Over 50 years ago in a misguided attempt to lower the rates of cardiovascular disease in this country, the American Heart Association, government health agencies and the media urged Americans to switch from saturated fats to polyunsaturated vegetable oils. That single recommendation has probably killed and crippled more Americans than both World Wars since vegetable oils, such as corn, have been shown to increase the amount of disease-causing inflammation in the body. (For more information on how public health policies have harmed the health of Americans, read my special report “What the Drug Companies Don’t Want You to Know About Heart Disease, Cholesterol, and Obesity.”
In fact, we now know that a diet low in saturated fats and high in sugars and refined carbohydrates lowers HDL (good) cholesterol and raises LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides — the very pattern that is most associated with cardiovascular and stroke risk, especially among older people. The so-called healthy oils, such as corn and other vegetable oils, increase the amount of inflammation in the body
Here’s a breakdown on fats and oils, and which ones are best for your health:
• Vegetable Oils. Numerous vegetable oils are used for cooking, such as corn oil, safflower
oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, canola oil, and soybean oil. These oils are extracted from various vegetables. Most are high in omega-6 fats which are harmful when eaten in excess. Most baked goods, breads, cakes, pastries and chips are made with these oils.
Olive oil is a good vegetable oil. It is graded according to how carefully the oil is extracted. Extra virgin olive oil is extracted at a lower temperature in a press. This preserves the flavonoids in the olive, making the oil much healthier.
Extra virgin olive oil has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, as well as lower the risk of cancer.
• Animal Fats: All animal fats are all saturated fats and are harmful because they accumulate toxins from the environment such as industrial chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and mercury.
• Trans Fatty Acids: These are artificial fats created when polyunsaturated oils are partially
hydrogenated. They are very bad for you and interfere with normal metabolism. Trans fatty acids can be found in items throughout the supermarket — including cakes, pies and other processed foods.
• Tropical Oils: Instead of promoting heart disease, oils from tropical plants like the coconut and palm trees are actually powerful inhibitors of atherosclerosis. Both coconut and palm oils have high concentrations of medium-chain fatty acids, which are burned for energy and not stored as fats. They also enhance immunity and reduce the risk of cancer.
• Fish Oils: These oils are either extracted from fish, especially the larger cold-water, ocean fish, or from algae. These oils are also polyunsaturated, but unlike the polyunsaturated vegetable oils (omega-6 oils), reduce atherosclerosis risk, improve immunity, improve blood flow and are essential for normal brain function. My special report “Omega-3: Nature’s Miracle Panacea" discusses the benefits of omega-3 oils in detail, including the ability to fight depression and boost brain function.
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