Are we living in an experiment?
Instead of securing the general welfare of the people and defending and securing our rights of liberty, it seems the powers that be are more interested in poisoning us while taking away our freedoms.
It’s time to ditch the confusion and take our health into our own hands.
To help us out, Dr. Cate Shanahan returns to the show to help us look at some everyday ingredients that we would do well to remove from our diets all together, including vegetable oils.
Dr. Cate went to Cornell and is trained in Family Medicine with a background in biochemistry and genetics. She’s authored three books including The Fatburn Fix, Deep Nutrition, and Food Rules.
Dr. Cate Shanahan is also known for creating nutrition programs that include homemade bone broth for many professional sports teams including the LA Lakers.
On today’s show with Dr. Cate, we’re talking about…
- The toxic and inflammatory effects of vegetable oil
- Why peanuts may not be as bad as we thought
- The real culprit behind type 2 diabetes
- Why the questionable fat sources in our diet are changing the composition of our bodies
- What to do about the low carb flu (or the keto flu)
- How to train your body to burn body fat
- The link between vegetable oil and sugar
- And tons more…
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Cate Shanahan: Toxic & Inflammatory Effects of Vegetable Oils
Abel James: Welcome back, folks. Dr. Cate Shanahan is a board-certified family physician, and author of “Deep Nutrition.”
And her newest book The Fatburn Fix teaches people how to boost energy, curb hunger and lose weight by using body fat for fuel.
Welcome back to the show, Dr. Cate.
Thank you so much for having me back on, Abel James.
Abel: Absolutely. Obviously, we have so much to talk about. The Fatburn Fix is full of dog ears.
One of the reasons for that is because you’re talking about how toxic vegetable oils are in particular, which make up the majority of the fats that we eat in America and increasingly the world.
Yet a lot of people, especially because words are so confusing these days, think that vegetable oil might be a healthy thing.
Let’s talk about why it’s not.
Yeah. So, a vegetable oil is stuff like soy oil and canola oil, right? And these are unstable fats.
They’re unstable fatty acids. And when they’re unstable, they have a tendency to break down and promote inflammation.
And I knew they were bad for us when I wrote Deep Nutrition.
I have a whole chapter in the new edition where I talk about the inflammatory effects on the brain.
And all the different ways that they make it hard to have a healthy functioning brain.
And how much better you’re going to feel when you get them out of your life.
But even still, I really didn’t have a clue as to how much they were disrupting our metabolism on a global scale.
And so, that’s what The Fatburn Fix laid out.
Because I myself was shocked at some of the research that’s out there that nobody is talking about.
That is this humongous series of smoking guns, showing these things damage our mitochondria, they damage so many things about our metabolism.
And so, I broke the metabolism out into four different parts to explain how getting rid of vegetable oil, getting it out of your life, even if you really didn’t do much of anything else, is going to make you so much healthier and change your life.
Abel: And you don’t notice it when you’re eating it necessarily. That’s one of the most pernicious things about these vegetable oils.
They kind of sneak into organic products, healthy products. They don’t necessarily taste like they’re bad for you right away.
They don’t smell rancid necessarily.
Oh goodness, no.
Abel: And they’re used that way, because they are a kind of cheap benign filler ingredient that you can profit a lot from.
There you go.
Abel: But your body doesn’t actually recognize as food and can’t use for energy effectively.
Exactly. So, there’s an ingredient list for human body fat and vegetable oil is not on the list.
So. it’s kind of like, we are living in a humongous experiment.
We are literally living in an experiment. @DrCateShanahan Click To Tweet
Because over the past three generations, we’ve taken normal food and normal human body fat and we’ve swapped out the fats in such a way that basically now our bodies have oils in them that are from plants, plant seeds.
Humans, living humans, are made out of plant fat to a large degree. We’re supposed to be made out of human fat.
So, it almost sounds kind of like a science fiction sort of thing, “Oh okay. Well, now we have plant fat in our bodies. Okay, that’s weird.”
But what does that mean? What does it do to us?
So, I’m specifically talking about—let’s say you’re a 200 pound person, you should have about 1.5 pounds of polyunsaturated fat in your body fat, if you had a normal fatty acid profile with mostly saturated and monounsaturated fats.
Now that person who weighs 200 pounds has 15 to 20 pounds of these seed oils, these polyunsaturated fatty acids.
So, it’s at least 10 times more than we’re supposed to have, which is more than our bodies are designed to have.
And that’s the reason that when you look around you see so many people who are overweight.
Because that fact traps people in a metabolic downward spiral of worsening and worsening health.
And what happens when you do that, the result of this experiment is that people now, as we age, it’s normalized to become overweight, to become diabetic or to get hypertension.
