Nina Teicholz – ‘Vegetable Oils: The Unknown Story’

Nina Teicholz – ‘Vegetable Oils: The Unknown Story’

August 8, 2019 100 By William Morgan


that is a hard act to follow that was excellent thank you them didn’t believe in the guy I was actually gonna start with something a little serious which is to say well first of all to say it’s been wonderful talking to everybody and the brakes and getting to know you and one of the things that people say to me often and wherever I go is what I’m so angry that there’s this incredible lie how do I live with this lie about everything that I’ve been told for so long and that is of course one of the things that we you know how to how do you deal with that you know actually was gonna call my my book the the big fat lie and then we thought well that’s too aggressive let’s call it the big fat surprise and but no matter what you call a surprise misrepresentation all the fact your nutrition science we we’ve we’ve been living this for in this world we’ve all been living this all the fact thing this is nothing new so I just want to look straight in the camera right now to the YouTube audience and say thank you to the thousands of people who have come out here to hear me speak today I really [Applause] the huge crowds that I see performing anyway okay let’s get that into the science now so I’m gonna talk about vegetable oils what are vegetable oils these are vegetable oils the ones that are most commonly known really soybean oil is the one that is really the main contributor to the oils we eat and they’re not really vegetable oil it sounds so lovely doesn’t it you know I always wonder about what PR room came up with the word vegetable oil they’re not made from vegetable oils vegetables like broccoli or anything they’re made from seeds and beans so there’s actually should be called seed oils and that in in the in amongst technical vegetable oils vegetable is scientist that’s actually what they called them among themselves of course they’re not natural these are the natural fats that humans ate for millennia there’s tallow which comes from cows and sooo it from lambs lard was these are the really the two main ones that were used in cooking in West in the West lard from pigs and of course butter and in other societies in Asian societies they also used coconut oil and palm oil those are traditional fats and you know we know they’re traditional from in the Odyssey Athena is says she lays down a fat goat and the chine of a great wild hog rich in lard for Odysseus obviously to kill him no so vegetable oils oils of any kind were really not used for human consumption they were used for industrial machinery as lubricants in their dust really ssin I mean first it was really whale oil from the 1820s to the 1860s and they were used for machinery and then when we killed all the whales we moved over to cottonseed oil which was a byproduct of you know the cotton was a huge crop in in the southern United States and they didn’t know what to do with the leftover oil so they started using that to replace whale oil and it wasn’t ice it was not a food this oil was used a little bit in the late 1800s to adulterate butter to kind of sneak it in but here’s the problem with oils and human consumption they are not stable they’re greasy and oily so this is just to show you the chemistry a saturated fatty acid has no double bonds in there between the carbon molecules and so it’s straight a double bond makes a kink in the chain but if it’s saturated meaning it’s saturated with hydrogen’s there are no double bonds so that’s straight and flat and those molecules can sit on top of each other all together and there’s no space between them and so they make solids saturated fats are solid whereas unsaturated fatty acids this is a polyunsaturated fatty acid poly means multiple double bonds between the carbons and and they’re unsaturated because if you broke this bond and put you could add hydrogen’s here so it’s not saturated with hydrogen’s so and those molecules don’t lie flat together they’re all squiggly and wiggly and so there’s space between them and therefore their oils that’s the basic chemistry so in order to use oils as foodstuff they had to make them straight and they did this through a process called hydrogenation so they they took oleic acid this is they’ll one of the polyunsaturated fats actually that’s not by touch feathers that mono and saturated fat but anyway the idea is they straighten it out through a process of called hydrogenation and hydrogenation is a very complex process that involves all kinds you know in huge fact I’ve actually have been in a hydrogenation Factory and you know there’s just floors and floors of machinery and they use metal catalyst and the hexane solvent and then they go through this incredibly long process because really when you take seeds or beans and you press them what comes out is this rancid gray liquid and then you have to make that palatable so you have to deodorize it and winterize it so it’s stable and you have go through all these all these steps you don’t turn it and you know milk it from a cow and churn it so it’s a lot more complicated but this is that that process is what allowed vegetable oils to come into the food supply and that happened because once it could be stabilized actually when they first stabilized this is Procter & Gamble who originally