You can't turn on the television set these days without hearing about the dangers of trans fats. The Kentucky Fried Killers and McCoronaries of the world have been using this junk to clog our nation's arteries for years. But what steams me is the notion that scientists are just now waking up to the dangers of trans fats.
If you believe that, you've got too many Big Macs on the brain. In this issue, I'm going to show you how trans fats were the result of one of the great conspiracies--and health screw-ups--in recent nutritional history. I'm also going to introduce you to a cooking ingredient, coconut oil, that was demonized by some powerful lobbies, but just might be the key to improving your health.
How saturated fat could save your life
Coconut oil can prevent infections, support weight loss, and even help you avoid digestive diseases and adult-onset diabetes. Yet every single university know-it-all and government propaganda organization has been brainwashed into demonizing it. They make ridiculous claims that it makes you fat and raises your cholesterol. They've practically accused coconut oil of taking potshots at J.F.K. from the grassy knoll.
Well, they're all wrong, and I've got news for you: If you don't include coconut oil in your diet, you could be putting your health at risk. That might seem crazy to you--coconut oil, after all, is the most saturated of saturated fats.
But if you're not cooking with it already, you will be by the time you finish reading this article--because I'm going to show you why a lot of what you may have learned about saturated fats is wrong. After all, a lot of folks are getting their information from the same quacks who bet--and lost--on trans fats.
How skipping fats made me a walking cadaver
Hey, I'm occasionally wrong about things, but the biggest oversight in my life was when I failed to realize the essential nutritional value of coconut oil. It was in the 1960s when the onslaught against coconut oil began, and I was all too ready to buy into it. At the time, I was a self-taught nutritionist, just out of the U.S. Navy and beginning to catch on that there was something very wrong with the American diet.
Like many doctors who tend to run off in the wrong direction when they discover that something is medically wrong and they want to fix it now, I rushed to vegetarianism and away from anything with fat. Cooking with coconut oil would have been unthinkable to me.
Big mistake--I turned into a walking cadaver. It didn't take me long to realize that fat and protein are essential elements in the human diet. At the time, I didn't know why saturated fat was good for you--but a few years later, the science caught up.
Saturated fats are a major component of healthy cells. They are the preferred fuel for the heart and muscles, are powerful antiviral and antifungal agents, and serve as cancer-fighting genetic "regulators" in the body. Why didn't you already know these things? Because the meat-hating mainstream has programed us all to believe that saturated fats like coconut oil are the "killer fats" that cause high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
But nothing could be further from the truth. Countless studies show that the MORE fats (particularly animal fats) people eat, the better their heart health. Need some proof from the real world? The African Masai, North American Eskimos, Japanese, Greeks, Okinawans, and our good friends the French all follow diets that are extremely high (by mainstream American standards) in saturated fats. Yet these people enjoy astonishingly low rates of heart disease, hypertension, and coronary events.
Fats in our diet give us fuel for a stronger heart, energy for physical activity, immunity-boosting antiviral agents, a natural defense against depression, raw materials for building more resilient cells, increased concentrations of HDL "good" cholesterol, and the vital chemicals our brains need to remain sharp and focused.
And I'm not the only one saying this. In the American Journal of Public Health, Dr. Walter Willett said, "Although the focus of dietary recommendations is usually a reduction of saturated fat intake, no relation between saturated fat intake and risk of coronary heart disease was observed in the most informative prospective study to date."
In the now-famous Framingham Heart Study, researcher Dr. William P. Castelli found that, "The more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person's serum cholesterol We found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least, and were the most physically active."
To put it simply, saturated fat isn't the problem. So what exactly is clogging our nation's arteries, making us fatter and more prone to heart disease than ever? Believe it or not, it's the vegetable oils that have been shoved down our throats--and onto our frying pans--by the heart-health lobby!