Use Healthy Cooking Oils. Avoid Unhealthy Ones

Healthy Cooking Oils

The History of Cooking Oils
Up until the 1950s, Americans used saturated or monosaturated fats to cook with –
butter, lard, tallow, and coconut oil. Coronary heart disease was relatively rare.
But in the late 50s, Ancel Keys came up with the Lipid (Fat) Hypothesis. Keys said that
he proved a direct relationship between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in
the diet and the amount of coronary heart disease. (It was discovered much later that
Keys cherry-picked his data, causing his whole study to be flawed.)
Because of the publicity he got, his idea stuck and opened the door for the industry to
make vegetable oils with a proliferation of polyunsaturated fats. It also led to the low-fat
and non-fat diet craze as people stopped eating butter and ate margarine instead.
What happened since the 50s? The incidence of heart disease has skyrocketed to
where today it is the number one killer of women and men. What changed? The
American diet.
Since the 1950s, dietary cholesterol increased by only 1%. However, the percentage of dietary
vegetable oils in the form of margarine, shortening, and refined oils increased by about
400%. The consumption of sugar (to compensate for the lack of taste of low-fat) and
processed foods increased by about 60%.

Why are Polyunsaturated Fats Dangerous?
Your body makes only saturated fat and monounsaturated fat. You must get
polyunsaturated fat, an “essential fat,” from food such as walnuts. sunflower seeds, flax
seeds or flax oil, and fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, albacore tuna, and trout.
Polyunsaturated fats are only dangerous when they are processed from seeds in big
industrial fat factories.
Unlike coconut or olive oil, which can be extracted through a slow-moving stone press,
seed oils like canola, soybean, and corn oil require a harsh extraction process.
The large factories subject the seeds to high heat exposing them to damaging light and
oxygen. Then, to extract the last 10% or so of oil, the processor treats the seeds with
toxic solvents – usually hexane.
This high-heat processing causes the fragile and unstable omega-3 linolenic acid in
polyunsaturated fats to break apart creating dangerous free radicals. The process also

destroys the antioxidants, such as fat-soluble vitamin E, which protects the body from
the ravages of free radicals.
If that isn’t horrifying enough, BHT and BHA, both suspected of causing cancer and
brain damage, are often added to these oils to replace the vitamin E and other natural
preservatives destroyed by heat.

The Health Hazards of Cooking with Unhealthy Oils
 Vegetable oils are high in Omega-6 fatty acids, especially linoleic acid, which is a
precursor to pro-inflammatory eicosanoids. These molecules can cause chronic
inflammation and contribute to autoimmune diseases.
 Diets high in linoleic acid cause oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and
genetic damage. These factors are instrumental in promoting cancer.
 The Minnesota Coronary Experiment found that participants who increased their
intake of corn oil had an 86% higher incidence of heart attacks.

Unhealthy Cooking Oils
 Sunflower Oil
 Soy Oil
 Cottonseed oil
 Safflower oil
 Corn oil
 Rice bran oil
 Grapeseed oil
 Canola oil

Healthy Fats and Healthy Cooking Oils

After decades of being duped into eating unhealthy processed polyunsaturated fats,
The American public got a wake-up call. In 2014, “Time” magazine ran a cover story, “Eat
Butter: Scientists Labeled Fat the Enemy. Why They Were Wrong. “
Sadly, we haven’t heeded the call because the idea of fat as public enemy number one
is still deeply embedded in our culture. This belief persists even though eating a diet of
refined carbohydrates and low or no-fat products has produced a population that is
more than one-third overweight.
In addition, type 2 diabetes has increased by 166% from 1980 through 2012.

Here are just a few of The Healthy Cultures that Eat Saturated Fat
 India – Northern Indians consume 17 times more animal fat than Southern
Indians have a 7% lower incidence of coronary heart disease.
 Eskimos – They eat liberal amounts of animal fat from fish and marine animals
are free of disease and are exceptionally hardy.
 China – In a region in which the populace consumes large amounts of whole milk
they have half the rate of heart disease than in regions eating small amounts of
animal products.
 Okinawans – The average life span for women is 84, higher than in Japan. They
eat generous amounts of pork and seafood and do all their cooking using lard.

Unprocessed Cholesterol in Saturated Fats is Vital for your Health:
 Cholesterol is vital for the manufacture of balanced hormones that protect you
from everyday stress. These hormones are protective against heart disease and
 Cholesterol is needed to make all the sex hormones including testosterone,
estrogen, progesterone, and DHEA.
 The body needs cholesterol to properly use vitamin D, which is critical to all body
systems including the bones, nerves, proper growth, mineral metabolism, muscle
tone, insulin production, fertility, and strong immunity.
 Cholesterol acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body and protects it against free
radical damage to the tissues.
 Cholesterol is needed by the liver so it can make bile salts, which are critical to
the digestive process and absorption of dietary fats.

 The brain needs cholesterol to function properly. Cholesterol is used by serotonin
receptors, serotonin being the body’s natural “feel good” chemical. Low
cholesterol levels have been associated with aggressive and violent tendencies,
depression, and suicide.
 Cholesterol is necessary for the proper functioning of the intestines and
for maintaining the integrity of the intestinal wall, as well as all cell walls. Low
cholesterol diets can lead to “leaky gut” syndrome and other digestive problems.

Mother’s milk, the most perfect food on the planet, provides a higher proportion of
cholesterol than almost any other food. It also contains over 50% of its calories as fat,
much of it saturated fat.
If your serum cholesterol levels are high, your body is sending cholesterol, acting as an
antioxidant, to repair structurally weak blood vessels damaged by eating excess
polyunsaturated fats.

Healthy Cooking Oils
 Olive oil (at low heat only)
 Butter
 Ghee
 Tallow
 Lard
 Chicken/Duck Fat
 Red Palm Oil
 Coconut oil

This discussion is another example necessary to maintain a healthy vibrant body. Eating
healthy fats is akin to a slow-burning log burning for a long time versus kindling, which
burns quickly. You will feel more satiated after each meal and for a longer period.
Enjoy Your Fats!
Shelley H. Lane, OMD, L.Ac.

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