It’s normalized to have older folks have memory problems and it’s almost normalized to get cancer.
It’s almost normalized to get cancer. @DrCateShanahan Click To Tweet
I mean, it’s like 1 in 7 women now will get breast cancer in their lifetimes.
When I was in medical school it was high, but it was less than 1 in 10. So it keeps increasing.
A Bizarre Food Experiment
So, we’re living in this bizarre experiment where nobody’s noticed, but our bodies now are made out of this totally different composition.
Because they’ve taken away the fats that were in our food. They’ve told us they were bad for us, so we don’t really look for them.
Anyway, we’re kind of glad they’re gone. We look for low-fat yogurt and low-fat sour cream.
And like, what does that even mean? Low-fat sour cream, low-fat cream?
Cream is fat.
What does that even mean? Low-fat cream? Cream is fat. @DrCateShanahan Click To Tweet
So, these are non-foods.
And it’s so hard now to find yogurt. I challenge anybody to find a flavored yogurt that is not fat-free or at least low-fat, that has full fat in it. It’s very difficult.
So, that is the way that we’ve been entered into the experiment.
And unless you’re consciously looking for these seed oils and avoiding them, you’re in the experiment.
There’s no escape for you until you get them out of your diet.
You start looking at every label, and you start accepting the reality that we do need to eat animal fats.
Or at least more of the high saturated and monounsaturated plant-based fats, which are few and far between.
So that’s a very difficult thing to do. And that’s why forever, humanity didn’t really subsist on a plant-based diet.
In too many areas of the world, we could not subsist on a plant-based diet because there were not enough of the right kinds of fats available to us.
Abel: Yeah. So, we’re all kind of already eating soylent green, just we don’t realize it because it doesn’t look like neon green schlop or whatever it was, right?
It’s built into all the restaurant foods, the packaged foods, and all the rest of it, it seems.
It kind of looks like the food that our body should be eating, but it’s not.
Exactly, it’s like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but for food.
It’s like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but for food. @DrCateShanahan Click To Tweet
All of our food has been replaced with stuff that is actually going to take over our bodies.
And that’s one of the shocking things that I discovered as I dove deeper and deeper into how that affects our metabolism.
To continue this kind of sci-fi discussion, so, we’ve had plant fats replacing the normal animal fats in our body.
And what that’s done is, it’s built this jacket of toxic body fat that we’re kind of trapped in.
And this jacket of fat is invisible to our brain, so our brain doesn’t know that we have all this weight that we’re carrying around.
And it also directs us to go to the doctor to get medications for prescriptions.
Because you get heartburn, or you get high blood sugars that dehydrate you and you need to be on all kinds of diabetes medications.
Or you get heart palpitations and somebody notices your blood pressure is high, so you get started on blood pressure medications.
That is a result of this jacket of toxic body fat made out of these wrong kinds of fatty acids.
It’s not your family history, it’s not genetics, it’s this jacket of toxic body fat.
It’s not your family history, it’s not genetics, it’s this jacket of toxic body fat. @DrCateShanahan Click To Tweet
Which also, by the way, directs you to what food to eat because it takes over your appetite.
It takes over your appetite, so that you have an unnatural and irresistible craving for foods that are going to raise your blood sugar.
That goes way beyond the normal level of what willpower can control.
We all talk about sugar being bad because it’s addicting and you can overeat it, because it’s addicting. It gives you pleasure, right?
Addicting—it’s like the hedonistic aspect of sugar lighting up the dopamine centers in our brain and giving us pleasure, so we want that again.
But what I’ve discovered is that something way more powerful is going on, and that is your brain is addicted to sugar for energy.
And that means that without enough sugar in your bloodstream, your brain starts making you angry and irritable.
And so hungry that you obsess about food, and you’ll just grab whatever’s around you, or drive through any kind of drive-through that you can see.
Even though you know this stuff is bad, even though your doctor told you you’ve got to lose weight.
Or you want to lose weight, even though you’ve already lost some weight and you don’t want to blow your diet.
At some point, that lack of energy is going to overpower your willpower.
Because it’s an inhuman thing to expect that a brain dependent on sugar, lots of sugar in the bloodstream, is going to be able to power its way through a lack of energy.
It’s an inhuman thing to expect that a brain dependent lots of sugar in the bloodstream, is going to be able to power its way through a lack of energy. @DrCateShanahan Click To Tweet
The brain cannot live, you’ll get a stroke if you don’t get enough energy. And I’m serious, you will literally get a stroke.
Some people have headaches, they have migraine headaches.
We found that people who have very bad migraines have the same kinds of little white spots showing up on MRI of their brain as people who have had multiple little tiny strokes.