soap makers and tallow makers and when they first stabilized cottonseed oil in the early 1900s about 1910 or so when this process was discovered they looked at that and they said oh we’ll sell that as soap like the WHO and actually a lot of your soaps are made from oils that’s what’s you know a lot of soaps are and and then they looked and they said well that actually looks a lot like lard why don’t we try to sell it as lard so and this is in 1911 so they figured that out and they they and they had a number of names for they eventually landed on this idea of Crisco and that was the introduction of vegetable oils as a commercial product into the into the human food supply really that was really the beginning of it as a commercial product and they were brilliant about how they went about marketing this product and they did it you have to understand you know in America in the early 1900s particularly in America everybody wanted them almost every society everybody wants the new and the modern and so this was they would market Crisco as something I’m gonna quote now a that came comes from the book of Crisco that while Crisco may be a shock to the older generation born in an age less progressive than our own it is a modern woman is glad to give up butter and lard just as her grandmother quote her grandmother was happy to forego the fatiguing spinning wheel so it was like a supposed to be a liberation it was also marketed in contrast to the always sort of sordid conditions of animal slaughter and extraction of animal fats and but Crisco was made in sparkling bright rooms and clean countertops and chemistry labs and and they little white and quote white enamel covers metal surfaces to contrast it to the conditions of making animal fat so and it was incredibly successful I mean they really there’s in it that they sold cookbooks and all kinds of pamphlets and they marketed it and at the end they said you know and in every cookbook America in America butter is crossed out and Crisco is put and butter and lard are crossed out and Crisco is put in its place and that is what happened at about the same time margarine also entered margarine is also hardened vegetable oils and originally margarine very early on it used to be made with lard and coconut oil which are solid stable fats but by 1958 it was made entirely from polyunsaturated fats and it was a huge threat to the dairy industry if you want any insight into why one of the reasons it took me so long to write a book is that you know I spent like three months completely obsessed with margarine and and I went into there was this whole incredible chapter of the dairy industry trying to put to prevent the margarine industry from entering in and so they had all kinds of taxes and restrictions and you couldn’t sell yellow margarine you had to only sell it as white and then you would get a little color capsule that you would need into it to make it yellow it’ll look like butter and these are angry housewives protesting that they want their margarine because of course margit vegetable oils were very quickly cheaper they were just cheaper so housewives wanted them and and eventually it became accepted really in World War two when even wealthy women wanted to save money and it was considered okay than to put margarine on an on an elegant table and so that was sort of the end of margarine restrictions so these are the so-so Crisco and margarine are the main ways that vegetable oils entered into our food supply and that all happened really they were introduced and and solidly in the food supply by the by the mid twentieth century so and then one did oil as oil come in this actually happened in another 1940s because they they they had figured out by 1940 they had figured out how to stabilize oil just enough to sell it in a bottle remember oils are rancid products they oxidize really easily they go rancid and bad they didn’t they don’t know shelf-life stability but they figured out a little chemical fix in the 1940s and so now they were able to sell it as oils so and then they of course as we know they got a huge boost when the American Heart Association started recommending polyunsaturated vegetable oils to replace saturated fats and this was a tremendous boost to the vegetable oil industry as we know that was all part of Ansel Keyes’s diet heart hypothesis we said saturated fats and cholesterol caused heart disease and that happened in response to the tremendous panic over the rising tide of heart disease with President Eisenhower himself having a heart attack in 1955 and being out of the Oval Office for ten whole days just imagine your president is out of the office with you know for ten days I mean like really I mean at the nation was in a tremendous panic and and it was into that vacuum of understanding about what causes heart disease that that Ancel Keys stepped and this is just my chart to show you what an incredibly ludicrous idea it was at the time that President Eisenhower’s heart attack was caused by saturated fats already declining in the food supply what was perfectly rising in lockstep with heart disease was unsaturated vegetable oils so how crazy to think that you would solve a condition with with the the food that was had been just invented and and seemed to be perfectly correlated with heart disease anyway and there’s also a really interesting back story about