This past spring I successfully enrolled in an online college. This is an enormous accomplishment for me, as I took it slow, one class at a time. Now that the summer has passed, I am starting courses again, this time with two classes. I am not sure how well this would go, but I am constantly pushing myself and believe God will certainly help me tackle the classes. The last paper I had to write in the spring for my english composition class was a concise academic paper, of which I chose to write on why humans need to avoid refined vegetable oils, with the solution of consuming more saturated fats. Overall, I am happy to say I received an A, and thought why not share it with you all, as the subject fits perfectly with Beyond the Bite. You can view my past posts on “fat phobia” here in parts 1,2, and 3, and the paper I wrote divided into the sections below.
Refined vegetable oils are very harmful to the health of human beings. Due to their polyunsaturated chemical structure, they are extremely prone to damage. This causes inevitable oxidation when processed which damages the human body at a cellular level. In turn, deranged cells set the stage for a wide variety of health complications. Therefore, in order to avoid damaged fat, cellular degradation, and disease, individuals need to avoid all forms of vegetable oil, instead replacing them with health promoting saturated fats.
The chemical structure of vegetable oils is polyunsaturated, thus causing them to be significantly fragile and very easily damaged. The use of vegetable oils began in the 1900’s with Crisco, a popular trans fat that was later banned by the FDA in 2013, due to being linked to to heart disease, cancer, and infertility (Wolfe, 2014, p. 67). However, the use of refined vegetable oils, including canola, peanut, cottonseed, and corn continued, simultaneously degrading human health. The issue stems from their fatty acid chain of carbon and hydrogen atoms which have two or more insecure links (Fallon and Enig, 2000). In turn, this causes the chemical makeup of the oils to be very reactive, with a structure that is inevitably damaged when exposed to even the smallest amount of light, heat, and oxygen (Wolfe, 2014, p. 70). Yet these elements are impossible to avoid through the lengthy refining process of high heat, chemical extraction, removal of impurities through deodorization, toxic solvent treatments, bleaching, and degumming, all of which is needed to make vegetable oils fit for selling (2014, p. 67). Not only does this result in rancid oil void of nutrition, but due to the large amount of reactive free radicals, consuming them “[triggers] mutations in tissue, blood vessels and skin,” while also causing the buildup of plaque in arteries, tumors, as well as premature aging, and even autoimmune disease (Fallon and Enig, 2000). Overall, refined vegetable oils have been shown to spike inflammation throughout the body, causing an increase for heart attacks, heart disease, insulin resistance, obesity, and even damage to DNA, which in turn can set the stage for a variety of cancers (Wolfe, 2014, p. 70).
There is a solution to avoiding the health conditions caused by refined vegetable oils, and that is through the consumption of saturated fats. Unlike vegetable oils, saturated fats are fully secure in their carbon hydrogen bonds, causing them to be very stable, therefore unable to be damaged when exposed to heat, oxygen, or light (Fallon and Enig, 2000). The most common sources of saturated fats come from animals, including red meat and animal fat, eggs yolks, high fat butter and other dairy products, as well as coconut oil. The sources themselves create an extra barrier against damage, as the antioxidants by the plant or animal itself are passed down to the end product (Wolfe, 2014, pp. 68-69). When saturated fats are eaten, they are directly supporting the human body at a cellular level, therefore proving to be a very integrated part of how one’s body functions (Fallon and Enig, 2000). This is due to the fact that 50% of cell membranes are made up of saturated fat, which are the building blocks of the human body (2000). Due to this significant, health promoting role that saturated fats have in the body at a cellular level, they are inevitably a key component of many biological processes, including the regulation of hormones and appetite. They have also been shown to be vital in allowing calcium to be absorbed into bones (2000, The Skinny on Fats). Saturated fats are also important in keeping a healthy GI tract, immune and reproductive system, skin, eyes, emotions, and heart (2000; Wolfe, 2014, p.74). Not only do they promote cell health, they are also full of fat-soluble nutrients, including vitamins K2, A, and D, all of which are only absorbed properly by the body when eaten from the fat sources themselves (Wolfe, 2014, p. 74).
Unlike popular belief, there has never been a study proving a direct link between saturated fat intake and heart disease, high cholesterol, or arterial plaque (2014, p. 37). According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, out of the 350,000 participants that they used to prove saturated fats were linked to heart disease, “no significant evidence was found” (as cited in Wolfe, 2014, p. 62). In a 2011, systemic review released by the Cochrane collaboration, out of all of the “[combined] data from numerous randomized controlled trials,” saturated fats proved to have “no effect on death or death from heart disease” (as cited on Authority Nutrition, n.d., Does Saturated Fat Cause Heart Disease). Instead, figures show that when refined vegetable oil intake increased, and saturated fats decreased through the years 1980-2008, obesity in the United States doubled, and even quadrupled in terms of “extreme obesity” (Wolfe, 2014, p. 43). However, when intake of saturated fats is sufficient, the body is supported as inflammation decreases.
Overall, the health of many human beings has been degraded by the consumption of refined vegetable oils due to their altered structure, thus being unhealthy at a cellular level and causing a wide range of health complications. In order to avoid widespread inflammation throughout the body, saturated fats should be eaten instead, as they have never been proven to be harmful to the body, while instead, supporting the body on many levels, including the heart and cellular function.
Authority Nutrition. (n.d.). Saturated Fat: Good or Bad? Retrieved from
Fallon, Sally, Enig, G. Mary. (2000, January 1). The Skinny on Fats. Retrieved from
NTP, Wolfe, Liz. (2014). Eat the Yolks: Discover Paleo, Fight Food Lies, and Reclaim Your Health. Las Vegas: Victory Belt Publishing, Inc.
Psalms 119:15-16 “I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.”