It is the same pathology, because it’s not that they weren’t getting enough blood, it’s that the blood that was arriving didn’t have enough sugar.
Because their brain, which should be able to sustain on ketones or even certain fatty acids, that cannot sustain on those fuels and must have sugar.
So, that’s the craziest thing that I had to come to understand.
Now, how is that going to affect my patients?
And what it really means is that you’re really not ready to completely even eliminate carbohydrates.
So, a couple of years ago, I was like, “Oh, just go on a keto diet.”
But people will come back and they’d be like, “I don’t feel good.”
And I’d be like, “Okay, well so, something’s wrong here. Let’s figure it out.”
But I couldn’t figure it out until I came to this understanding of what’s really going on. The big picture of your metabolism.
That there’s different degrees of metabolic damage. And that’s kind of what I really came to understand.
If they’re young enough and their metabolism hasn’t taken them far enough down this road towards diabetes.
Which is where all the metabolic disease ends up as type 2 diabetes, eventually on your way, you’ll have lots of other complications, including hypertension and heartburn.
If you have gotten far enough down that road, your brain needs an abnormal amount of sugar for fuel.
And trying to just abruptly take that away is going to deplete your body’s glycogen stores very quickly, and you’re going to feel terrible.
And this is what drives the low carb flu or the keto flu in some people.
Other people have these symptoms manifest in other ways. Like, more emotionally where they just start to feel hopeless.
Or just that they’re super tired where they don’t have the typical flu aches, but they’re just like, “Oh god, I just don’t have the energy to go exercise. I know I just bought a gym membership, it’s costing me all this money, but I have only gone twice.” And they just feel physically tired.
It’s not that they have no willpower and it’s not that they’re not good exercisers, it’s that their metabolism has created a state where when you just cut your food, even if you’re not going on a low-carb diet, if you just cut your calories, that can bring your blood sugar down.
And so that gave me such incredible insight, that understanding gave me such incredible insight.
That it’s really helped me design a much, much more effective weight loss plan for all my patients.
Because I don’t tell them to cut out all their carbs. I just help them understand which kind of carbs they need if their metabolism is that damaged.
And actually, even the first thing that I do is assess how damaged is your metabolism.
Because maybe you’re young and you have a lot of weight to lose, but your metabolism isn’t that damaged.
So, you can jump into some of these other things that help you burn your body fat more quickly, but maybe you’re not.
So, that’s what the assessment is.
And I built that into, The Fatburn Fix book. So right away, everybody can understand whether or not they’re ready to burn fat right away, and cut carbs right away.
Or if there’s other things that they need to do to kind of remediate their body fat.
Because that’s almost like literally what it is, remediation is a toxicology term that when there’s a toxin in the environment, you have to remediate it.
Well, what we’re remediating is your body fat.
We’re getting that plant fat out of there from all those seed oils, we’re getting the polyunsaturated fatty acid content to come down from way too high to less high.
And as it comes down, you’re going to be more capable of actually losing weight quickly.
So, I don’t even really want people to start losing weight if they’re that metabolically damaged.
Until they’re ready to lose weight.
Abel: So, it sounds to me, vegetable oil in particular when you’re eating it—and this is kind of an over-simplification—you eat it and then it gives you dysfunctional cells that you really have to work to get out of your system.
And what these dysfunctional cells do, is they make it harder to access your stored fat.
And they make it less likely that you’re going to use fat as a fuel, even the healthy fuel that you have so that you’re more and more reliant on sugar.
But it’s not sugar that’s the only or even the most important problem there.
Yes, that is exactly correct. I like what you said about dysfunctional cells, right?
So it does, it builds up in your body fat over time.
So that over time, when you’ve eaten your last meal and now you’re going to be burning your body fat.
Because all those calories are put into storage or somewhere useful.
You release that body fat and it doesn’t give your cells the energy that they need.
So to prevent themselves from dysfunction or dying, they have to request more sugar from the bloodstream.
And so, that’s why the very first sign of a metabolic problem is hypoglycemia.
And so, hypoglycemia, maybe your listeners probably know this, but hypoglycemia literally means low blood sugar.
But it’s really not tested when most doctors diagnose it.
Like, you’ll go to the doctor and describe these symptoms that you get when you’re hungry, of headache or palpitations or shakiness.
And they’ll say, “Oh, that’s just your hypoglycemia, meaning your blood sugar just must be getting low, go eat something.”
But they never have tested their blood sugar at that time. And in my experience, their blood isn’t actually low.
It’s just that their brain has a brand new idea of what a normal blood sugar level is, which is higher than the normal human blood sugar.
And they are already down that path towards getting diabetes, because their set point for blood sugar is no longer normal.
Sugar, Fat & Type 2 Diabetes
Everybody wants to understand diabetes and avoid type 2 diabetes.