how the American Heart Association had really had deep deep ties with the vegetable oil industry and in fact had been launched by Procter & Gamble a vegetable oil that one of their products was Crisco you know Procter & Gamble original maker of Crisco so and there’s a story that I tell in my book that I’m the American Heart Association to understand because because heart disease really only came was rare until the late 1920s the American Heart Association you know cardiologist was a relatively small little specialty and they were they were they were not a big group and they had an office small office and almost no money they they the American Heart Association really was nothing to look at until the Procter & Gamble came along in 1948 and they designated them the to be the recipient of this Jack Benny radio show contest was called the walking man contest where all the proceeds from the show went to the American Heart Association and as the American Heart Association’s own history book reads it says and overnight millions flew into our poured into our coffers as the Procter & Gamble man they had a dinner celebrated and handed us the cheque and overnight they became a huge massive nonprofit organization they’re still the biggest nonprofit in the u.s. today all thanks to their launch by Procter & Gamble whom they paid off I think very well and because there you know they were recommending Crisco products in fact there’s a story that I don’t have the picture of it but there’s a story of a there’s I have a letter from a scientist complaining to Campbell Moses who is the president of the American Heart Association in the 1960s saying you know Campbell I can’t believe the rank commercialism of your posing in that film with your face next to a bottle of Crisco oil and I won’t participate if you if you continue to do that so the American Heart Association so you know what what this enabled the vegetable oil industry to do was to market itself basically as a health food you know as as a food that you can eat in order to avoid a heart attack these are some more ads take this ad to your doctor so they can prescribe vegetable oils to you and here’s margarine for because of course your eight-year-old should worry about cholesterol that actually that ad actually became the subject of a whole lawsuit and was eventually banned because there was no evidence and still is no evidence that high cholesterol and children has anything to do with heart disease except for in rare genetic cases let’s see testing the diet heart hypothesis this is just to let you know that that this whole idea that saturated fats replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats has been tested in large randomized controlled clinical trials on more people than have ever been tested on any other hypothesis in the world in nutrition science and the results you know large well controlled trials and which are the gold standard of evidence and they have shown no effect of saturated fat on any card upon cardiovascular mortality or total mortality so that and that that knowledge is part of the alt fat world that we live in which is that it nobody talks about that so one of the reasons I wanted to bring up those studies is that in those trials where they made in all those trials they tended to replace regular fats with like lard and meat and and and then they would replace those with vegetable oils right so in effect what you’re studying you’re studying a number of things in those trials but one of the things you’re studying is well what is the effect of having a high vegetable oil diet if you have a lot of corn oil and soybean oil what happens well in nearly a dozen of these studies they found a number of worries and things including that in all the experimental groups they died at higher rates of cancer so this is the LA LA veterans study where the entered the men ate diets high in soy corn safflower cottonseed oil six years of this wasn’t a perfect trial they didn’t control for smoking se but but the it was successful I mean one of the markers of a successful trial is that they de men did successfully lower their cholesterol as they did in all the diet heart trials and but they died at more than twice the rate of the control group from cancer and that was found in another in another another trials as well they also had two times higher rates of gall stones gulsta was found in another cholesterol-lowering trial so maybe it’s the vegetable oils maybe it’s the cholesterol-lowering we don’t know strokes also found in people who have lower and much higher rates and people who have lower cholesterol and in fact the pure study that just came out recently which was the largest ever epidemiological study ever undertaken they found that the lowered the saturated fat you ate the people who ate the lowest amount of saturated fat had the highest risk of stroke so whether or not that’s the low amount of saturated fats or the high amount of vegetable oils they’re eating or the low cholesterol we don’t know but that’s a disturbing finding that is clearly now echoing through these this work also possible cirrhosis of the liver that was found and more in this in more than just that study they’re so worrisome side effects of switching your diet over to vegetable oils from saturated fats and was in fact so worrisome that that NIH had a series of high-level