| Food & Diet
Is The Vegetable Oil Shortage Saving Your Health?
By Tyler Woodward
Inflation and price hikes are almost never a good thing, but what may be hurting your wallet, might be saving your health.
As the prices of vegetable oils continue to skyrocket, consumers are likely forced to switch to other alternatives of cooking fats. While vegetable oils have been deemed the heart-healthy fats, I can assure you that these cooking oils are anything but…
- The Diet-Heart Hypothesis Myth
- The Benefits Of Saturated Fats
- Why Polyunsaturated Fats Are Not The Healthy Fats
The Diet-Heart Hypothesis Myth:
The story goes back to Ancel Keys in the early 1940s who launched the diet-heart hypothesis and found a negative correlation between the consumption of polyunsaturated fats and heart disease. Basically meaning the countries that consumed higher amounts of polyunsaturated fats relative to saturated fats had a lower prevalence of heart disease. Over the next few decades Keyes’ work and recommendations would become mainstream and would eventually be picked up by the NIH, the American Heart Association, ect. Marking a turn in American households as they switch from using animal fats to vegetable fats.
The issue with Keys’ research is that it was later found that he cherry picked the data at the time, to fit his hypothesis. If you included all of the countries with data available at the time it showed NO relationship between saturated fat consumption and heart disease.
Not to mention the diet-heart hypothesis has been disproven time and time again in modern research.
- This 2020 analysis by the Cochrane institute found, “little or no effect of reducing saturated fat on all-cause mortality”
- Another study found no correlation between the total amount of fat consumed or the type of fat consumed and coronary heart disease.
- This study looking specifically at the type of fats consumed came to the same conclusion
Saturated fats have been demonized due to their effects on increasing cholesterol levels, while polyunsaturated fats have been glorified due to their cholesterol lowering properties. But recent research has revealed the contrary, stating “LDL-C (cholesterol) Does Not Cause Cardiovascular Disease”, yet nutritional dogma continues to prevail.
While everyone is told to avoid saturated fats, few people are aware of the benefits of consuming saturated fats….
The Benefits Of Saturated Fats:
First, saturated fat and monounsaturated fats have been repeatedly shown to increase testosterone levels, while higher polyunsaturated fat consumption has been linked to lower testosterone levels. You can check out this article for more information on the subject.
Second, animal fats like milk-fat (including butter and ghee), tallow, lard, and duck-fat are rich sources of the fat-soluble vitamins particularly vitamins A and K2 with a little bit of Vitamin E and D. If you are not consuming these animal-fats or supplementing with these vitamins it is nearly impossible to not be deficient in them. Plants do also contain vitamin A and K, but in a form that is not active in humans and must be converted into the active form, which humans are very poor at doing.
Only about 10-15% of Vitamin K1 (the plant-form) is absorbed and from there only about 5% is converted to the active form of K2. As far as vitamin A, you have to consume about 12X as much plant vitamin A (beta-carotene) compared to animal vitamin A (retinol).
Last, but not certainly least, this study found that the consumption of saturated fats and protein improved thyroid function.
We also cannot forget that animal fats are rich sources of beneficial fatty acids like myristic acid and stearic acid which have been found to beneficially modulate the health markers of the heart.
Why Polyunsaturated Fats Are Not The Healthy Fats:
Polyunsaturated fats are not the “healthy fats” as we’ve been led to believe. In fact, multiple studies have a negative correlation with the amount of polyunsaturated content in mammals and lifespan (1, 2) . Meaning the higher the polyunsaturated content of a given, the shorter its lifespan.
In reality, these so-called “healthy fats” have been linked over and over again to virtually every disease in the book through a process called lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation is the process in which the double bonds of unsaturated fatty acids are “attacked” by free radicals in the cell resulting in cellular damage. Lipid peroxidation can only occur with unsaturated fats like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, saturated fats lack any double bonds and cannot undergo lipid peroxidation because of this.
You might imagine these double bonds each like a fence gate, the more gates the less secure the building. With each gate (double bond) the building (fatty acid) becomes exponentially less secure, which is why highly unsaturated fattty acids like EPA and DHA with 6 double bonds are significantly more likely to undlike stearic acid. In this analogy, saturated fats undergo lipid peroxidation compared to a monounsaturated fat (1 double bond) d fats are like the fort knox of fatty acids because they do not have any gates/double bonds for free radicals to attack, so it’s basically impossible for these fats to break apart spontaneously.
Lipid Peroxidation has been associated with:
- Skin Cancer (1, 2)
- Heart failure
- Alzheimer's disease
- Rheumatic arthritis
- Renal Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Lung Cancer
Although no one likes price hikes, the increase in vegetable oil costs might be the silver lining in saving your health.
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