I’m only talking about type 2, right, this whole show. Not type 1, different disease.
Abel: Right, yeah, different disease.
Unfortunate that they have the same names, but they’re very different.
So, if we want to understand diabetes and treat it properly and avoid it, we have to talk about it differently.
It is not a disease of high blood sugar, it is a disease of needing too much blood sugar.
Because your body fat is not functioning and not giving you energy, and as a result of that you get insulin resistance.
And the reason that that happens is kind of tragic.
The reason that you get insulin resistance is because your brain wants a higher blood sugar level than what your pancreas is understanding its blood sugar level.
Your pancreas is still stuck with the set point you were born with, which is the proper settings of somewhere between 65 and 85 fasting.
And when trying to get it down as fast as possible after you eat something, but your brain now has this new idea.
So, your brain is hardwired to the liver to say, “Pump out more sugar for me, I need more sugar.”
“I don’t care what you’ve got to do. I don’t care if we have to pull out every last scrap of glycogen from the liver, I don’t care. Mr. Liver, if you have to.”
That’s how we should talk to our liver with respect—Mr. Liver—because it does a lot for us.
“I don’t care if you have to start converting muscle into sugar by the process of gluconeogenesis.”
But that requires breaking down protein, and the biggest store we have of that is muscle.
So, the brain is telling the liver to do this, to raise our blood sugar.
Meanwhile, the pancreas is very unhappy, because the pancreas knows that, well, maybe the brain wants a fasting blood sugar level of 90 or 95 or 100.
The pancreas is like, “This is no good, this just won’t do, I need to push out more insulin.”
And the insulin tells the liver the opposite, that “You’ve got to stop this gluconeogenesis, cut it out immediately. We got too much blood sugar. We’ve got to start building fat. We have to start turning some of that extra sugar in the bloodstream into fat.”
So, the liver is getting these conflicting messages, and because the brain is in charge, it’s literally hardwired with the biggest nerve, it wins the argument every time.
And so, the first place that a human being develops insulin resistance is in their liver.
Because the liver is being told to ignore insulin by the brain, and the poor pancreas is like, “But too much sugar is going to kill me eventually.”
And this, you know, with that down the road, that does happen.
And what happens is, by the time somebody’s had type 2 diabetes for 20, 30, 40 years, they start to get type 1 diabetes.
Because the high blood sugar level actually starts killing their beta cells, which are the cells that produce insulin. And then that person is really in trouble.
Because they are type 1 and type 2 diabetic, meaning, they don’t make insulin and they don’t respond to insulin.
And so, when you inject insulin, it goes to the liver first.
So, you have to inject these massive amounts of insulin as opposed to when the pancreas produces insulin, it goes to the whole body first.
So, it’s just that you become a person with a very short life span.
I mean, it’s really tragic, but people who are type 2 diabetic who start needing insulin, they’re in and out of the hospital, they get fluid retention, they get what looks like heart failure, it’s really just fluid overload. They start getting kidney failure.
It’s not a pretty way to live and it’s very, very difficult.
Abel: And it sounds to me like the whole western theory of aging is more damaging to our mitochondria, to the way that our system is able to regulate sugar or not, to the different organs fighting against each other.
This is a cascade of effects that comes from damage, not necessarily just getting older.
Yes, absolutely. And it’s preventable and it’s reversible to the extent that you’re not dead.
There’s a lot of it that will improve even if you’re already a type 2 diabetic, even if you’re already on insulin. A lot of people are on insulin just because they have a high carb diet.
A lot of people are on insulin just because they have a high carb diet. @DrCateShanahan Click To Tweet
But now if you are a type 2 diabetic and you have a high carb diet and you’re on insulin, you’re not somebody in my experience who’s going to do super well just with jumping right into some of these hacks like Keto diet, that’s kind of a hack, intermittent fasting.
It’s great, but it’s a hack and you might not be ready for it.
So, you might need to build your meals very perfectly in order to be able to have them keep enough sugar in your bloodstream.
You’re getting enough fat, so that your brain and the rest of your body now can use this healthy fat that your cells can actually use for fuel to last you to your next meal.
So, you don’t have to snack in between.
And so you’re not desperately hungry by your next meal that you are driven to overeat out of extreme overactive hunger.
So, that’s kind of like what my two phases of The Fatburn Fix are all about.
The first phase is broken into two parts. The first is a “baby steps” part of the first phase, and then an accelerated part of the first phase.
But both of those are designed to get you to that point where you’re ready to cut calories and then you will be ready to lose weight, like significantly.
You’ll probably lose a little bit of weight in the first phase, especially if you’re really overweight, just by cutting out snacking and starting to eat some healthy fats will naturally suppress your appetite, give you more energy.
