fats our bodies need is a big part of regaining one’s health. This isn’t as straightforward as not buying bottles of cooking oil anymore. Seed oils are pervasive throughout the food supply, particularly the processed foods but also in health food products. Eating out becomes difficult as you lose control over what is in your food and the oil/fat it is cooked in.
It takes diligence but it is worth it.
Good luck and good health!
About Robbie Mack
Robbie is a lawyer not a doctor. Which is fine because doctors don’t tend to know much about wellness and nutrition anyway. Robbie took an interest in lifestyle and nutritional health research after developing depression in his early 30s. Some years later his research helped him find the answers to his problems and the process turned everything he believed and understood about health on its head. He has taken full responsibility for his own health and thinks that everyone should. And that everyone by birthright should have access to the correct information based on the history and evolution of the human species.
Robbie-mack.org is the result of thousands of hours or research found on the internet and platforms like YouTube, where you can access the impartial and honest views of real experts on health and wellbeing.