meetings on this at which people like Ansel keys and his buddies were all invited to try to figure out what was going on with these trials why the higher rates of cancer and gallstones and they had so this is three separate years they had these meetings and they they had various ideas they thought that maybe low cholesterol was a was a sign of getting cancer anyway in the end they just decided that lowering cholesterol was too important heart disease was it was too important to fight heart to fight heart disease and they didn’t want any kind of other message getting in the way of their cholesterol lowering advice so but this just shows you the the rise in in vegetable oils over the course that’s actually it is the food group that has more than any other food group it has risen the most so it’s like our consumption of it has gone from zero to seven to eight percent of all calories that we consume in the US which is just like like one hundred and twenty one thousand times more than we ate in nineteen hundred and now it’s mostly soybean oil so so why why do we have this astronomic rise well obviously there’s the fact that the american hardest put our heart association is supporting this idea then the US dietary guidelines get on board and they say replace your saturated fats with polyunsaturated vegetable oil so it doesn’t say that quite there but it does and then there’s that hydrogenated oil becomes the backbone of the food industry so you know almost every food in these supermarket or aisles um is comprised of you know usually it’s mainly like some sugar green and then they need a fat you need a fat to make any cookie cracker shirt crisp anything and that fat is hydrogenated soybean oil that’s just always the way it was and because it’s cheap it’s easy to manipulate and so every one of these products contains hydrogenated oils or did until quite until quite recently these are the natural alternatives so they’re you know that you these are the non animal-based natural alternatives that can also be used by food manufacturers and indeed were in for a good part up until the 80s these were used by food companies in their products but and they’re healthier because they are they’re they’re more stable and because they’re solid defend their naturally solid they don’t have to go through that hydrogenation product process to become solid but these were sort of scared out of the US food supply because for a number of reasons that are really fascinating one was the American Soybean Association recognized that the tropical oils were a threat to them and so they came up with this idea this is Steve Drake who is the head of the American Soybean Association when they were doing this whole campaign from 1960 yeah 1986 to 1989 and they distributed all these fat fighter kits that what you don’t know about tropical oils will kill you and they pictured like sleazy Asians with cigars saying like you know putting new wholesome American farmer out of business and then the kid that came up with the term tree lard which sounds really appealing and definitely had an effect and I just put this up because I see echoes of this really in this recent night we’ve a couple people have mentioned at this recent American Heart Association presidential advisory they focused quite a lot on coconut oil like why are they focusing on coconut oil they this is in their their heart news which I just have to say as an aside like here they’re creating the controversy and then here they’re saying why all the hubbub over the controversy we’re creating it’s just such a classic tactic but they do they really emphasize coconut oil coconut oil does not have any different kind of saturated fats than any of the other saturated fats that have all been tested in those randomized controlled clinical trials finding no effect on on on mortality so why are they focusing on coconut oil well you know it may be that they receive lots of money this is just one of the things that I happen to found because actually was somebody was stupid enough to put this on the web but you know they get a lot of money from so you know soybean companies so I mean vegetable oil companies and so maybe that’s the reason maybe coconut oil is still a threat to them coconut oil has certainly experienced a real resurgence tropical oils have experienced a resurgence in the u.s. back in the 80s another reason that that we saw a rise in polyunsaturated hydrogenated oils is that there was this passionate Nebraska millionaire Phillips Sokolov who took out all these ads he really believed that tropical oils were killing people he was one of those passionate uninformed people and we are not gonna name any names right now but you know we all know them and he went on this he just spent all his money he had suffered a heart attack thought that going on a prudent plant-based diet was what saved him and now he’s gonna save the rest of America and he took out all these ads and he had everybody call every executive at all the major food companies and that had an extraordinary effect of you know all of our big food companies Nabisco Kraft everybody just getting at pulling out all their palm oil and and coconut oil and switching over to Pollyanna hydrogenated polyunsaturated oils so and then there’s also our friend CSP for those of you saw my talk yesterday they’re the ones who were in charge of the retraction