You’ll be more active. But you’re not really ready to focus on losing weight or go for that, “I want to lose a pound a week.”
No, no, no, don’t even think that way until you are able to go between meals without being hungry, until your hunger is suppressed.
And so, that’s what the book helps you assess those things when you’re ready to move from that one prep phase, phase one to phase two.
It’s only got two phases, but the first phase has a super slow-mo phase called the baby steps phase.
That’s what people need to learn is, they need to learn, “Okay, I need to have a little bit of these carbohydrates that get into my bloodstream slowly.”
So, I cleverly call them slow digesting carbohydrates.
Because they digest slowly and they just slowly raise your blood sugar without causing a sugar spike or an insulin spike, and that’s key.
And so, that’s part of what you have to learn if you’re one of these very metabolically damaged folks that’s already got type 2 diabetes.
Sometimes even if you just have type 1 diabetes, you still need to go through that very slow-mo phase of a plan before you’re really ready to cut calories.
And I think one of the points that maybe you’ve noticed, hopefully noticed in the book was that, I want to reframe the whole weight loss argument.
Weight loss doctors, we want to please our patients, we want to give our patients that number on the scale coming down. Like, day by day if we could, or at least week by week.
But that’s the wrong thing for some people.
And we need to identify who’s ready for that and who’s not so that we can treat the people who are not ready for it in a whole different way than we have been treating them.
Food Quality, Snacking & Dirty Keto
Abel: Yeah, and well, one thing that came to mind in reading through your book is a lot of people are just like, “I’m keto.”
And that’s been going on for a few years now, and it’s like, when people say that I’m like, “What do you mean?” Because that kind of means nothing.
And then the term “dirty keto” has emerged, which makes more sense, right?
Where it’s like, you differentiate between, okay, there’s a clean way of doing this and then there’s a dirty way of doing it.
And the way that’s marketed and sold by most of the books and products and what have you, that’s dirty and it’s not real.
And it doesn’t work, mostly because it’s built on the faulty pillar of whatever fat instead of quality fat.
Huge important point. Yes, absolutely.
And the other thing that happens in the dirtier versions of keto is that they…
Again, we want to give people what they want, well, people want snacks, and they want something sweet tasting.
Both snacking and just the sweetness, the taste of the sensation of sweet itself blocks your fat burn, blocks your body’s ability to use your body fat for fuel.
And so, you need to understand that and use that in moderation if at all.
I say that there really is no such thing as a healthy snack. @DrCateShanahan Click To Tweet
If anything has calories, then you have the potential for blocking what you were doing, which is healthy.
Which is burning your body fat and just getting yourself further down that unhealthy road to diabetes.
Well, not to mention that what doctors learn is frequent small meals, right, because that will regulate your blood sugar.
I mean, didn’t we learn in medical school that your pancreas and glucagon and insulin regulate your blood sugar, and not meal frequency?
Like, there’s that massive disconnect and that’s just horrible, horrible advice.
But we learn it and we regurgitate it, because that’s what we’re told to do.
But beyond that, even just the idea of a healthy snack, right, even if you’re bored, it’s just a few calories, it’s just a handful of nuts.
You’re okay for sure, but you need to know that the fact is that you might have been burning some body fat just now, which is what you want to do.
If you want to lose weight, you cannot lose a pound if you’re not burning your body fat.
So, I don’t care if you’re burning the fat from those nuts and technically, that’s a keto thing, you are not burning your body fat and therefore you are not producing ketones.
Peanuts: Good or Bad Fat?
Abel: Yeah. Now, one thing I did want to ask you about that kind of surprised me is, peanut and peanut oil.
Those in particular have been really attacked by some people in the alternative health communities no matter which one you’re in.
Whereas in your book, peanuts are differentiated from these very toxic vegetable oils, because it’s kind of unique in a different way.
So, I would love for you just to talk about peanuts in particular, why they might be a pro or a con for various people?
Okay, so peanuts have been maligned a lot like dairy has for a variety of reasons, and some of them apply to a few people, but most of them don’t.
So, one of the reasons is that it’s a legume and people are not supposed to eat legumes. Can you tell me why?
There’s no reason. It’s just stated, well, the legumes are bad, they’ve got anti-nutrients.
Yeah, every single plant has anti-nutrients, because it doesn’t want to be eaten.
Some have more than others because they’re seeds.
But we’ve read these seeds to be more healthy, tasty, delicious and not upsetting our stomachs when we eat them. So, we’re good there.
If you’re going to cut out peanuts, you have to cut out almonds by the same logic, right?
Abel: Right, yeah.
And I don’t think anybody in their right mind would say almonds are not healthy.
