Did you know that my book The Hamptons Diet was originally going to be named “The Miracle Oil Diet Book”?
I took a keen interest in fats and oils after they were demonized by the low-fat era. And I wanted to teach people that while certain sources ARE our enemies…
Other fats and oils are our friends.
Fast forward over a decade, and now we have a study that shines a particularly fascinating light on this subject…
Suggesting that a popular ingredient in the American diet is contributing to the soaring rates of ulcerative colitis (and more).
(Hint: It’s an oil.)
Cheap, easy, and dangerous
I’m talking about soybean oil.
In the U.S., consumption of soybean oil has increase more than 1,000-fold per capita during the 20th century.
Because it’s CHEAP and EASY to grow.
(We can’t grow enough avocados or macadamia nuts, two of the healthiest foods and oils, so why not support crops that put our health at risk? As long as it lines pockets… that, my dear reader, is the recipe for success in America.)
Soybean oil is 60 percent linoleic acid—a nasty pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid. So it makes sense that it has been linked to a debilitating, inflammatory condition, like ulcerative colitis.
Not to mention, the Standard American Diet (SAD) is full of processed, cheap food. Which means we’re getting as much as 10 percent of our daily “energy” (calories) from linoleic acid, when we should only be consuming one to two percent.
(No wonder soybean oil has also been linked to inflammatory bowel syndrome, obesity, and diabetes!)
And wait, it gets more fascinating…
When the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in the gut got imbalanced in a mouse study, levels of omega-3 derived endocannabinoids—which help block inflammation—dropped.
Plus, healthy bacteria, like lactobacillus, died off whereas growth of harmful bacteria, like E. coli, seemed to increase.
Strike a healthy balance
Simply put, following the SAD brings the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 to about 20:1, inflammatory to anti-inflammatory.
So, naturally, disease gets invited in.
That’s because the microbiome, or the environment in which your gut bacteria thrive, serves as the foundation to good health. And a compromised microbiome leads to a whole host of chronic diseases.
That’s why it’s essential to understand facts about fats and oils—and follow a healthy, balanced diet.
After all, the more whole (unprocessed) foods you eat, the more diverse your microbiome becomes. Enjoy grass-fed and -finished meat, pasture-raised poultry, organic produce, and certain nuts and seeds. (Macadamias and avocados top my list.)
And to really boost those beneficial, inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, take a daily fish oil supplement. Look for a product from a brand you trust that delivers 3,000 mg of both EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
“How Soybean Oil Could Lead to Gut Inflammation.” WebMD, 08/02/2023. (webmd.com/digestive-disorders/news/20230802/how-soybean-oil-could-lead-gut-inflammation)