letter always on the right side of science and they were saying they they’ve always been against saturated fats and they were pushing trans fats and they did this particularly in movie theaters getting rid of any kind of butter pop popcorn or coconut oil pop popcorn and they got rid of all the side all the fats and restaurants and all the fryers so so this meant that there was by the end of the 1980s all the fats used in in restaurants and processing and foodservice and cafeterias everywhere was hydrogenated vegetable oils and I’m sure it’s a similar situation for in this country and others but then whoops partially hydrogenated vegetable oils contain trans fats and these are some of the original researchers who kind of who were interested in evolved and in figuring out understanding trans fats and understanding their role and and why they were potentially a danger to health and so not due to their work but eventually when Harvard caught whiff of it and Harvard decided to get involved then the FDA decided to ban trans fats and I don’t know what the situation is with trans fats here but it’s not bad it’s not banned so well I’ll just tell you a little story about the trans fats were banned because they slightly raise LDL cholesterol so we all know what we think of LDL cholesterol and I don’t think that was a correct reason for banning them they were also banned largely on the basis of epidemiological data however trans fats those other researchers I just showed you they did find a number of other disturbing health effects of trans fats which makes me not sorry they’re banned even if it was for the wrong reasons but the problem is what replaces trans fats this is a hue huge issue and again they are you have to remember this is the poly unsaturated molecule not stable it’s not stable unless it’s hydrogenated so still not stable if you can’t hydrogenated it it’s not a stable molecule and so vegetable oil companies started going back to all their chemistry labs and figuring out well what were they going to use they needed a new newfangled something or other to replace hydrogenated fats and this is what they’ve come up with so they’ve genetically modified soybeans to produce less of the particular fatty acids that seemed to cause rancid a like linoleic linolenic they’ve tried to change the expression of those particular fatty acids a lot more sunflower oil which is naturally a little more stable has come out because it’s higher in some monounsaturated fats and then they’ve made this thing called interests terrified oils which where they take each each triglyceride you know in a fatty acid they have triglycerides they swap around the actual carbon molecules and anyway that is who knows what that is and you know probably another trans fats in 20 years time but all in all of these are expensive options whether we really should do is just go back to these using saturated fats right we should just go back to using lard and tallow and suet natural non oxidizing but we can’t because our dietary guidelines put a limit on saturated fat so that’s why we have in all of our restaurants still you know they’re just using the cheapest option so this is what I wanted to say which is the the other the other way in which we talk about the polyunsaturated fats is that these are omega sixes and that’s another way you might have heard of them and they are omega sixes are known to be have inflammatory effects right and part of the reasons we’re just showing you this chart is that we get you get some omega sixes in in nuts and in other places most of them come from vegetable oils and probably some of you you’ve heard of the omega-3 six ratio you’re supposed to keep that ratio relatively high in omega-3s and relatively low and omega-6 is and people are always telling you spend a lot of money on Omega threes to get that ratio up well you’re never gonna have maybe some of you do you can it’s really if you’re eating a lot of vegetables you’re gonna be spending a fortune in your omega-3 is to get your omega-3 ratio up the best way to get that ratio if you believe in it in good shape is to just not have Omega sixes keep your mega sixes down and even healthy people who tend to binge on nuts might be having too many omega sixes so you do have to watch out for that especially with all these new nut flours around people are baking with so it’s it’s just something to be aware of this is to show you what is happening in restaurant fryers across the across the country is that they are using they’ve just gone back to regular soybean oil corn oil and this is another thing I bring this up also for this crowd who probably is you know very health conscious but you may not know what your oil the restaurant that you go to is frying in and and I know in America all the McDonald’s all the every fast-food chain and really it’s not even the fast food chains that you know which probably you avoid but you know every every mom-and-pop restaurant where they have fried food they’re frying and just regular oils and I I don’t think I have time to go into the whole story of how scary heated vegetable oils are and I’m not you know flogging my book but I will tell you at the end of chapter nine should you choose to do if you want to get it it really has the whole incredible story that I came across these are some just some of the toxic oxidation products that are