The unknown story of vegetable oils

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Should you eat vegetable oils such as margarine? Or could everything we’ve been told about healthy fat be completely wrong?

Investigative journalist Nina Teicholz talks us through the unknown history of vegetable oils in this presentation from the recent Low Carb Breckenridge conference.

Watch a part of the presentation above (transcript). The full interview is available (with captions and transcript) with a free trial or membership:

Nina Teicholz


One comment

  1. Paula Nedved
    Great job Nina! Comports with this, my all-time favorite Mike Eades blog post.


    "A study appeared this week (Jan. 2010) sure to drive members of the low-fat and vegan tribes sprinting for their Protexid.

    "Ron Krauss and his group published a paper in the Articles in Press section of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) stating there is no evidence that saturated fat intake increases the risk for heart disease...."

    The article mentions "...a trial, which ran from 1957 to 1963, [that] was managed by four research medical registrars working at the three different hospitals... [T]he control subjects on their regular diet consumed about 2.5 times the fat eaten by those on the low-fat diet.

    "What did the researchers find after observing these subjects for years? They found that putting people on unpleasant low-fat diets didn’t help them live any longer nor avoid another heart attack. Over the course of the study, the same number of subjects died in both groups.

    "What were the recommendations of the authors of the study?

    "It is concluded that in men under the age of sixty-five who have survived a first myocardial infarction, a low-fat diet does not improve their prognosis.


    "A controlled diet of a 40 g low-fat diet was carried out on 264 men who had survived a first infarction. Despite a lowering of the blood-cholesterol and a greater fall in body-weight in the treated group, the relapse rate was not significantly different in the two groups.

    "A low-fat diet has no place in the treatment of myocardial infarction."

    Dr. Eades writes:

    "Ah, how things have changed since 1965. And not for the better.

    "Here is another.

    "A paper published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 1965 titled CORN OIL IN TREATMENT OF ISCHEMIC HEART DISEASE looks at the differences in the rates of death or a second heart attack in patients following one of three diets: Their regular diet (control diet), a high-olive-oil diet, or a high-corn-oil diet.

    "Over the course of the study a number of patients died or had a second heart attack. The researchers knew which subjects were on the control diets but were blinded (as were the subjects) and so didn’t know which were consuming the olive oil or the corn oil.

    "When the codes were broken and the data analyzed, it turned out that 75 percent of subjects following their standard high-fat, high-saturated-fat diets were remaining alive and free from a second heart attack whereas only 57 percent of subjects on the olive oil had done so. The group with the worst outcome was the corn-oil group. Only 52 percent of those subjects remained alive and heart-attack free.

    "The authors’ summary:

    "Eighty patients with ischaemic heart disease were allocated randomly to three treatment groups. The first was a control group. The second received a supplement of olive oil with restriction of animal fat. The third received corn oil with restriction of animal fat. The serum-cholesterol levels fell in the corn-oil group, but by the end of two years the proportions of patients remaining alive and free of reinfarction (fatal or non-fatal) were 75%, 57%, and 52% in the three groups respectively.

    "It was concluded that under the circumstances of this trial, corn oil cannot be recommended in the treatment of ischaemic heart disease."

    Dr. Eades further says in his article:

    "In this same issue of the BMJ appeared an editorial about this study. The author of this editorial points out that the patients treated with corn oil had the worst experience, though initially their outlook was apparently similar to that of the other groups. There is a 1-in10 to 1-in-20 chance that corn oil had a deleterious effect; the probability of its having any beneficial effect is remote.

    "This came at a time when corn oil was being touted on advertisements everywhere as the best oil to prevent heart disease because it is polyunsaturated."

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