So, that’s one reason. And another reason is this fungus, right?
So, Aspergillus fungus can grow on peanuts.
Aspergillus fungus can grow on every plant.
And it’s just been promoted in the literature more than anywhere else, because it was first discovered in peanut butter.
Because peanut butter is one of these products that’s stored for a long time in a nutritious form.
So, the Aspergillus fungus can continue to grow and the toxin that it produces can continue.
But it’s not unique to peanuts, it’s just that it was first discovered there. So, that’s also a non-issue.
I mean, if you’re eating junk food like, junkie peanut butter, then it’s more likely to have more Aspergillus, right?
Abel: In vegetable oil.
Yes. It’s very likely to have some kind of vegetable oil because that dilutes it down.
So, you shouldn’t be eating that if you want or if you care about your health.
So, that’s reason number two.
And then reason number three pertains to the oil part of the peanut.
Because compared to things like coconut oil and avocado and even almond oil, it has relatively more polyunsaturated fatty acids.
So, it’s kind of on the borderline right there. Honestly, it truly is on the borderline.
But the reason that I still call it good is because it’s super oily, and so it’s easy to get these fats out of the peanut.
You don’t have to do a lot of harsh heat or chemicals.
And when you don’t have to do those things, that means that the oil is pretty good to go once you’ve just extracted it.
You don’t then have to refine, bleach, and deodorize it.
And it’s the refining, bleaching, and deodorizing that can take something that would have been healthy, at least a little bit healthy—it might have still been high in PUFA—and now it’s not something that you would want to cook with or eat a lot of.
But then it becomes toxic.
It becomes something that either contains toxins or contains something that’s going to become toxic the minute you eat it.
And it starts interacting with other foods in your stomach.
So, that part of what I just talked about, like the refining, the bleaching, and then deodorizing.
That also makes the difference between the sunflower seed oil.
Sunflower seeds are healthy, but the oil that’s extracted, they generally refine, bleach, and deodorize it and…
The oil that’s extracted from the sunflower seeds, they generally have to refine, bleach, and deodorize it.
And those steps strip it of anything in there that was good, the minerals and the vitamins and antioxidants.
And they break down some of the polyunsaturated fatty acids to become toxic compounds.
And I did talk about this quite a bit in Deep Nutrition and I don’t talk about it too much in The Fatburn Fix.
But these toxic compounds are, I believe, the number one source of carcinogens.
These vegetable oils, they contain carcinogens left and right.
You do any kind of a testing on a vegetable oil or a product made with vegetable oil, and you’re going to find some of the most toxic compounds known to man in that product.
Like 4-hydroxynonenal and 4-hydroxyhexanal and Malondialdehyde.
The compounds have very long and beautiful names, if you’re into chemistry.
But the fact is that they are toxic to your cells and many of them are carcinogenic.
And they damaged DNA and should not be consumed by pregnant women or anyone wanting to conceive a child.
Abel: But they’re 80% of our fat calories in the U.S., right?
They are 80% of the average person’s fat calories, unless you’re going out of your way to avoid them, right?
And so for many people, that translates to 30% of their calories or 40%, which, I mean, that’s 40% of your calories containing massive amounts of highly toxic compounds.
And I think the problem is that there’s just so many of them.
It’s so many different toxic compounds that if you’re just looking for a given one, you’ll be like, “Oh well, I just eat a half a gram of that a day or maybe a couple of micrograms.”
But you add them all up, and you’re eating great amounts of carcinogens and that doesn’t happen in any other food.
Abel: Yeah. And it’s not like you’re gaining anything other than eating cheap or highly marked-up food.
There’s no benefit to you in eating these oils. It’s only as a cheap filler, really, to make more money for corporations.
Yes, it is. This is where I feel it’s just so important to get talking about the metabolism.
Because if your metabolism is damaged, you don’t care. You are not thinking like a rational human being.
You are thinking like a four year old baby that needs a feeding.
Abel: It’s survival mode, right?
Abel: Because your brain thinks you’re starving.
Yes, exactly. And so if you’re coming home after a long day of work and you’re driving by those golden arches, and you smell those fries.
And you’re like, “Okay, I can go home and figure out what on earth I’m going to cook, and I don’t even really like vegetables,” and then that smell…
Guess, which one is going to win? I mean, it’s no contest.
So, it’s not about willpower, it’s about fixing your metabolism.
And getting you out of that state where you’re not a four month old hungry crying infant needing its McDonald mama.
You’re a grown-up and you are looking forward to actually eating some vegetables, because now you know how to make them taste good.
And with those healthy fats, that’s the energy that you need.
Abel: Yeah, yeah. And I think a lot of people would be surprised by, especially once you get a little bit of that dysfunction out of the way, you clean up the way your body is working so that it’s a little bit more efficient of a metabolism.