in heated oils and the kinds of effects that they have aldehydes aldehydes one of the aldehydes is a formal marker for your cancer for cancer risk and aldehydes are created are just created in huge amounts in fry when they fry food and in polyunsaturated oils and there was a woman in who didn’t experiment to her local McDonald’s and started you know getting just measuring the aldehydes in the in the fried chicken nuggets and the French fries and she found hundreds of talks all kinds of oxidation products but very high levels of these aldehydes they are really terrifying and you know I weigh it the way I came across this whole story was that I actually you know if you spend enough time talking to vegetable oil scientists as I have done they you know one of them said you know he said you know what’s going on in the restaurants don’t you I mean says ever since they’ve gone to these trans free oils they have been having these horrible cleaning problems they understand them as cleaning problems because the fryers are getting clogged there–they because the oils turn into polymers when they go through all this this he did they but that long that long molecule I showed you becomes degraded and broken up and it changes into other kinds of polymers and that like the polymers and paint right so they would clog up the drains and they would have this gooey sticky stuff on the walls and they would try to scrape it off and nobody could scrape it off so they had to invent a new cleaner that was extra strong that had sort of extra strength chemicals in it that to use to try to de polymerize the stuff on the walls and in the drains and on the floors of all these fast-food places he said the polymers this these degraded molecules were so unstable that when they would put the uniforms in the backs of trucks to go take him to the cleaners the uniforms would spontaneously combust and then they when they took him today to clean them and they’d put them in the dryers there were still so many of these toxic chemicals in them that they would they would explode in the dryers so I mean just imagine we’re just all putting this in our bodies so and that is why you know McDonald’s used to fry their french fries in tallow right and I’m sure and actually and I’ve always thought oh they must taste a lot better and in fact Malcom Gladwell who’s a famous writer and now does a podcast and did this episode based really entirely on my book he one of the things he did was he went to McDonald’s and he had them do some french fries in tallow and then had a taste test with everybody in the room and it was like hands-down 100 percent tastier were the tallow french fries and I hope one day I can try some Tyler french fries I just want to say something about olive oil because everybody asked me about this olive oil is a little different from a polyunsaturated seed oil because it only has one double bond so it’s a monounsaturated fat so again you think of a double bond as something that can open up and grab an oxygen oxygen and that’s oxidation which causes inflammation if you only got one double bond you’ve only got one hand out there one other oxygen where so it’s a bit more stable and in the number of the experiments where they’ve done where they’ve looked at what happens when you heat oils the most oxidation products toxic oxidation products are produced with polyunsaturated fats because they have the most bonds that can open up there’s a kind of mana olive oil that’s kind of in it in but in between range and the lowest oxidation products are of course with saturated fats which have no double bonds but monounsaturated fats are sort of in-between there and that’s why I say for salad dressings use olive oil right any any non heated application application sound like a food executive anything you’re doing to cook in the kitchen use olive oil if you’re not going to heat it don’t use any polyunsaturated fats and that includes canola oil which is maybe is a little bit of a better blend but still it’s it’s got polyunsaturated there and for cooking really just use saturated fats try to say the word lard and not feel disgusted and then buy some lard which is like fantastic to cook with I when I started cooking with lard I couldn’t get over like how flaky we don’t make pie crusts anymore but you know really wonderful it is to cook with and avoid fried food in restaurants unless you really know that they’re there you know unless you found the restaurant that cooks with tallow again and this is of course entirely in contrast to everything that your experts are telling you which is to replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fatty acids and you know I mean at this point this recommendation now really is just hanging by a thread and what they’ve done is they’ve really ignored all those randomized controlled clinical trials which are the gold standard of evidence and they’re trying to especially again coming out of Harvard like endless studies based on their epidemiological data a weaker very weak kind of data to try to support this policy recommendation so so that’s it you know these are just some pictures to show you ancient foods we can you know these are traditional fats there are lovely that they taste good and like Belinda and Gary you can even fall in love forever leading live I bet you they’re good singers too anyway thank you [Applause]