We’ve been repeatedly told that vegetable oils are safe and heart-healthy alternatives to animal derived saturated fats like ghee, lard, butter and more. While vegetable oils clearly don’t stand for health (I’ll tell you why, ahead), health authorities have been trying to penetrate this into our heads and have succeeded largely.
Ever since we started consuming less saturated fats and more vegetable oils (Soya, Sunflower, Corn and Canola), cases of heart diseases have skyrocketed and might not stop anytime soon. I am not saying that consuming vegetable oils is the sole reason for cardiac problems, but it definitely is of the key drivers.
Then why are these oils tagged as heart healthy? Well harm in the name of help is one of the oldest games and health authorities have been presenting manipulated and biased dietary guidelines for decades now. However, this is not part of the discussion for this blog. To know more about that read my previous blog.
Today will discuss
#1 Rise of Vegetable oil
#2 Higher Omega 6-3 Ratio
#3 Cholesterol Myth
Rise of Vegetable Oils
Refined vegetable oils is actually the ‘new kid on the block’ in human diet. Millions of years ago, the only vegetable fat our ancestors consumed likely came from wild plants. Around 4000 BC or earlier, pressed olive oil became a staple in the diets of people living in Italy, Greece and other Mediterranean countries.
The vegetable oils we know today were developed at the end of the 19th century, when technological advances allowed oils to be extracted from other crops. Post this, the consumption of so-called heart-healthy vegetable oil increased exponentially. From there, our health has only gone down the cliff.
Even though they are called vegetable oils, they’re not vegetables at all. A more fitting name would be industrially processed seed oil sludge. They are extracted from the seeds using complex physical and chemical processes.
The extract obtained is further subjected to torturous processes like filtration, refining and fortification. Colouring agents are added to give it that perfect shade every time. Lastly, stabilizers and preservatives are added to give the packaged product a long life.
Now tell me, how is this anywhere close to being healthy? They have smartly marketed it has heart-healthy, which I’ve debunked in my previous blog. Make sure to check it out.
Around 100 years ago, it’s estimated that the average daily vegetable oil intake in the US was roughly 20 grams — about 4 teaspoons — per day. Yet that amount has steadily increased and gone up to 50g or 11 teaspoons of vegetable oils each day over the decades.
More than 20% calories of a 2,250 calorie diet come from vegetable oils. Moreover, 53% — of the vegetable oils consumed in the US comes from just one crop, SOYABEAN and numbers in Indian wouldn’t be any different.
I don’t have any evidence whether or not these numbers correspond with the Indian audience but we all know how much oil goes into our foods. Every third commercial on the TV set is of a vegetable oil that miraculously helps in heart conditions and weight loss and even immunity. Marketing I tell you!
What’s exactly making these oils so dangerous?
Vegetable oils are typically polyunsaturated fats higher in Omega 6 and lower in Omega 3 which is not a healthy at all. Higher Omega 6 could lead to many chronic diseases.
Moreover, to tackle the Omega 3 deficiency, we start loading ourselves up with expensive Omega 3 tablets. In reality, we do not need to bring the Omega 3 level up but instead, take the Omega 6 level down. All you have to do is consume healthy fats which are more efficient than supplements.
Now, this doesn’t mean Omega 6 is inappropriate for human consumption. It is a class of essential fatty acids hence can’t be synthesis by the body. So consuming it is an absolute necessity.
What’s problematic is not getting the ratio of Omega 3 and Omega 6 right. The ideal Omega 6: Omega 3 ratio in the diet should be somewhere around 1-4:1 for optimal health. People in the paleolithic world were eating an omega 6: omega 3 ratio of less than one. However, because of vegetable oils, the ratio has increased to over 15x in modern times.
Let me conclude this with one example: In cottonseed oils Omega 6: Omega 3 ratio is outrageously bad around 258:1. While cottonseed oil is not widely used in the household but being cheap, it is used in most restaurants fast food chain.
But what is the problem with the higher omega 6:3 ratio?
Omega 6 leads to inflammation and omega 3 has an anti-inflammatory effect. Together these two, maintain the right response within the body. You can’t afford to have a highly inflamed body all the time to live a healthy life.
This is why having the ideal ratio of these two fatty acids is so essential. While omega-6 fatty acids are not intrinsically dangerous, their higher has made almost poisonous. An unbalanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids contributes to a multitude of diseases of civilization, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
A study focusing on lowering omega 6 levels has shown substantial outcomes in lowering mortality in heart patients. The same group re-analyzed the data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study and found that the intervention group that had replaced saturated fats with vegetable oils had 62% higher death rate from all causes than the control group and 70% higher for cardiovascular disease.
