Thursday, July 21, 2011

Caution: certain vegetable oils may be harmful when heated

One of the assertions made in the Mathisen Corollary book and throughout this blog is that it appears not only possible but very likely that the widely held beliefs about the geology of the earth (including the tectonic theory) and the history of ancient mankind are completely incorrect.

Many readers may ask themselves, "Is it really possible that so many people, including so many well-trained academicians and researchers, could be wrong?" In light of the implications for Darwinism, some readers have also asked, "Hasn't Darwinism been proven?" -- in other words, isn't the evidence that has led to the conventional theories so strong and so abundant that the theories can be considered fact for all practical purposes?

Some of these arguments are addressed in the dialogue found in the new introduction to the book. Additionally, we have made the analogy to the conventional wisdom which argues that fat and cholesterol are bad for us, a theory that is so widely accepted and which is supported by so many academicians, scientists, and government officials and bureaus that it seems beyond question (see this and this previous post). Those who examine the research that launched the conventional view that fat and cholesterol are harmful might reasonably expect to be asked quite often, "Hasn't the connection between lipids and heart disease and other deadly problems been proven?"

The answer to this question, just as to the question of whether theories about tectonics, Darwinism, or the timeline of mankind's ancient past have been proven beyond the point of reasonable doubt or criticism, is: "Not hardly."

Before revisiting the apparently tangential topic of whether the food advice we have been getting from our government and our schools for fifty years may be not only wrong but harmful, let us first examine a quotation from John Anthony West's magnificent exposition of the theory of R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz, Serpent in the Sky, a work whose importance was briefly discussed in this recent post.

As part of his larger discussion about the fact that we live in a universe composed of energy and wavelengths, which interact with the human body and which have resonances and harmonies at various wavelengths, resonances and harmonies which the ancient Egyptians appear to have perceived and understood to a very advanced degree, Mr. West writes:
Since Einstein's relativity theory it has been known and accepted that matter is a form of energy, a coagulation or condensation of energy. One consequence of this is that, for scientists at any rate, materialism has been a provisionally impossible philosophy, a fact which has done nothing to prevent most scientists from professing it. 120.
While it does not address the lipid hypothesis which alleges a harmful correlation between consumption of fat and cholesterol and circulatory health, Mr. West's book does explore the evidence that the ancient Egyptians possessed a very advanced medical knowledge, as well as the belief expressed by ancient writers that the Egyptians were the healthiest people in the ancient world (137 - 138). It should be clear, however, from the quotation above that the food we eat contains the energy that is transferred to us, energy that is stored in the grapes or the tomatoes or the grains or the animals that we eventually eat, and that paying attention to this connection between matter and energy may be important in all areas of human endeavor, including health and diet.

It is very interesting, then, to note the arguments found in the excellent 1999 book Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, by Sally Fallon. There, the author notes that the theory, called the lipid hypothesis, of "a direct relationship between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and the incidence of coronary heart disease" may rest on very questionable interpretation of the data, beginning with the foundational work of Ancel Keys in the 1950s and continuing through the present day (4).

She notes numerous reasons to doubt this hypothesis, including the fact that coronary heart disease was very rare in America before 1920 and the replacement of the consumption of traditional animal fat with the consumption of dietary vegetable oils in the form of margarine and refined oils, as well as sugar, or the fact that studies of Yemenite Jews who moved to Israel and replaced diets that once consisted of fats solely from animal origin with diets containing margarine and vegetable oil (and lots of sugar) showed little evidence of heart disease and diabetes among those on the old diet but high levels of both diseases among those on the new regime (5-6).

She says, "Politically correct dietary gurus tell us that polyunsaturated oils are good for us and that saturated fats cause cancer and heart disease. Such misinformation about the relative virtues of saturated fats versus polyunsaturated oils has caused profound changes in western eating habits" (10). Polyunsaturated fatty acids remain liquid even when refrigerated, and are found in many vegetable oils from northern climates, such as those derived from canola, safflower, corn, or soy. She then argues that:
One reason the polyunsaturates cause so many health problems is that they tend to become oxidized or rancid when subjected to heat, oxygen and moisture as in cooking and processing. Rancid oils are characterized by free radicals -- that is, single atoms or clusters with an unpaired electron in an outer orbit. These compounds are extremely reactive chemically. [. . .] Is it any wonder that tests and studies have repeatedly shown a high correlation between cancer and heart disease with the consumption of polyunsaturates? New evidence links exposure to free radicals with premature aging, with autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and with Parkinson's disease, Lou Gherig's disease, Alzheimer's and cataracts. 10.
In other words, it appears that adding certain levels of energy (through heating) to some types of foods, especially those containing polyunsaturated fatty acids (which our body needs and which are beneficial in some forms), can change their energy into harmful energy, a change which takes place at the molecular level and involves the pairing or lack of pairing of electrons. The observation of John West about the importance of the connection between matter and energy appears to be extremely relevant to what we eat.

With all of the evidence available that appears to contradict the lipid hypothesis, it is somewhat amazing that more people do not begin to question what they are taught about diet, and that so many people believe that the dietary advice dispensed by schools, governments, and doctors rests on theories that have "been proven" and are therefore beyond question.

Perhaps more people should adopt the attitude that it is important to examine the evidence for themselves, at least when it comes to matters as important as healthy eating, Darwinism, tectonics, and the history of mankind's ancient past.