How you have a completely different relationship with not only food, but your life in general.
Because you’re just less reliant on the outside world to “fuel you.”
Totally. I mean, these are the fats that make people sugar addicts, these vegetable oils.
And if you’re a sugar addict, you might think that you just have a sweet tooth.
These are the fats that make people sugar addicts.
And if you’re a sugar addict, you might think it’s just that you were raised this way, or that you just have a sweet tooth.
But it’s not that, it’s way bigger than that.
And I know because if you remember from Deep Nutrition, Abel, I wrote about how I was a serious sugar addict.
And I had a serious sweet tooth, so bad that when I was working as a doctor in North Dakota, the one highlight of my week was driving to get a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino.
Abel: Oh my god.
And only once a week because there wasn’t one within 100 miles of the town I was working in.
So, I got in my car and I drove the 100 miles to go to Fargo where there was a Starbucks.
And I stood in line praying that there was Mocha Frappuccino.
And I remember one time I went, and the lady in front of me ordered the last one.
So, my whole week was blown.
And even in spite of that, you would think that would be a flag to an adult, especially a doctor.
Like, you have a problem with sugar, Missy, if that was a highlight of your week.
And now you’re completely discombobulated, which I was, by not having it.
But no, I was in total denial of my addiction.
But that is the thing that I am relating to when my patients are telling me that they really just want something sweet.
So, I think it’s okay to do that every once in a while, if you’re in control, but you have to wean yourself off, and there’s a process to go through.
You can’t just cut it either. I’ve never seen that work.
The people that successfully cure their addiction to sweet do what I accidentally just stumbled into doing.
And that’s, you wean yourself off. You create a plan. It becomes a project.
And you are the project manager of the “cut down on your sugar and then stop eating it” project.
And that is a life-saving project that you can embark on.
Abel: Yeah, it is. And we all need to be a little bit more honest about that.
Especially during times like these, when a lot of people are going to those comfort foods and sweet foods.
Where To Find Dr. Cate Shanahan
We’re almost out of time. I really do highly recommend not only The Fatburn Fix, but Deep Nutrition as well.
Dr. Cate, what’s the best place to find you, your books and your work?
So, my website is drcate.com.
That’s the best place to go.
I’m also on social media, and from drcate.com you can get to my Facebook, my Twitter, and I’m even on Instagram and Reddit now.
Abel: Wow. Look at you go.
There’s a lot of work.
Abel: It’s a lot of work. And I’m not even a doctor on the other side, and I know it’s a lot of work.
Well, Dr. Cate, thank you so much for your work. It’s very much needed right now.
And all of you listening, please check out her work and read her books.
Before You Go…
Here’s an email that came in from Tom, who recently watched the previous episode with Dr. Cate Shanahan, which you should check out.
Tom got in touch with this question following up on that show. Tom says…
Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil. I noticed it’s in BEYOND BURGERS. Is it on your diet plan for vegetarians? Should I keep Beyond Burgers in my diet?
I used to have seriously high uric acid levels. Long story, but meatless seemed to help.
I am 6’ 4” and looking to be at 222 pounds. I got flab to torch and burn, so I will order your offer.
Loved your interview with Dr. Cate… that is how I found you today.
Hey Tom, thank you for getting in touch. I’m really glad that you kind of identified the goals that you want to reach because for a lot of people, if you don’t have that, it’s very hard to stay on track and find your groove.
And it takes long-term discipline to get there and especially to stay there.
So good on you for that and also some great questions, let’s get into it here.
A lot of people have been asking about the vegan craze, and there’s a lot of kind of vegan propaganda going around these days.
I think a lot of it is because these fake meat companies have a lot of money behind them, a lot of big investors, a lot of familiar names and faces.
But anyway, us poor meat-eaters have to fend for ourselves and watch out for each other.
So for Canola oil, stay away from the GMO stuff. We know that’s bad.
We know that the vast majority of vegetable oil out there, industrial oil is just chemical schlop. It’s not fit to be food, as you heard about on today’s show with Dr. Cate.
It’s so important to focus on healthy fats in the true sense of the word, not these ridiculous industrial vegetable and seed oils.
One of the very first videos I ever did for The Fat-Burning Man channel back in the day, almost 10 years ago now, was me driving around in my old Mercedes that was running on vegetable oil.
Like old fryer later oil, which as it turns out can be a wonderful fuel for cars.
But I explain as I’m driving around why I wouldn’t put it in my body, why I would not eat this stuff, and so if you look up how it’s made in reference to canola oil, usually the first video that’ll come up is from the TV show, How It’s Made.