Polyunsaturated fat is highly unstable and prone to oxidation which means exposure to heat will cause it to react and form some particularly problematic compounds like lipid peroxides and free radicals. They are so eager to react that the ones present in the body can nearly degrade every component of our body.
This can range from various proteins, organelles of our cells and perhaps most importantly our DNA. Yes, many studies have displayed that polyunsaturated fat does hamper our DNA.
The common theory why we age in general is because of the amount of oxidative stress over time accumulates and causes us to slowly degrade. They dietary antioxidants which are commonly sold as anti-aging act as free radical scavengers and fight with harmful by-products that affect the skin.
Polyunsaturated fats does have Vitamin E which protects it make it a protector of oxidation but repeatedly heating devalues vitamin E which further compounds the issue.
These products cause chronic oxidative stress within our body and this stress is almost linked to all chronic diseases – from Parkinson’s, Non-Alcoholic fatty liver, to male infertility.
For women who want to look young and for men who want to be productive, Agile and Alpha vegetable oils are a complete NO -NO!
In animal studies, it’s long been proven that corn oil increases cancer rates. For example, mice that were fed a diet high in corn oil had double the incidence of cancer. Dietary corn oil promotes tumors in rats by impeding apoptosis, or programmed cell suicide, in cancer cells. And in humans, we have the Israeli paradox.
So it’s clear by saturated fats derived from animals are safe for human consumption like Ghee & Butter. But wait will it not increase my cholesterol level and lead to a heart attack? This cholesterol myth can’t be debunked in short. This needs a dedicated series but I’ll like to start this discussion here and suggest you too do some research on this further.
I request you to watch Dr. Dave Feldman. He has an extensive study on Cholesterol, has plenty of cholesterol reports to back up his research. I want you to cross-check every word you read. I’m not making statements that you should accept merely. Blind faith has nothing to do with this. These are real findings and numbers.
Cholesterol especially LDL cholesterol has been demonized in the past for having a huge implication on heart conditions. You must have heard millions of times that cholesterol will clog up your arteries and will eventually lead to a heart attack.
And animal-derived saturated fats being high in cholesterol, you should avoid them as much as possible and replace them with “HEART HEALTHY” vegetable oils like soybean, sunflower, canola and other cheap alternatives. Well this is what the conventional wisdom says.
A recently published re-analysis of data from the Minnesota Coronary Experiment found that polyunsaturated fats did indeed lower serum cholesterol. Problem is, each 30 mg/dL reduction in cholesterol was associated with a 22% increased risk of death.
The same group re-analyzed the data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study and found that the intervention group that had replaced saturated fat with vegetable oils had a death rate from all causes that were 62% higher than the control group, and 70% higher for cardiovascular disease.
LDL is an essential particle that travels in our bloodstream. LDL carries cholesterol fat-soluble vitamins & other important components to other cells that need them. While cholesterol forming plaques is worrisome, what’s worth thinking about is how it gets there.
LDL on its own is immature to cause heart disease however when it becomes damaged due to excess glucose-insulin or reactive oxygen it becomes the driver of plaque build-up.
The study has proven that “oxidized LDL” is a far better predictor of heart diseases than LDL. When vegetable oils are repeatedly heated & consumed they from reactive oxygen leading to the oxidation of LDL particles which ultimately kill arterial cells.
Normally when LDL particles are done doing their job they will be taken back up by liver via proteins that the liver can recognize however when the LDL gets oxidized the liver no longer recognizes them and they are left to freely float in the bloodstream.
Since these particles are inherently toxic to the cells in blood vessels, the body triggers an immune response that causes them to be engulfed in the arterial walls where the plague build-up begins.
We shouldn’t be bothering yourself with cholesterol levels but with oxidized LDL levels which is the end product of access consumption of vegetable seed oils which are used in every household kitchen, restaurants, and fast-food chains.
Vegetable oils are not really made of vegetables they are extracted from seeds that are highly processed and dangerous for our health. They are the driver for many chronic diseases.
Vegetable oils are higher in omega 6 which cause inflammation, Degeneration and are capable enough to damage the DNA and mitochondria which leads to aging.
Replacing Saturated fats with Vegetable oils did indeed lower serum cholesterol. Problem is, each 30 mg/dL reduction in cholesterol was associated with a 22% increased risk of death.
Stay away from processed vegetable oils made in factories rather switch to animal-derived saturated fats options like Ghee and butter.
A lot of the information here was taken from Analyze & Optimize, Diet Doctor, Rogue health and fitness, Carnivoreaurelius Please make sure to check them out.
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