8 Minute Read
Salt’s bad for your health, right?
No, actually. That’s categorically wrong. As long as you are not suffering from heart or kidney failure, the worst thing excessive salt can do to you is to make you thirsty. You’ve heard otherwise, of course, from your doctor or a TV chef or a dietitian. But their messaging gets the bulk of the air time because disinformation rules the day.
Well, not every day. Not Friday May 22, 2020, when one of the few in big media willing to talk about the relationship between diet and health like a grown-up, Bill Maher, invited me onto Real-Time to share some truth. (Short segment here, full audio here on stitcher, intro to my segment starts at 17:15)
Here are some of the things we discussed.
What Can You Do To Strengthen Your Immune System?
Eliminating the high-PUFA seed oils is the NUMBER ONE best thing you can do to help your immune system beat Coronavirus. Here’s why.
The virus is not what’s killing most of us under the age of 65. For the elderly, or for those who are otherwise immunocompromised, the sheer viral load can be too much for the body to deal with. But for the rest of us, the real threat is not the virus itself, but the way your body responds.
Most of the folks under 65 who have to be admitted to the ICU are there because their body fat is full of inflammation-promoting high-PUFA seed oils. In other words, if seed oils were removed from the equation, then there would be nobody under 65 in the ICU unless they’ve got a rare immune deficiency disorder or are in the middle of chemo for cancer or have something else very serious that’s going on.
What I’m talking about goes way beyond flattening the curve; the sheer volume of the curve would be reduced. If the Hateful 8 weren’t disrupting our metabolisms and forcing our immune system to produce dangerous levels of inflammation, kids are still at school, restaurants are still opened and people are still going to work.
During the interview with Bill Maher, I also made the point that everyone under 65 who had a serious case of corona also has an underlying metabolic condition–whether they know it or not. Even those thin people who’ve written articles about their experience, like Mara Gay, a reporter for the NY Times who looks glowingly healthy.
As fit and beautiful as she appears in the NY Times piece, I’m certain her metabolism is not in good shape. Your metabolism has to be very damaged indeed for it to cause visible signs of poor health. But it doesn’t have to be particularly damaged for it to fail you when the time comes for your immune system to rise to the challenges involved in what may be the ultimate metabolic test: fending off potentially deadly infections.
I’m so sure that seed oils are the underlying cause of metabolic disruption that I’m calling for a challenge. Show me a single person under 65 without a serious underlying disease or immune deficiency who ended up in the ICU who had been categorically avoiding vegetable oils for the prior 5 years and you’ve proven me wrong.
Keep in mind, I’m not just talking about avoiding trans fats from hydrogenated oils, which a lot of people think are the only bad fats to pay attention to. I’m talking any of the Hateful 8, hydrogenated or not.
Your Immune System Needs You to Be Metabolically Fit
Doctors are so poorly trained in metabolic disease that most can’t begin to appreciate how powerful the wrong dietary advice they typically dish out is disrupting your health. We tell you to avoid saturated fat and when you do you’re going to end up eating unhealthy amounts of PUFA. And so most doctors unknowingly give out nutritional advice that only makes people sicker. When our dietary advice fails to help our patients, we sometimes avoid the subject altogether by ignoring abnormal lab results and telling you “all your tests came back normal.”
That’s my best explanation for why half the adults in this country with metabolic conditions like fatty liver and prediabetes aren’t told they have the condition, and therefore don’t have any reason to believe they’re at risk for additional complications of metabolic diseases or at risk of suffering from serious infections.
Many other common conditions are also metabolic. For example, if you’re a person who suffers from frequent migraines, seasonal allergies, occasional asthma, you almost certainly have an unhealthy metabolism. These seemingly minor underlying conditions are enough to make a viral pneumonia potentially life threatening.
It’s not that migraines or allergies disrupt your metabolism. It’s that the underlying condition that causes migraines, allergies, and many other seemingly unrelated metabolic illnesses, is too much PUFA in your body fat.
Learn about your body’s metabolism un my latest book, The FATBURN Fix. In part two of the book I explain that a healthy metabolism is not fast, it’s efficient, and teach you how to assess the health of your body’s four main metabolic systems.
Most people in the ICU are not eating, and that’s when these seed oils are going to be released from your body fat–during fasting. When released into the bloodstream these PUFAs interact with enzymes that are part of your virus-fighting, immune-response team. Their function is to promote inflammation, in fact, that’s one of the key reasons a healthy diet includes about 2-4% PUFA . But the problem is, on a modern diet with 10-20X the normal amount of PUFA, our body fat releases 10-20X more PUFA into the bloodstream and we get 10-20X more inflammation than we can need.
That insanely high level of inflammatory chemicals in our bloodstream, lungs and other tissues causes metabolic pandemonium. We start drowning in our own fluids and can’t oxygenate our blood. Inside our arteries and veins, the platelets that are supposed to form clots only in response to cuts instead start clotting randomly inside uninjured vessels, causing neurological problems, heart attacks and strokes. Our immune system starts mounting attacks on innocent bystander proteins, like those in our blood vessel walls, causing rashes that are the hallmark of the new Kawasaki-like, life-threatening COVID-19 complication in children and young adults.
Four Steps to Start Eliminating Seed oils From Your Body Fat TODAY
- Make your own salad dressing. Even if you buy your organic, GMO free dressing at Trader Joes or Whole Foods, chances are it’s made from one of the hateful eight oils. This applies even if the front of the bottle says made with olive oil. You always need to read the ingredients. So take a snapshot of this hateful 8 and keep it on your phone. Or better yet, use this one that gives a little more detail.
- Take a good look at the ingredients in what you eat. Scan anything with an ingredients list for one of the members of the Hateful 8 clan. If you want alternatives, here’s a shopping guide to finding vegetable oil free products available in some of the most common grocery stores in the USA.
- Support restaurants that refuse to use the Hateful 8. There are numerous excuses you will hear why a restaurant doesn’t use olive oil or another healthy, traditional fat. Canola is heart-healthy. We use soy instead of peanut because of peanut allergies. It’s a neutral taste that people prefer. It’s got a high smoke point. Those excuses are the best marker I know of for a chef who has lost his passion. Whenever we’ve found a chef that proudly tells you he only uses olive oil and butter, or any of the good fats, we’ve also found the food coming out of the kitchen to be absolutely the best.
- Find out how much vegetable oil is in your body fat. While there’s no direct test other than doing a subcutaneous fat biopsy and sending it to a lab for a full analysis, which you can’t do unless your part of a research study, you can get a decent idea of how your body fat is impacting your metabolism by finding out if you are insulin resistant. Ask your doctor for a HOMA-IR test. If he doesn’t know what it is, ask if he’ll order a fasting glucose and fasting insulin level. Then plug your numbers into this calculator
Check out references supporting the above graph as well as the connection between PUFA intake and ARDS (a deadly inflammatory complication of pneumonia) and more on the PUFA-driven disease problem here: https://bit.ly/PUFAproject
Other doctors to follow: