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Let’s Talk about FAT and Where the Real Shame Lies

I’m all about fat shaming.  Really.

Shame on the food manufacturers for continuing to poison people with bad fat! This is not about weight.  Or body type.  This is about a real nutritional crisis causing most of our modern chronic health issues.  Bad fat is from the category of Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids or, PUFAs for short. These highly processed and industrially produced oils should indeed be shamed for the harm they cause your healthy and beautiful body – no matter what size or shape!  

Here is a list of commonly used PUFAs in our food and cooking:

  • Soy oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Cottonseed Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Rapeseed Oil (Canola)
  • Linseed Oil
  • Peanut Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Partially hydrogenated fats (ie; Crisco)

Each of these fats is commonly and predominately used in many of the processed foods we purchase whether organic or conventional.  They are cheap, industrial oils that are extracted and processed in a similar manner as fossil fuels.

Last fall at the Nourishing Traditions Conference in Dallas I heard one of the best talks on nutrition for our modern times.  Dr. Chris Knobbe explored the dangers and outcomes of our consumption of processed foods with a particular emphasis on fats.  He explained how at the turn of the century most deaths were attributed to infectious diseases like tuberculosis and influenza.  By the mid-twentieth century and up to today the leading cause of death is heart disease followed closely by cancer.  We are in an epidemic of chronic diseases that can very easily be linked to the diets we eat.  As Dr. Knobbe points out – there are two main drivers of chronic disease and they are 1) nutrient deficiency and 2) toxicity.  The number one source for both of these conditions is processed food.

He goes on to say that there are 4 main categories of processed foods to avoid.  They include;

  • PUFAs
  • Trans Fats
  • Refined Sugar
  • Refined Wheat

Dr. Knobbe lays out the studies and the in-depth research that shows the inclusion of refined and highly processed oils from cottonseed, rapeseed (canola), safflower seed, sunflower seed, grapeseed, rice bran, and especially soybeans are the most dangerous fats to bring into the body.  Why? They are not meant for human consumption! These manufactured fats are pro-oxidative and pro-inflammatory, literally wreaking havoc on the cells in your body.  The process of extracting and refining these oils from seeds and beans requires the use of solvents like hexane, a known neurological toxin. 

Dr. Knobbe’s lecture is so educational and eye-opening that I’m including it here for your information.  After watching this video I’m sure you will come to understand that refined seed oils = POISON!

The number one thing that ANYONE can do to improve their health is to eliminate seed oils from their diet, PERIOD.

And, it ain’t easy cause they’re in almost every convenience item on the market shelves.  Pick up a box of crackers or a bag of chips and you’ll see what I mean.  Most of them are made with safflower or sunflower oils (sounds healthy, right?), or in many cases a mixture of canola oil and soybean oil.  The same with condiments, sauces, and soups. You really have to hunt for foods in the supermarket that do not use these cheap oils in their manufacturing.  And the few conscious manufacturers out there who are using coconut oil and avocado oil in their chip-making are charging you extra for not poisoning you!

Here are some easy recommendations for cleaning up your diet act and reducing, if not eliminating this toxic and harmful ingredient from your diet.

  • 1) Clean out your pantry.  Get rid of the industrial oils lurking in the cupboard – chances are they’re already rancid and sticky anyway!   Don’t forget when cleaning out the pantry to discard the snack foods made with these dreadful health stealers.  Crackers, chips, pre-made popcorn, cookies,
  • 2) Stock up on good saturated and monounsaturated fats.  These include organic, unrefined oils and fats like EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), avocado oil, nut oils, coconut oil, ghee, lards, tallows, and other animal fats like duck fat.  All of these saturated fats are heat stable and more durable than polyunsaturated refined oils for cooking.  Use monounsaturated fats for dressings and finishes.
  • 3) Eat at home as much as possible – most restaurants are cooking with refined oils. Avoid salad dressings and sauces as much as possible.  Ask for olive oil and vinegar for salad (I bring my own olive or avocado oil that comes in small blister packs so I can be sure of the quality I’m getting).
  • 4) Avoid fried foods like french fries or other “drop” foods that are cooked in the mesh basket submerged in oil.  Save these foods to make at home with your own healthy fat choices!
  • 5) Know what your animal products have been raised on.  As Michael Pollen states “It’s no longer what you eat, it’s what you eat, eats.” If the beef you’re buying from Costco was raised eating meal that’s loaded up with these refined oils then you, too, will be eating these oils.  And it makes a very inflammatory end product!  If it’s bad for you, it’s bad for all animals.

Sounds daunting, I know.  But I can assure you when you experience the reduction in inflammation, pain, weight gain, and other health conditions associated with eating these bad fats you’ll discover how wonderful it is to eat good fat and good food.

Want to feel better through eating better?  Schedule a Nutritional Assessment appointment with Maria and find out how to optimize your nutrition for vitality, better cognition, and lifelong health.  Maria has worked in clinical nutrition for 15 years and has helped hundreds improve their health through diet optimization, detoxification programs, and nervous system regulation programs.

Call (503) 719-4806 to schedule your appointment today!

Maria Zilka

Clinic Director, Nutritional Therapist, DNRS Specialist