A cautionary, fascinating tale of how so-called 'heart healthy' seed oils can make us sick
On this episode of The Big Middle, the compelling case against seed and vegetable oils still being touted as ‘heart-healthy’. Those bottles of chemically-extracted fat that take up entire aisles of grocery stores are increasingly seen as hazardous to our health – key drivers of autoimmunity, macular degeneration and the modern plague of lifestyle diseases known as metabolic syndrome.
Even the major makers of soybean, sunflower, corn and other seed and vegetable oils are quietly backing away from them, well aware of the biological damage they can do.
Tucker Goodrich has been sounding the alarm over the health risks of seed oils for more than a decade. He suffered 20 years of gastrointestinal torment and much – scary – more that mystified his doctors. So he dug into the medical science himself, eventually pinpointing industrial seed oils as a villain in his sickness puzzle.
Tucker’s become a recognised world authority on the subject and I guarantee his Patient Heal Thyself story will blow your mind.
“The problem with seed oils is they ultimately break down to some highly toxic substances [oxidative stress process] – both when you’re cooking with them – and in the body.”
On debunking of key studies promoting the ‘heart healthy’ aspect of seed oils: “Is there another explanation for why we get heart disease other than this pathway that starts with seed oils and leads to oxidation of Omega 6 fats and consequent damage? There isn’t. This is the predominant hypothesis in cardiovascular disease for why this is happening. But they don’t say it. They just say take this statin and you’ll have less LDL [cholesterol].”
On how ditching gluten and seed oils, decades after he quit sugar to prevent more cavities, caused him to “forget” to eat carbs: “All my extra weight just fell off…my pants fell to the floor…What happened when I stopped eating seed oils is that I lost my desire to eat carbohydrates. I forgot to eat carbs for a week…Subsequently, I discovered I can bring back the stroke-like symptoms if I eat whole wheat.”
On how he’d been prone to breaking bones doing “stupid things” mountain biking and skiing, but broke none after ditching seed oils and gluten: “I’m like a rubber ball now…My healing capacity is up enormously…slipped and fell down the stairs of my ski condo.. later, I noticed a huge bruise ..but I just never felt it. It got weird enough that I was starting to look into whether I had leprosy. One of the symptoms of leprosy is that you can’t feel your periphery.”
“It turns out there’s literature on this. These metabolic products of seed oils break down into things that can induce pain. There’s actually a fellow by the name of Christopher Ramsden who did a study into reducing the use of seed oils to reduce headaches.”
On taking over-the-counter Omega 3, 6, 9 supplements: “It’s roughly equivalent to giving a drowning man a glass of water. We eat too much Omega 6 fats. Nobody needs to have more. Just as with age-related macular degeneration, cutting Omega 6 fats will make it easier for your body to access the more beneficial Omega 3 fats.”
You’ll also hear
- How his Wall Street systems expertise, combined with his speed reading ability, helped him troubleshoot his many health problems
- How neuroscience + obesity researcher Stephan Guyenet’s work made the link between diet and dental problems
- Years of chronic diarrhea forced him to pack toilet paper wherever he went
- At 40, after 16 years with IBS, he had surgery for diverticulitis
- Dust, hay fever and other allergies disappeared when he quit seed oils and gluten
- Women in China who never smoked are getting lung cancer from inhaling carcinogenic fumes from cooking with seed oils
- The industry is reformulating seed oils to deal with the Omega 6 oxidation problem. Rapeseed and olive oil have fewer omega 6 fats, which are so unstable that they burst into flames when heated
- The surprising link to sunburn – you don’t burn when you quit ingesting industrial seed oils
- Skincare products made of seed oils don’t pose problems, as far as he knows, but “you want to eat your skin care, you don’t want to slather it on your skin”
- How Tucker’s fiancé stopped using seed oils, added animal protein to her vegetarian diet, and recovered from Fibromyalgia
- What fats are healthy to eat and cook with? Beware olive oils are frequently adulterated with seed oils. A jar of olive oil lasts him about a year.
- His unbreakable rules to optimise his health
Please consider the information in this episode as only that; it should not be construed as medical advice. Go to your GP or family doctor for that.
- Tucker’s blog ‘Yelling Stop’ – loads of interesting articles about seed oils, healthy living and barefoot running
- Tucker on Twitter
- Neuroscientist Stephan Guyenet‘s website
- Want even deeper science on toxic seed oils? Here’s Tucker with Dr Cate Shanahan on the Peak Human podcast
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- Hosted + produced by Susan Flory
- Music: “Beautiful Day” by Sahin Koc