Changeover in diet from animal oils/natural foods to vege oils/processed foods-matches rise in Heart Disease/Cancers
Modern-day diets high in hydrogenated vegetable oils instead of traditional animal fats are implicated in causing a significant increase in heart disease and cancer. [link to www.chelationtherapyonline.com]
"Scientists of the period(1950's) were grappling with a new threat to public health: a steep rise in heart disease. While turn-of-the-century mortality statistics are unreliable, they consistently indicate that heart disease caused no more than 10 per cent of all deaths - considerably less than infectious diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. By 1950, coronary heart disease (CHD) was the leading source of mortality in the United States, causing more than 30 per cent of all deaths.
The greatest increase came under the rubric of myocardial infarction (MI) - a massive blood clot leading to obstruction of a coronary artery and consequent death to the heart muscle. MI was almost non-existent in 1910 and caused no more than 3,000 deaths per year in 1930. By 1960, there were at least 500,000 MI deaths per year in the US. What lifestyle changes had caused this increase?
Since the early part of the century when the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) had begun to keep track of food 'disappearance' data (the amount of various foods going into the food supply), a number of researchers had noticed a change in the kind of fats Americans were eating.
Butter consumption was declining, while the use of vegetable oils, especially oils that had been hardened to resemble butter by a process called 'hydrogenation', was increasing dramatically.
The statistics pointed to one obvious conclusion: Americans should eat the traditional foods - including meat, eggs, butter and cheese - that nourished their ancestors, and avoid the newfangled, vegetable-oil-based foods that were flooding the grocers' shelves.
Judging from both food data and turn-of-the-century cookbooks, the American diet in 1900 was a rich one, with at least 35 to 40 per cent of calories coming from fats, mostly dairy fats in the form of butter, cream, whole milk, and also eggs. Salad dressing recipes usually called for egg yolks or cream; only occasionally for olive oil. Lard or tallow served for frying.
Rich dishes like head cheese and scrapple contributed additional saturated fats during an era when cancer and heart disease were rare. Butter substitutes made up only a small portion of the American diet, and these margarines were blended from coconut oil, animal tallow and lard - all rich in natural saturates.
The technology by which liquid vegetable oils could be hardened to make margarine was first discovered by a French chemist named Sabatier. He found that a nickel catalyst would cause the hydrogenation (the addition of hydrogen to unsaturated bonds to make them saturated) of ethylene gas to ethane.
Subsequently, the British chemist Norman developed the first application of hydrogenation to food oils and took out a patent. In 1909, Procter & Gamble acquired the US rights to a British patent on making liquid vegetable oils solid at room temperature.
After the Second World War, 'improvements' made it possible to plasticise highly unsaturated oils from corn and soybeans. New catalysts allowed processors to 'selectively hydrogenate' the kinds of fatty acids found in soy and canola oils - those with three double bonds.
Called 'partial hydrogenation', this new method allowed processors to replace cotton-seed oil with more unsaturated corn and soybean oils in margarines and shortenings. This spurred a meteoric rise in soybean production from virtually nothing in 1900 to 70 million tons in 1970, surpassing corn production. Today, soy oil dominates the market and is used in almost 80 per cent of all hydrogenated oils.
The unstated solution was one that could be easily presented to the public: eat natural, traditional fats; avoid newfangled foods made from vegetable oils; use butter, not margarine.
But medical research and public consciousness took a different tack - one that accelerated the decline of traditional foods like meat, eggs and butter, and fuelled continued dramatic increases in vegetable oil consumption. -------------------------------------------
Secrets of the Edible Oil Industry:
One study that was known to McGovern Committee members, but not mentioned in its final report, compared calves fed saturated fat from tallow and lard with calves fed unsaturated fat from soybean oil.
The calves fed tallow and lard did indeed show higher plasma cholesterol levels than the soybean-oil-fed calves; fat-streaking was found in their aortas, and atherosclerosis was also enhanced.
But the calves fed soybean oil showed a decline in calcium and magnesium levels in the blood, possibly due to inefficient absorption. They utilised vitamins and minerals inefficiently, showed poor growth and poor bone development, and had abnormal hearts.
More cholesterol per unit of dry matter was found in the aorta, liver, muscle, fat and coronary arteries - a finding which led the investigators to the conclusion that the lower blood cholesterol levels in the soybean-oil-fed calves may be the result of cholesterol being transferred from the blood to other tissues.
The calves in the soybean oil group collapsed when forced to move around and they were unaware of their surroundings for short periods. They also had rickets and diarrhoea.
The McGovern Committee report continued dietary trends already in progress: the increased use of vegetables oils, especially in the form of partially hydrogenated margarines and shortenings.
Enig noted a number of studies that directly contradicted the McGovern Committee's conclusions that "there is...a strong correlation between dietary fat intake and the incidence of breast cancer and colon cancer" - two of the most common cancers in America.
Enig analysed the USDA data that the McGovern Committee had used and concluded that they showed a strong positive correlation with total fat and vegetable fat and an essentially strong negative correlation or no correlation with animal fat to total cancer deaths, breast and colon cancer mortality and breast and colon cancer incidence - in other words, use of vegetable oils seemed to predispose to cancer, and animal fats seemed to protect against cancer."