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There is so much conflicting information out there in the health and nutrition space. It becomes hard to know what is healthy and what is unhealthy. In my clinical experience one of the most common myths that I continue to come up against is that saturated fat causes heart disease, and that vegetable oils are ‘heart healthy’.
In this blog I highlight why vegetable oils including margarine and Nuttelex are not a healthy option, and why instead real whole food fats like coconut oil, butter, ghee or extra virgin olive oil should replace them.
If you are looking for personalised support in your health journey, there will be an option to book in a complimentary health chat at the end.
How vegetable oils are made
Let’s start by thinking about how vegetable oils are made…The oils are chemically extracted from canola, corn, safflower, rapeseed, soybean or peanuts. Before consumption, they must be refined, bleached and deodorised.
For many years vegetable oils have been touted as ‘heart healthy’ alternatives, with saturated fats like butter, ghee and coconut oils have been demonised as causing heart disease. The thing is, up to date research tells a very different story about vegetable oils and saturated fats.
6 Reasons to avoid vegetable oils for your heart health
If vegetable oils are so bad for us then how did they end up in so many of our foods?
The history of ‘heart-healthy’ vegetable oils, unfortunately, stems back to faulty scientific research and questionable financial incentives…The makers of Crisco donated $1.5 million to the newly formed American Heart Association (AHA) to pull together a team of physicians specialising in heart health. The AHA did not waste any time to begin promoting the use of vegetable oils as ‘heart-healthy’.
This was just a few years before Ancel Keys promoting his hypothesis that saturated fat and cholesterol intake was linked to heart disease. Shortly after saturated fats and cholesterol found in whole foods that traditional cultures across the globe have been eating for centuries was cited as ‘unhealthy’. Keys’ research has since been shown to be not only incorrect, but deliberately cherry-picked, yet it continues to shape many of our national dietary guidelines.
Oils and fats that are healthy to cook with
They are the most heat stable and have the lowest degree of human interference. Mother nature knows best!
If you are concerned about your fat intake, please know this
Nutrition information can get confusing quickly, especially when our government guidelines are an estimated 17-20 years behind current research and best practice. To think critically about nutrition information I believe we need to ask two important questions:
If you are ready to take the next step in your health journey, book in for a complimentary 15 minute consultation here.