Report on the launch of the second edition of “Healthy Eating: The Big Mistake”.

The second edition of “Healthy Eating: The Big Mistake” was launched at a special event held at The Elsworth Mill on Friday 10th May.

The author, Verner Wheelock explained how a major policy initiative by the UK Government in the 1980s advised the population to limit their intake of saturated fats (SFA) and to increase the consumption of the polyunsaturated fats (PUFA).

The main sources of SFAs are animal fats such as beef dripping and lard. Coconut oil also has a high content of SFAs. For the PUFAs, the primary sources are the “vegetable oils”, especially those prepared from seeds such cottonseed, sunflower, safflower, maize, and soya bean.

The rationale was that the cholesterol in the blood was a risk factor for heart disease. Both these measures would result in a reduction in cholesterol. This was based on the “belief” that the SFAs would increase cholesterol and that the PUFAs would lower it.

By the beginning of the 2ist century, the SFAs had fallen by over 25%. and primarily replaced by PUFAs.

The “Big Mistake” is that the “cholesterol theory” is nonsense!

Believe it or not, the concentration of cholesterol in the blood is not a valid risk factor for heart disease or anything else.

The reality is that governments, healthcare professionals, and the pharmaceutical industry have been operating on a false prospectus for at least half a century.

This emerged from the results of a large-scale investigation conducted by Dr Ancel Keys, an extremely powerful and influential epidemiologist in the USA. Using volunteers from many different countries, the intake of food was assessed, and the concentration of various blood constituents determined.

Dr Keys claimed that his studies provided convincing evidence that the blood cholesterol concentration was a reliable estimate of the risk of heart disease. Therefore, it followed that reducing the cholesterol level would lower the risk of developing heart disease.

A subsequent evaluation established that Dr Keys and his co-workers manipulated the data by “cherry-picking” the results that complied with their pre-determined misconceptions.

In addition, there were various other inconsistencies that have been described in “The Big Mistake”.

The only way to check the validity of the cholesterol theory is to take a large cohort of people, monitor their cholesterol and record the time of death. It so happens that such a study was done in Norway, which involved over 50,000 participants.

The results showed that those with low values for their blood cholesterol had the highest death rates.

 Yes, you read that correctly. This is totally staggering. For women if you are aged 60 or more those with a low cholesterol have death rate that is about double that of those with high values.

In other words, any justification for lowering cholesterol was blown out of the water. In fact, there is a real possibility that it does more harm than good!

It follows that there is absolutely no genuine reason to avoid foods with a high content of SFAs such as butter or cheese. These have been consumed for generations without any obvious problems.

Similarly, it follows that there is no benefit in consuming excessive quantities of PUFAs. This is because they break down very readily to produce compounds, which are toxic to humans, and accumulate in the body with disastrous consequences.

During the extraction, the seeds are subject to very severe conditions, which include:

  • Heating to extremely high temperatures
  • Treatment with a petroleum-based solvent to maximise the amount extracted
  • Addition of chemicals to de-odourise
  • Addition of chemicals to improve colour.

The net effect of these processes is to produce a range of toxic compounds, which effectively contaminate the oils that finish up on the supermarket shelves.

If the oils are used in restaurants or in the home during cooking, then even more toxins are produced.

When the quantities are small the body can easily cope. However, over the last 50 years or so, the amount of omega-6 fats in the food supply has increased substantially. These seed oils are extensively used in the manufacture of processed foods.

The toxins build up in the body over time. Those who consume high quantities from an early age are likely to develop diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Acute Macular Degeneration, Chronic Kidney Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and Parkinson’s Disease at a relatively young age. Almost certainly, this is why the incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease has increased in the over 80s from 2% in the 1960s to over 50% today.

In Japan, the consumption of vegetable oils increased from 27 to 351 calories /day during the second half of the 20th Century. During this period, the incidence of Type 2 Diabetes increased from 0.02 to 6.9% even though the consumption of carbohydrates decreased. For breast cancer there was an almost 5-fold increase between 1975 and 1999. Acute Macular Degeneration in those aged over 40 increased from 0.2% in 1970 to 11.4% in 2007.

Professor Martin Grootveld of De Montford University has explained it all very neatly as follows:

“A typical meal of fish and chips fried in vegetable oil contains 100 to 200 times more toxic aldehydes than the safe daily limit set by the World Health Organisation. In contrast, heating up butter, olive oil, and lard produced much lower levels of aldehydes. Coconut butter produced the lowest levels of harmful chemicals.”

“For decades, the authorities have been warning us how bad butter and lard was. But we have found butter is very, very good for frying purposes and so is lard. People have been telling us how healthy polyunsaturates are in corn oil and sunflower oil. But when you start messing around with them, subjecting them to high amounts of energy in the frying pan or oven, they undergo a complex series of chemical reactions which results in the accumulation of large amounts of toxic compounds.”