What we have had in the last 80 years is the oiling of America. We have had a big decline in the use of animal fats. People don't use lard any more. We have had a huge increase in the use of vegetable oils, either shortening, margarine or the liquid vegetable oils. Butter consumption has fallen dramatically, but the increase in heart disease and cancer is continuing to rise. It doesn't take a statistician to realize that butter consumption is not the cause of heart disease and cancer. You may have heard of the French paradox. They have one quarter the heart disease that we have, one of the lowest coronary heart disease rates of all western countries, yet they consume a lot more dairy fat than we do, and more animal fats, but their consumption of vegetable oil and hydrogenated fats is much lower.
GOOD FATS AND OILS: A good fat is a traditional fat like butter and other animal fats, and the cold-pressed traditional oils like olive,flax and sesame. These are oils that have been used for thousands of years. They are easy to get out of the seeds. We cannot extract the modern oils without technology. Traditional oils are rich in anti-oxidants. The tropical oils such as palm and coconut oils which have nourished people throughout the globe are very healthy oils. Osteoporosis does not exist in countries that use coconut oil.BUTTER Weston Price who studied primitive peoples in the 1930's found many healthy people who nourished themselves on butter fat, and they actually considered butter a sacred food, especially when the cows were eating rapidly growing green grass. Butter is an excellent source of the fat soluble vitamins.
OLIVE OIL The type of fat which is in the adipose tissue is mostly monounsaturated. That is the kind of fat which is found in olive oil. Olive oil if it is properly processed, if it is extra virgin, is full of anti-oxidants. It is a traditional fat that has nourished people for thousands and thousands of years. It is the safest oil you can use, but it does promote weight gain, and in the Mediterranean countries the women do tend to gain weight in middle age.
FLAX SEED OIL We do recommend supplementation with flax seed oil with its high omega-3 content. Flax oil is very unsaturated. The more unsaturated something is, the more susceptible it is to rancidity when heated. When you heat it, it forms free radicals and these are very cancer promoting. Flax oil should always be kept refrigerated, and never heated.
SATURATED OILS Palm, palm kernel and coconut oils contain 80 to 90% saturated fats with small amounts of oleic acid and linoleic acid. Part of the saturated fat content is lauric acid which has strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties. These oils protect tropical populations from bacteria and fungus so prevalent in their food supply. They are extremely stable and can be kept at room temperature for many months without becoming rancid, and can be used for cooking and baking. Unfortunately they have received bad publicity from the lobbying of the vegetable oil industry and these safe and healthy oils have been abandoned in favour of artificially saturated hydrogenated soybean, corn and cottonseed oils, the waste products of America's three biggest crops.
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