And you can skip the first couple of minutes, but basically just go in and watch how canola oil and vegetable oil and seed oil are made because you see these chemical solvent washes, you see sodium hydroxide, a lot of these different substances that your food is taking a bath in.
They’re all toxic, and it’s no wonder that when we eat these things, especially as the majority of our diet, when you measure from calories or you look at restaurant oils and prepared foods, most of them are made with these extremely low-quality industrial oils.
Take a quick look at it, you’ll see how appetizing it is.
When it comes to expeller-pressed oils, some of them can kind of be alright, but me personally, I stay away from canola oil for the most part.
And I’ll get into the Beyond Burgers thing, too.
When I was a teenager, I was a vegetarian for a time, actually for years on and off—vegan, vegetarian, I tried a lot of different things.
I ate a lot of fake meat burgers—enough for a lifetime. And it made me kind of sick to be honest.
When you look at the ingredients here, I’ve got the ingredients of the Beyond Burgers plant-based burger patties. They say that they’re soy-free, gluten-free and no GMOs.
So right there, that’s better than a lot of the other veggie burgers out there, I’ll say that.
No food is perfect, 100% of the time, all foods kind of fall in this spectrum, and it’s a double-edged sword.
So let’s dig in a little bit on Beyond Burgers.
They’ve got: water, pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil…
Right there, I’ll put the product back on the shelf just because we stay away from canola and rapeseed oil.
Also in there, you’ve got cellulose from bamboo, so you’re eating some wood there.
You’ve got: natural flavors, maltodextrin, yeast extract…
Yeast extract is basically another name for MSG. MSG hijacks your brain, essentially, your neuro chemistry starts firing everything off so that you think that food tastes better than it actually does.
For a lot of people, including me, it will kick off massive cravings for the next few hours or even the next few days.
And anyone who’s had cheap fast food kind of knows that buzzy taste feeling thing in your mouth that you get with this MSG and yeast extract stuff, so be careful of that.
That can really set off later cravings for a lot of people.
You’ve got sunflower oil in there as well, which kind of sounds healthy, but as we discussed on today’s show with Dr. Cate, it’s generally not. Since they usually refine, bleach, and deodorize it, by the time it gets to your food it’s just chemical schlop.
Here’s more of the ingredients in Beyond Burgers: gum arabic, citrus extract, ascorbic acid, beet juice extract, modified food starch.
I mean, this isn’t the worst veggie burger I’ve ever seen in my life.
I’ve eaten worse when I was less educated about health and didn’t really know any better—Boca Burgers growing up.
And now you can find all sorts of different bleeding fake meat burgers all over the place.
But I stick with the real thing.
You know what? I don’t like the Fakin’ Bacon. I’ve tried that, I’ve tried the fake meat, fake egg, almost everything.
I rarely do it anymore because I just can’t stand it.
I love real duck eggs, real pastured eggs from the backyard chickens or game meats.
And we love steaks and the old school bone broth, and I love eating the weird marrow out of the bones and the stuff around the joints and the cartilage.
It turns out all of this is very ancestral, very good for us when you eat nose to tail, you can get a lot of nutrients that way.
When you’re eating fake meat Beyond Burgers, that’s just an approximation of something that is actually quite good for you.
And also just a quick word on that. It’s easy to think that when you’re only eating vegetarian or vegan, that it’s a very virtuous thing and that no animals are dying and that you’re saving a lot of animal lives.
That is true when you look at the industrial world. However, a lot of meat eaters, especially in our community, focus on the well-being of the animals.
We literally had backyard cows in New Hampshire with my family that lived with us for a while.
When you try to cut animals out of the equation, animal agriculture and all of that, you’re chopping out a huge part of the food chain.
When you think about North America and America, the amount of bison that used to be here transformed the land.
Now that they’re not here, the land is quite different.
And when you apply all these mono crops that rely on chemicals that rely on petroleum, that rely on all this chemical processing, that rely on killing off all of the pests, right, that come in and eat the crops like canola and rapeseed, for example.
Or even rice that’s being grown, or a lot of these other big crops, corn especially.
They’re killing many, many animals, insects, they’re killing foxes, they’re killing birds to make sure that you can get that cheap GMO corn in your veggie burger, or what have you. So that you can get that cheap vegetable oil that’s in your processed and restaurant food.
So it’s really the industrial anti-nature system that we should all rally against, meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike.
So anyway, I really appreciate your question about these veggie burgers because I get so many questions about this.
And I hope you enjoyed listening to this show and the other show with Dr. Cate, because she really digs into why you should not fuel primarily with these low quality, cheap industrial oils.
So how are you feeling recently? Do you want to get in touch?
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What did you think of this interview with Dr. Cate Shanahan? Drop a comment below!