The myth of vegetable oils

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Why do we think that vegetable oils are good for us? Do we take a risk by having it as such a massive part of most processed foods? Could it be an experiment gone terribly wrong?

Best-selling author Nina Teicholz has spent a lot of time researching the subject, and last year I sat down to talk to her. This interview has only been available on our member site but now everyone can watch it above.

More with Nina Teicholz

On the membership pages (free trial is available.) we also have interviews with Nina Teicholz about the fear of fat and why the Mediterranean diet may not be as unusually healthy as you think. Plus a presentation she gave at the last PaleoFX conference, with more about vegetable oils.

The Big Fat Surprise – Nina Teicholz
Can Red Meat Kill You? – Nina Teicholz
Is the Mediterranean Diet Healthy? – Nina Teicholz
Vegetable Oils, the Unknown Story – Nina Teicholz
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  1. Tim Heineman
    Nina Teicholz says in this interview that vegetable oils have only entered our food supply in the 20th century. This may be true of of Europe and the US but it is my understanding that sesame oil was used by the Indic Civilization AKA the Mohenjo Daro-Harappa Civilization that flourished from about 3500 BC to 2300 BC in what is today Pakistan and India. Sesame oil remains an important oil in Indian cuisine today so it is safe to assume that its use has been continuous for more than 4 millennia. I am not arguing that sesame oil is innocous, only that PUF has been a part of the food supply of some large populations for millennia. Perhaps we need more research on such populations outside the Euro-centric cultures.
  2. Bob Niland
    re: Perhaps we need more research on such populations outside the Euro-centric cultures.

    What we need (and will not get funding for) is research on the long-term consequences of consuming ω6 PUFA high in LA (linoleic acid). This describes the novel seed- and grain-based oils developed in the last 40 years, which are clearly non-ancestral.

    LA is in the majority of processed foods that contain added fats. Second-hand LA is in a lot of places you might not expect it (meat, eggs) due to being in animal feed.

    I consider it to be the #3 problem in modern diet, behind #1 (wheat) and #2 (sugars). We need some ω6 in our diet, but you'll get ample even if actively avoiding as much as you can while attempting to get your ω6:ω3 ratio down to 1:1.

    The stuff is obesogenic, cancer-enabling (if not frankly carcinogenic), and probably a major factor in CVD.

  3. chris c
    Agree with the above.

    Actually what we need is a kind of inverse Weston A Price who travels the world looking at the differences in the diets which cause the same results so we know which factors can be downplayed and which remain consistent.

    Know your enemy

    before I read this I hadn't realised that UK/European margarine was originally made from beef fat and milk, I assumed like the US it had always been based on Omega 6 seed oils.

    Here I am surrounded by fields and fields and fields of carbs, mainly wheat and sugar beet, and margarine (rape/Canola). Look hard and you will see some grass-fed cows, and with binoculars you can see the sheep. It's the processors not the farmers that make all the profit, and they plough some of it back (pun intended) into making dietary policy. Rather than change a profitable policy they are breeding a population that can survive on such a diet by eliminating the majority of the population through disease and premature death, and the drug companies are selling equally profitable antidotes to the diet.

    This is why what is occurring in Sweden is so important.

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