We have a long history of pushing vegetable oils as healthy oils and good sources of fat in our diet. In fact, since the 1970s, the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association (AMA), and nearly every other major medical society began recommending increased use of vegetable oils while decreasing saturated fats.
Our consumption of vegetable oils has dramatically increased as a result. Fat consumption, though, actually decreased due to these recommendations.
What has been the result of decreasing the fat consumption in our country? It has made Americans the most obese people on the planet.
Paradoxically, we do need adequate amounts of fat in our diet, and we need the right kind of fats. Unfortunately, vegetable oils should not be the major source of those fats.
Increased vegetable oil consumption has been a large part of a low-fat propaganda campaign promoted by the various establishment medical powers like the AMA over the last 35 years. They have convinced the vast majority of us that most fats are bad for us and that the healthiest diets are the diets that promote low-fat foods.
This misinformation has been a disaster for our health. Eating primarily a low-fat diet is a recipe for becoming deficient in fat-soluble vitamins, as well as proteins and minerals.
In order to digest and absorb protein in the diet, we need fat. Furthermore, mineral absorption is enhanced by fat in the diet. I have seen countless patients over the years who eat a low-fat diet and have protein deficiencies, as well as multiple vitamin and mineral shortfalls.
One of the first pieces of advice I give to my patients is to avoid low-fat food items. If there is a choice between a reduced-fat item and a regular-fat item, choose the regular-fat item.
My experience has shown that most patients suffering from metabolic syndrome, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension are actually fat deficient. They need to incorporate good fats into their diets.
Back to vegetable oils: Essential fats are broken down into two primary categories: omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Fish oils primarily contain omega-3 fats, and vegetable oils consist of omega-6 fats.
An optimal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is about 1:2 to 1:4, that is, half to a quarter of fats from omega-3 sources in relation to omega-6 sources. These different fats make up our cell membranes and this is where our cells absorb nutrients. Problems with our cell walls usually lead to diseases cropping up.
Vegetable oils contain primarily omega-6 essential fatty acids. As a result of our government’s flawed advice, the estimated ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in the U.S. diet is somewhere between 1:20 and 1:60. That’s a wide variance, but there is no doubt that we are simply eating far too much omega-6 essential fatty acids, and that is because of our use of vegetable oils.
Vegetable oils just do not provide healthy fats. Most supermarket oils are partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. These are the highly refined oils found in most packaged foods as well as nearly all bottles of vegetable oil sold in grocery stores.
Hydrogenation of oils is a process used to convert liquid oils to a solid or semi-solid state, such as margarine.
The reason oils are hydrogenated is to extend their shelf life and increase profits for the manufacturer. It is the same reason all whole food items are refined. The downside to this process is that it leaves the end products, found in your supermarket, toxic and devitalized.
Every time I walk through our local grocery store, I am amazed by the quantities of toxic cooking oils for sale. I would estimate that better than 95 percent of the vegetable oils sold in most grocery stores across the United States are toxic due to being partially hydrogenated.
These hydrogenated oils contain trans fats, unnatural fats that have been shown to cause immune system problems, cancer, and heart disease. Consumption of trans fats increases the risk of heart diseases by raising LDL cholesterol levels and lowering HDL cholesterol levels.
Saturated fats have received a bad rap from physicians and dietitians as well as the media. In fact, we cannot live without saturated fats. My experience has shown that most people do not ingest adequate amounts of them.
These stable fats can withstand cooking at higher heat without producing tissue-damaging free radicals. Saturated fats are solid or firm at room temperature and come mainly from animal sources, such as meat and dairy products.
Examples of saturated fat-containing food items include coconut and palm oil, cultured dairy products such as yogurt and kefir, and butter, as well as meat.
Optimal health is not possible without adequate amounts of saturated fats in our bodies. Saturated fats give our cells the strength to maintain structure and, since they predominate in our brains, they are especially crucial for a baby’s brain development.
Healthy fats should be part of anyone’s healthy diet plan. It is impossible to get healthy fats in a low-fat diet. Low-fat foods should be avoided entirely, in my view. As a society, we ingest too many poor-quality omega-6 fatty acids.
Instead, we need healthier omega-6 fatty acids. Unrefined essential fatty acids, such as sunflower oil, constitute a good source of healthy omega-6 fats.
How do you get an optimum omega-6 to omega-3 fats? You easily can mix 1 part unrefined flaxseed oil with three parts sunflower oil to supply a ratio of one part omega-3 to three parts omega-6.
I suggest using 1 teaspoon of this oil mix twice per day. I have found this a healthy supplement on a daily basis. It helps with dry skin issues and brain fog, improves hair quality, and boosts energy.
Avoid all refined, hydrogenated oils. Make sure you use good saturated fats instead, such as the fat found in coconut oil, palm oil, organic butter, and meats.
Other good fats include monounsaturated fats, which can be found in avocados, nuts, and olive oil. Remember, eat whole food sources of fats, not processed, hydrogenated food items.
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