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The subject of the article says as much about the politics of science as it is a comment on the science itself. To the extent the findings have been ignored, or perhaps even shunned, is not at all unique. Many important advances in medicine had a notoriously difficult time being accepted, as an example, the idea that bacterial infection was the cause of stomach ulcers had been around for decades before gaining traction.

I think the substance of the science discussed revolves around the composition of dietary fat. As the article notes, the recommendation for increasing the proportion of "polyunsaturated" oils is likely a major factor. Indeed, common vegetable oils contain a high proportion of linoleic acid, the "base" omega-6 dietary source. It has been shown in numerous studies that the omega-6 (N-6) to omega-3 (N-3) ratio is important since these essential fats are linked to immune system functioning.

N-6 fatty acids are associated with pro-inflammatory factors, N-3 primarily leads to anti-inflammatory products. In the archaic/traditional diet, N-6 and N-3 were present in roughly equal proportion, but with marked increase in vegetable oil consumption, N-6 to N-3 becomes "imbalanced", e.g., 10:1.

Inflammatory processes are well-known to play a role in cardiovascular disease, so it's not hard to see how increased N-6 fatty acid intake is a contributor. However this info has not been a secret in the fields of obesity and metabolic disease treatment and research, where the impact of dietary fat intake has been discussed and published for more than 20 years.

Since the mid-90's I've recommended sharply reducing polyunsaturated vegetable oil intake as part of "lifestyle" changes supporting optimum health, particularly for patients with predisposition to metabolic disease. FWIW I've followed my own advice for at least as long, the results have impressed my internist who jokes that I've become quite an uninteresting case.

(Don't have references at hand. If anyone wants I'll post them.)

Edit: grammar!

Here are a few references. These are recent open access articles covering the topic fairly broadly. Tons more out there, it's a big and important area of research.

Artemis P. Simopoulos, An Increase in the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio Increases the Risk for Obesity http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808858/

Tani S1, Takahashi A, Nagao K, Hirayama A, Association of Fish Consumption-Derived Ratio of Serum n-3 to n-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Risk With the Prevalence of Coronary Artery Disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25902881

Khan SA, Ali A, Khan SA, Zahran SA, Damanhouri G, Azhar E, Qadri I, Unraveling the complex relationship triad between lipids, obesity, and inflammation. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25258478

Thanks for the insightful comment. What would be a good substitute oil for cooking?

Canola oil was bred to have a 1:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3. It's low in saturated fat too.

For all the good things people say about the fat composition of olive oil, canola oil is probably better. It also has a more neutral taste. It's all refined though, and a GMO, things which some people don't like.

The problem with Canola oil is largely due to the processing techniques (cold pressed Canola doesn't really exist), and the fact that it DOES have such a high amount of Omega 6 causes it to promote inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory diets is about the only way to survive into old age regularly, in both the length of life, and the quality of life aspects.

Non-GMO canola (and, from that, non-GMO canola oil) exists and is available on the market, as a simple Google search will readily show.

I am not a dietary scientist, but we are using either coconut fat or grape see oil for cooking.

The main reason is that these are supposed to produce less cancerogenic compounds after high temperature treatment* and they also do not leave any strong specific taste.

Both do not contain significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids, but the cooking oil probably also should not be your main source of fatty acids anyway (usually we wipe the products clean after cooking).

Perhaps somebody else could give better insight into it.

* I actually have not researched this deeply, but these oils do have relatively high smoke point https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point

Avocado Oil is the de-facto high heat cooking oil with a good fat profile (mostly monounsaturated fats).

Iirc, grape seed oil actually is pretty bad for omega 6.

Coconut oil does not appear to have a relatively high smoke point.

Avocado oil, butter, ghee, lard, beef tallow

My wife cooks entirely w/o oil. Lots of vegetable broth. As a bonus, makes washing up a lot easier.

Some people like olive oil and it does do better than vegetable oil.

If your goal is to minimize aldehydes produced in cooking coconut oil is maybe best but can affect the taste. Lard and goose far are good alternatives that for some foods can provide a better taste.


Olive oil for the pan. Don't know about baking. Apple sauce?

Olive oil burns too easily. I usually use peanut or safflower oil. Where do they fit in on this radar?

Coconut Oil is good and has a high flashpoint.

Edit: Lard and Butter also work quite well.

Also goose fat for ultimate deliciousness.

Edit: Geese might disagree but they're mean.

You've got to respect those living dinosaurs, both for their taste and their mendacity.

If you are concerned about flash point, make sure it is clarified butter (Ghee). Normal butter still has a decent amount of milk that will easily burn at lower temperatures.

Butter is tasty, but can only stand low temperatures.

What are you cooking? I mean, are we talking pan frying or deep frying?

My understanding is that peanut oil is very pro inflammatory and a bad idea to use at high heat. Butter, animal fats and coconut oil are my go to oils. But I don't deep fry.

Both involve high temperatures, so they would call for similar kinds of fats or oils. Peanut oil stands up well to high temperatures and does well in both situations. Peanut oil isn't pro-inflammatory; in fact, due to its higher saturated fat content and lower unsaturated fat content it's more like coconut oil and animal fats in that regard.

Why not refined olive oil? As I understand it olive oil is almost entirely monounsaturated which is supposed to be the "good" fat, and when refined it has minimal flavor and a higher smoke point.

Cooking spray. Still oil but reduced to a very low quantity so it almost doesn't matter, while still being useful for a lot of things in the kitchen.

Bacon grease


> the idea that bacterial infection was the cause of stomach ulcers

I would add to that "most", had a stomach ulcer, no bacteria detected in multiple tests.

Turned out my stomach produces excess acid when I'm under stress.

You are right, better to have said bacterial infection is a cause of ulcers. Actually infection instigates around 2/3 of ulcer cases. Other contributing factors include NSAIDs (like ibuprofen), stress, and certain endocrine conditions or tumors. Working out diagnosis and treatment can be complicated, so having a handle on your condition is a good thing.

I would love references!

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