Saturated Fat: The Scapegoat of Cigarettes and the AHA?

Saturated Fat: The Scapegoat of Cigarettes and the AHA?

A couple of weeks ago, Dr. Cate Shanahan gave a presentation at the Journey Through Our Evolutionary Past event held at the Eastern Shore Food Lab. In only 27 minutes, she made one of the most compelling arguments against polyunsaturated oils!



Let’s break down her presentation:
She began by talking about the robust health of her grandparents. I’m sure you can relate to this. Just a few generations ago, everyone appeared to be living healthier into old age. And as the generations have progressed, people are developing chronic diseases at younger ages.
Anyone familiar with the work of Dr. Weston A. Price has heard about how our facial structures are essentially caving in from improper nutrition. Price observed that traditional cultures had wide smiles and robust facial structures.
Robust jawlines were once the norm, and now we have surgeons who specialize in creating more attractive facial structures. Providing our genes with the nutrition it expects would probably put these surgeons out of business...
On top of some basic nutritional requirements, like getting adequate protein, there is one major disruptive agent that has infiltrated our diet. And that’s polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFAs.
According to Dr. Shanahan, the main source of these are “The Hateful Eight” seed oils: Canola, Corn, Cottonseed, Soy, Sunflower, Safflower, Grapeseed, and Ricebran.

These oils are the toxic waste products of other industries, like the cotton industry. And almost all of the processed foods that you will find in the middle of the supermarket will have at least one of these oils. 
So why exactly are these toxic oils found in every product? Dr. Shanahan points the finger at social engineer Ancel Keys as well as the American Heart Association.

The manufacturer of Crisco, Procter & Gamble, launched the American Heart Association under the influence of Ancel Keys. Keys was determined to make his name by proving the diet-heart hypothesis – the idea that saturated fat causes cardiovascular disease.
And so, Keys traveled the world on behalf of these seed oil manufacturers and the AHA as he collected data on habits such as smoking and saturated consumption. He found that heart disease was almost perfectly correlated with smoking. This would have been groundbreaking news of the day.

Yet, demonizing smoking would not have convinced the American public to swap butter for canola oil. So, the data on smoking was buried and other data was manipulated to paint saturated fat as the villian. The AHA and doctors everywhere became the vehicle for seed oil manufacturers to push their “heart healthy fat” agenda.
As our consumption of seed oils has skyrocketed, so have the rates of metabolic diseases like diabetes and prediabetes. These are diseases that are characterized by inefficient energy production at a cellular level.

When we look at the fats that promote efficient energy production, saturated fat and monounsaturated fats are at the top of the list. But the fats that are predominantly found in seed oils, omega-6s and omega-3s, shut down energy production. It’s no wonder mammals consume them prior to hibernation.
Dr. Shanahan explains how when our cells can’t produce enough energy, they drain energy from our bloodstream. Low blood sugar triggers cravings and depresses our mood. And this turns into a vicious cycle – an energy crisis per se. 

People with a high concentration of PUFAs in their adipose tissue cannot use their body fat for energy which leaves them ferociously looking for dietary energy: snacks. 

When these oils enter our body, they deteriorate into known carcinogens. And even if these oils didn’t break down into carcinogens, they are still an inefficient energy source. Historically, we were getting substantially less of our calories from PUFAs.
Dr. Shanahan has spoken with oil chemists who work to make these oils safe for human consumption. Even with an entire industry dedicated to making these oils less toxic for the past 100 years, they have still failed. The only reason that they haven’t accepted defeat is that the AHA would never turn their backs on their sponsors – the seed oil industry.
Check out Dr. Shanahan’s blog!
Get her latest book, “The Fatburn Fix” is on Amazon now!


Dan Patterson, Head Writer at
Brian Sanders, founder of and
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