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Polyunsaturated Fats – Good or Evil?

Polyunsaturated Fats – Good or Evil?

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 15:45

I’ve touched on this here and there over the years, but as it’s finally getting a lot more recognition in the mainstream media just now, I thought to mention it again.

Basically, it’s about the absolute myth that substituting ‘polyunsaturated fats for saturated fats’ is good for us. You may be aware that many years ago scientists and food manufacturers started promoting the benefits of polyunsaturated fats (think vegetable oils in most processed foods, margarine, and the like) in the belief that saturated fats (butter, coconut oil etc) were bad for us, particularly our heart health.

Pleasingly, just a couple of weeks ago, the ABC’s ‘Catalyst‘ Program did a whole episode on the topic . It included interviews with leading researchers and medical experts around the globe who explained how the decades-long recommendation of polyunsaturated fats by health authorities such as The Heart Foundation, is based on incomplete information and has likely delivered great harm to individual and collective health. They also cautioned for us not to wait for the institutions to change their advice (despite the overwhelming evidence against their recommendations) any time soon. After holding a position for so long, they certainly aren’t going to turn around and say “sorry, we’ve been wrong for 20 years, all these vegetable oils and margarine we’ve been telling you to eat maybe creating more harm than good.”

If you’re not familiar with why these polyunsaturated fats are so harmful, particularly in the quantities most people now consume them, you can read the more detailed extract on my blog.. You can also see the Catalyst episode, and I can highly recommend David Gillespie’s book, ‘Toxic Oil‘ – Amazon Kindle edition (and check out his video on polyunsaturated fats and cancer) – which outlines everything in detail as well as great tips on better oils and fats to use when cooking and buying products as well as some really great recipes.

Tips/Suggestions:

  1. Use butter, avocado, olive oil etc, instead of margarine.
  2. A) Use ghee, coconut oil, olive oil etc. more in cooking and avoid things like canola oil, sunflower oil. Sunflower oil okay in small quantities. Previous blog if of interest = Cooking Oils – What’s Healthy What’s Not?
  3. If you like little treats such as potato crisps or potato chips every now and then, consider making your own at home in good oils rather than the unhealthy, processed vegetable oils that commercial and fast food products are soaked in. Or at least buy ones lowest in polyunsaturated fats. (E.g.For potato crisps, go for ‘Red Rock’ originals – I know, as they are one of my little treats so I checked them out!)
  4. Get the book, ‘Toxic Oil‘ – Amazon kindle edition (and check out his video on polyunsaturated fats and cancer) for quick comparisons of all regular food items and loads of other useful tips.

When purchasing cooking oils, go for those with less than 13g/100ml). For packaged food items, check the nutrition label and try to get products that have the amount of polyunsaturated oil to be as low as possible. As Gillespie recommends our daily intake is 6g or less, obviously items that have 1-2g/100g are going to be the ones to go for. Monounsaturated fat content can be high (olive oil for example is predominantly monounsaturated).

Mark Bunn

Mark Bunn – is a leading natural health researcher specialising in Ayurvedic medicine, author of the three-time best-selling ‘Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health‘ and one of Australasia's most popular health and performance speakers