SATURATED FAT VERSUS UNSATURATED FAT
What is believed to be the healthy fat…. saturated or unsaturated? If you listen to government agencies you would think unsaturated. Saturated fat has been widely vilified for decades. In 1961 the American Heart Association recommended polyunsaturated fats to fight heart disease. In 1980 the US Dietary Guidelines were released, and they showed polyunsaturated fats as the healthy fat choice.
Saturated fats are butter, lard, suet, duck fat, tallow, and oils from coconut and palm. All are natural fats and are solid at room temperature. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are derived from corn, soy, cottonseed, safflower, peanut, and canola. While they are commonly marketed as vegetable oils they are actually from seeds and beans. They are not vegetables, but seed oils. The refining process of the seed oils is a major reason why they are very unhealthy. Unsaturated fats (PUFA) are not stable, thus requiring hydrogenation which uses heat, pressure, and bleach. A hexane solvent is used along with a metal catalyst to extract the oil from the source. They are often enhanced with artificial colors and synthetic vitamins. Hydrogenated polyunsaturated oils have become the backbone of the processed food and restaurant industries. Read nutritional labels on the packaged foods in the center aisles of your supermarket and you will see the prevalence of seed oils in a high percentage of products.
What health price has been paid with the introduction of seed oils? A very heavy price. Heart disease was unheard of until Crisco was introduced in 1911. By the 1930’s heart disease was the number one killer. In the 1940’s Wesson, Mazola, and Crisco oils became popular. In the 1950’s margarine, which is hardened vegetable oil, became very popular due to brilliant marketing. With the introduction of the US Dietary Guidelines, the average total caloric intake increased by 250 daily. The obesity rate as of 2015 was 39.8%. We have seen a 25-fold increase in diabetes in 80 years. Macular degeneration cases hit 196 million in 2020.
The culprit in skyrocketing cases of chronic degeneration is polyunsaturated fats. Total seed oil consumption in the US was 2 grams per day in 1860. In 2010 it rose to 80 grams per day! The data clearly shows that saturated fat is not the problem. In next month’s blog I will discuss how linoleic acid (LA) found in polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids is destroying our health. For more information on polyunsaturated fats read my July blog article here. Email comments or questions to RickATgeorgetownmarket.com.