Welcome to this comprehensive blog post that delves into a topic that has been largely overlooked but has a significant impact on our health—vegetable oils. Despite being a $100 billion industry, the health implications of consuming vegetable oils are not as widely discussed as they should be. This blog post aims to shed light on the dangers of vegetable oils, backed by scientific studies, historical data, and expert opinions. We will explore various sections, each focusing on different aspects of this complex issue. So, let's dive in.
The Rise of Vegetable Oils
In the early 20th century, Procter & Gamble introduced Crisco, a product made from cottonseed oil, as a 'healthier alternative' to animal fats. This marked the beginning of a significant shift in our diets. Massive marketing campaigns touted vegetable oils as the healthier, modern choice, leading to widespread adoption.
|Year||Vegetable Oil Consumption (Millions of Tons)|
The American Heart Association's Involvement
The American Heart Association (AHA), funded in part by Procter & Gamble, recommended replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats, further cementing the role of vegetable oils in our diets.
However, saturated fat intake did not correlate with heart disease before or after the recommendation:
The Massive Increase in Vegetable Oil Consumption
The consumption of vegetable oils has skyrocketed over the years. This is not just a minor change; it's the single greatest alteration in human nutrition history. The edible oil industry has ballooned into a $100 billion behemoth, influencing food choices globally.
We went from zero in 1865 to 80 grams a day. This is an infinite increase in vegetable oil consumption. A third of our diet is coming out of factories that make these oils!
Is Vegetable Oil Bad or Benign?
Many individuals have reported significant health improvements after eliminating vegetable oils from their diets. The Croissant Diet, for instance, focuses on using animal fats and has shown promising results in weight loss and improved metabolic health.
Correlation with Diseases
There's a disturbing correlation between the rise in vegetable oil consumption and the prevalence of diseases like diabetes and obesity. While correlation does not imply causation, it's a red flag that warrants further investigation.
- 📜 Omega-6 vegetable oils as a driver of coronary heart disease: the oxidized linoleic acid hypothesis
- 📜 Israeli ‘cancer shift’ over heart disease mortality may be led by greater risk in women with high intake of n-6 fatty acids
- 📜 Heated vegetable oils and cardiovascular disease risk factors
- 📜 Are diets high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids unhealthy?
- 📜 Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the early origins of obesity
If you are curious, you can dive into our collection of Studies about Vegetable Oil and cancer risk, and other health issues.
Why Do Some Animals Live Longer Than Others?
Research shows that the type of fats present in an animal's cells correlates with their lifespan. Animals with cells that contain fats that are difficult to oxidize tend to live longer e.g. saturated fats (think red meat, coconut oil) and monounsaturated fats (think olive oil, avocado oil and bone marrow). This raises questions about the long-term effects of consuming easily oxidizable vegetable oils which are mainly comprised of polyunsaturated fats (think canola oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, etc.).
Vegetable Oil Stays in Your Body for Years
Linoleic acid, the main polyunsaturated fat found in vegetable oils, accumulates in our bodies. Studies have shown that the percentage of linoleic acid in people's fat cells has nearly doubled from the 1960s to the 2000s. This is concerning because these fats can oxidize within our bodies, leading to potential health issues.
"What was the omega-6 fat in anybody's adipose who was on an ancestral diet. So what’s a normal linoleic acid concentration? As Dr. Chris Knobbe discovered, these Pacific Islanders who were eating a diet unadulterated by vegetable oils the amount of polyunsaturated linoleic acid was only 3.8%, 5 times less than what people are getting today. This is where we should be. And this is what keeps you healthy."
The Minnesota Coronary Survey
Conducted by Ivan Frantz, this study found that despite having lower cholesterol levels, people on a vegetable oil diet did not live longer. This contradicts the popular belief that vegetable oils are heart-healthy.
"The people who were over 65 who had been on the diet for more than a year... The more their cholesterol was lowered, the higher the risk of an adverse outcome." Here by 'adverse outcome' he means death.
"There's no good evidence that reducing saturated fat makes you live longer. The best clinical trials reached the opposite conclusion."
Vegetable Oils are in EVERYTHING
- Packaged foods
- Chips, Rice chips, Crackers
- Salad dressings, Sauces
- Mixed nuts, Dried fruit
- Granola bars
- Mayonnaises (which usually have the main ingredient as soybean or canola oil)
These are just a few examples of everyday items that contain vegetable oils. The ubiquity of these oils makes them hard to avoid, which is a significant concern given their potential health risks.
"Most restaurants and chefs use vegetable oils because they have a neutral flavor, and well, they’re really cheap."
Fried food, deep fried food e.g. hot chips are bathed in vegetable oils.
Plant-based meats simulate the fattiness of real meat with a bunch of vegetable oils.
