Despite a popular, misconstrued public belief in the healthiness of dietary polyunsaturated fat oils, this health scourge on human health has kept several industries and professions lucratively employed for almost a century. In objective, scientifically researched studies conducted over 70 years ago, researchers indicated that the human body does require a daily intake of fats to function optimally but, the type of fats consumed are just as important as the amounts, if not more so.
Looking at these objective research studies done in the past, it becomes more clear that certain industries have played a key role in what oils were, and still are, served up on our dietary menus. The conflicting evidence has either been purposely ignored, or grossly misjudged in the complex role that saturated fats play in healthy human bodies.
Once upon a time in America’s history, there was a time that saturated animals fats were our main source of dietary fat. Saturated fats like beef tallow, lard, butter, eggs, were the daily diet fat norms. Diseases such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and diabetes were unheard of. In other words, saturated fats were working quite nicely for the human species.
Then a slow and gradual turn began taking place after the turn of the 19th century. In the second decade, illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes began to intrude and disrupt American lives. This gave birth to what we now have come to know as new and superior modern day convenience foods, new diseases, and, sick care management.
When did these health scourges begin to seriously threaten American’s physical health and emotional well-being? How did unhealthy polyunsaturated food oils end up in our food supply and be replaced by the beneficial saturated fats that were so prevalent in our diets for hundreds of years?
According to Ray Peat, Ph.D., a physiologist who has studied the effects that dietary fats have on hormones for over 40 years, says, “look back to the end of World War II”. “The seed industry was in a serious financial crisis. As a culture, we traditionally used seed oils like flaxseed oil, and several others, in products such as paint, varnishes, and plastics. But, this era was ending abruptly, and older compounds such as these were rapidly being replaced with newer petroleum substances (black crude oil). The seed industry desperately needed new markets for their seed products”.
A whole industry ingeniously invented news ways to convince a largely ignorant public, that seed oils were so much healthier than saturated animal fats or nut oils. This idea was so appealing that the manufactured food industry embraced it with open arms, despite clear evidence to the contrary.
Cattle ranchers discovered in the 1940’s, that when their herds were fed with, at that time, inexpensive coconut oil expecting them to fatten up quickly for market, they instead became more active, lean and hungry. A thyroid-suppressing hormone drug was then tried and the animals became less active, more docile, and gained weight quicker on less food. But, the drug was later discontinued after the discovery of its toxic side effects. In the late 1940’s ranchers then discovered the same thyroid suppressing effect of the discontinued drug by feeding corn and soybean grains (a polyunsaturated food source) to fatten cattle on less pasture grass, adopting the current modern day feed lot practices that are still being used today. This is a good reason to avoid commercially produced beef.
A second good reason to avoid eating it, which some of you may or may not be aware of, is that most all commercially produced animal food products (including beef) are laden with toxic chemical residues caused by the over use of antibiotics, and parasite controlling drugs. These toxic residues store themselves in the meat food sources fat tissue. Otherwise, if you can locate a locally grown, range fed poultry or red meat food source with very little or no drug use, these saturated food sources are healthy for you to eat.
Way back in 1950, unsaturated fats were clearly shown to suppress the metabolic rate, by apparently creating hypothyroidism. In following years, researchers looked for the cause of this reaction, and discovered that polyunsaturated fats damage the miochondria (digestive system of a cell) through body heat oxidation and enzyme suppression.
Human studies, as well as animal, both demonstrated that when strict diets of polyunsaturated seed oils are largely consumed such as sunflower, corn, safflower, and soybean, they act like toxic hormone, immune suppressing drugs inside the body. All unsaturated oils no matter how organically produced, cold-pressed, unprocessed, bottled in glass, or kept away from heat and light are health damaging fats.
And, animals that are fed a high polyunsaturated food diet, instead of a free range diet, will not produce a healthy saturated fat meat source.
Vegetable oils whether they are hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, or not, have been been scientifically implicated to be associated with a wide variety of diseases that have exploded in the American population over the last 70 years.
A coconut oil expert, Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D., author of “The Coconut Oil Miracle” says, when the attack on saturated fats like animal fats, coconut oil , and palm oil was at its peak, medical and dietary research professionals, who were familiar with the disease fighting properties of saturated fats were shocked and wondering why. They knew, and had thoroughly researched the effects on millions of people for thousands of years who maintained their traditional diets high in saturated oils. Cultures such as Pacific Islanders who consume high amounts of coconut oil as a dietary staple, have lead healthy lives free of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes, unlike their disease plagued polyunsaturated oil eating American counterparts.
Then, in the early 1980’s, just when it looked as if the real scientific evidence in favor of saturated fats was going to be finally assimilated and objectively viewed by the American health field, the ASA (American Soybean Association) developed a very slick money marketing ad campaign gimmick, based mostly on junk science and highly successful congressional lobbying tactics, built upon the the mass publics favor and accepted use of polyunsaturated oils.
In conclusion, it appears that Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential to the body, as we can not manufacture them. But, a proper balance must be struck. Clearly, this fat must be seriously reduced to no more than 3% of our daily diets. Whether the dramatic rise in cancer and diabetes rates is associated with our high consumption of polyunsaturated oils is unknown, but the evidence strongly suggests it.
If you are predisposed (a family history) to develop diabetes, or have diabetes, Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D. encourages the use of coconut oil. It provides a high form of energy, is easily digested, reduces stress on the pancreas, enhances insulin action, and increases metabolic rate. Coconut oil will help stabilize blood glucose levels, and helps shed excess body weight, he says,”it should be the only oil a diabetic should eat”.
It is the opinion of the author of this article, that dehydration issues further complicate serious health issues as well. The general mass population is severely dehydrated. Anyone who is looking to shed excess body weight, which complicates many diseases, should be drinking their body weight divided in half in ounces of pure water daily, taking care to add pure unrefined salt with the water. While food diets are often addressed as the most important issue, a healthy balanced daily water intake is also critical, and often dismissed or overlooked.
Water works wonderfully, alongside nature’s other simple nutrients at maintaining great health!