Canola, Soybean, Grapeseed, Sunflower, Safflower, Corn and all kinds of polyunsaturated vegetable oils have replaced saturated fats in our food supply.
Why Vegetable Oils are Bad for Health
Oxidation and Toxicity
Vegetable oils are prone to oxidation, which produces toxic byproducts. These oxidation products are harmful to humans and have been linked to various health issues.
"The main polyunsaturated fat in vegetable oil, linoleic acid, is 40 times more prone to oxidation than the monounsaturated oleic acid you find in olive oil."
"Professor of Bioanalytical Chemistry in the UK, Martin Grootveld, received some press for suggesting that vegetable oils are not a healthy cooking oil despite the National Health Service saying so. His research showed that meals fried in vegetable oil contain 100 to 200 times more aldehydes than the daily limit set by the WHO."
Damage to Mitochondria
Mitochondria, the energy-producing units in our cells, can be damaged by the oxidation products of vegetable oils. This can lead to a host of problems, including fatigue and more severe health conditions.
"In this study, the cardiolipin of diabetic and non-diabetic rats reduced drastically when they were fed a vegetable oil diet, and the mitochondria of the vegetable oil fed diabetic rats completely collapsed into these crumpled blobs."
"Even the textbook Recent Advances in Mitochondrial Medicine acknowledges that omega-6 fatty acids like those found in vegetable oil may damage various organs, including the pancreas which would worsen metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes."
"As this study shows here, when rats eat a linoleic acid rich vegetable oil diet, markers of oxidized fat doubled and in the heart (B), the content of cardiolipin, the stuff your mitochondria needs to properly produce energy, was reduced 5-fold (A)."
"What happened to these rats whose mitochondrial cardiolipin was reduced so much from eating vegetable oils? In just four weeks, these rats had heart failure."
"Developing heart failure that fast is very alarming, but of course humans are not rats so it’s not like eating a bunch of mayonnaise will give you heart failure in a couple weeks, it’s going to take a very long time of consuming plenty of vegetable oil for damage to become apparent. But, how long?"
The LA Veterans Administration Hospital Study
This eight-year-long study found that individuals on a vegetable oil diet were dying more frequently than those on an animal fat diet. Intriguingly, the negative effects of vegetable oils became more apparent as the study progressed, suggesting that long-term consumption is particularly harmful.
"The study authors concluded that to truly understand the negative health effect of vegetable oils, maybe studies need to be much longer than 8 years, but most trials only lasted 5 years at best."
Are Vegetable Oils Linked to Alzheimer’s?
Recent research suggests a potential link between vegetable oil consumption and Alzheimer's disease. While more studies are needed, the existing data is concerning and warrants caution.
- 📜 4-Hydroxynonenal in the pathogenesis and progression of human diseases
- 📜 Intake of ω-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid-Rich Vegetable Oils and Risk of Lifestyle Diseases
- 📃 Vegetable Oil: The Real Culprit behind Alzheimer’s Disease
- 📜 Effect of canola oil consumption on memory, synapse and neuropathology in the triple transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease
- 📰 Canola oil linked to worsened memory and learning ability in Alzheimer's
Alzheimer’s prevalence correlates with vegetable oil consumption.
Most Studies on Vegetable Oils Aren’t Long Enough
To fully understand the impact of vegetable oils on our health, long-term studies are required. Most existing studies last for only a few years, which is insufficient to draw conclusive results.
Why Aren’t More People Talking About This?
The lack of widespread discussion on this topic is puzzling. Unlike sugar, which is both delicious and controversial, vegetable oils silently infiltrate our diets without drawing much attention. This needs to change.
Vegetable oils rich in the polyunsaturated omega-6 fat linoleic acid displaced saturated fats which we had been eating for thousands of years.
The consumption of these new oils happen to correlate with rates of obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Correlations are just correlations, but it is well known that polyunsaturated fats oxidize very easily, creating oxidation products which are toxic to humans.
Not only that, but linoleic acid accumulates in the body where it can oxidize, creating these harmful oxidation products and damaging our mitochondria.
And lastly, well controlled clinical trials have found worse outcomes for people on a vegetable oil diet.
The consumption of vegetable oils is not as benign as we have been led to believe. From hidden data to potential links with Alzheimer's and other diseases, the evidence suggests that we should be cautious. It's time to reevaluate the $100 billion industry that has such a significant impact on our health.
Special thanks to the YouTube video "The $100 Billion Dollar Ingredient Making Your Food Toxic" for providing valuable insights and data for this blog post.
This blog post aims to serve as a comprehensive guide to understanding the risks associated with vegetable oil consumption. We hope you find this information useful and encourage you to be more mindful of your dietary choices.
To read more studies on vegetable oils and the harm they cause you can check out our collection of Studies about Vegetable Oil cancer risk, and other health issues.