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Hateful Eight Oils

The Hateful Eight: Enemy Fats That Destroy Your Health

8 Minute Read

Every day you probably hear health and diet information delivered as gospel by doctors and scientists from the most respected institutions in the country. The rules of the media game typically require that the experts brought into the spotlight will be parroting the same information you’ve already heard thousand of times before.


But Bill Maher isn’t afraid of rocking the boat. On 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)


Dr Cate Shanahan Talks Toxic Fats (Hateful 8 Seed Oils) on Real Time With Bill Maher
Dr Cate Shanahan Talks Toxic Fats (Hateful 8 Seed Oils) on Real Time With Bill Maher (View Clip HERE)

Here are some of the things we discussed.

Most Folks Don’t Know They’re Eating Seed Oils

The average American gets 80% of their fat calories from seed oils, which are high in unstable fatty acids that break down into toxins when you cook with them and when you eat them for years and years. This problem is pushed under the rug and nobody is talking about it. The American Heart Association wants to keep it that way.

Seed oil Weaken 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.



Type 2 diabetes wasn’t recognized and probably didn’t exist before we started eating seed oils. Most metabolic disease is also related to excessive seed oil consumption. This discovery is the reason I started writing The FATBURN Fix.

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.


Many common chronic diseases and habits are driven by an underlying metabolic disorder, which itself is driven by having body fat full of pro-inflammatory PUFA
Many common chronic diseases and habits are driven by an underlying metabolic disorder, which itself is driven by having body fat full of pro-inflammatory PUFA


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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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


Further Reading

PUFA-Project: Scientific References on Seed Oil Toxicity


Are Products with Soy Lecithin Safe to Eat? (Like Chocolate & Ice Cream)



List of Good Fats and Oils versus Bad



Can HDL Over 60 Protect You From Coronavirus?

Hidden Metabolic Disorders Allow COVID-19 to Kill “Healthy” People

Other doctors to follow:






Related TWEETS

Dr Cate on Bill Maher (short segment)

Virus is taking advantage of our pro-inflammatory high-PUFA diet by activating genes to trigger out of control inflammation

And a response to my friend the Great and Powerful Dr Oh’s question

Dr. Cate

With over two decades of clinical experience and expertise in genetic and biochemical research, Dr. Cate can help you to reverse metabolic disease and reshape your body.

This Post Has 192 Comments

  1. Had switched to peanut oil some time ago and was amazed at just how much more digestible it seemed. Have put oil on pasta forever only to discover the peanut oil was not “heavy”! In the stomach as corn or soy seemed to be. Likely consumed two or three gallons the first year and that has dropped by half in the second year as you feel better and want less somehow. Household consumption not personal. Btw.

  2. I am a very young 63 year old. I am vegetarian and participate in just about any and all healthy nutrition regimes. Here is my pet peeve, why is it almost impossible to find any (and I mean any) product in a Whole Foods, Sprouts, Natural Grocers or any other advertised food source market without every single ingredient list containing, Soy, Canola Oil and various seed Oils such as Sunflower seed. It is so frustrating!! 🙁 🙁 🙁

  3. Hi Cate! Have you done any research into how these oils effect animal health? When all these warnings came out about grain-free dog food potentially causing heart health issues, veterinarian cardiologists suspected that it was due to the legumes that often replaced the grains in these suspected grain-free formulas. When you look at the ingredients of most manufactured dog food and dog treats, you’ll find that they include at least one of these seed oils though. Could this be the culprit behind the rise in dogs suffering from heart health problems?

  4. Hi Dr. Cate, How do I rid my body of excessive bad oils that I have? I have been following your eating recommendations in Deep Nutrition. Would fasting help eliminate them?

  5. Hi. Thanks for all the info. Confused about a few things. I’ve been making bread from baking golden linseed flour (done with vitamix) at 180 centigrade in oven with salt and water as an alternative to grain bread. Is this problematic? Also, what about making one’s own nut milk by blending nuts in vitamix then heating it in pan? And I would be extremely grateful for thoughts on nut butters and if the way they are made leads to dangerous oxididation. Many many thanks.

  6. Would you say that skincare products that contain sunflower seed oil are still to pose a threat to the immune system? I know that our skin absorbs what we put on it, so I would assume so. However, I’ve also read that only oils that are heated at such a high temperature are when it really gets bad and releases all the toxins into your body.

  7. I’m curious about how all this info ties into Dry Roasted Nuts. Does this process change the fats considerably? Do you recommend avoiding and sticking to raw nuts? They just aren’t as crunchy, so not really my preference.

  8. Hi – Can you suggest any healthy alternatives to natural nut butters? My son is starting school and I can not send any products with any nuts. The only options I can think of are sunflower seed or pumpkin seed butters. I assume sunflower is no good, what about pumpkin? I’m at a big loss as it seems like removing nuts as an option (while I completely understand the need) removes a quick and easy nutritional options for protein and fats that my son will actually eat.

  9. My friend, Paul, wanted me to check with you on what I wrote him about a protein drink I found being sold at Costco called Orgain:

    Paul, I googled the ingredient, organic high oleic sunflower oil, in my new protein drink (Orgain). Below, in sentence #1, you can see that it might be good for me. Sentences #2-4 deal with sunflower oil that is NOT high oleic, which is most probably what concerned you.

    1.Some studies suggest that consuming high oleic sunflower oil, especially in place of saturated fats, may help reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and raising HDL (good) cholesterol.Mar 3, 2020

    2.Varieties of sunflower oil that are not high oleic contain more linoleic acid, also known as omega-6.
    3.Mid-oleic (NuSun) sunflower oil, one of the most commonly used varieties in the United States, comprises 15–35% linoleic acid.
    4.Even though omega-6 is an essential fatty acid that humans need to obtain from their diet, there are concerns that consuming too much of it can lead to inflammation in the body and related health issues (15Trusted Source).

    The other sunflower ingredient in my drink is: Sunflower Lecithin. I googled it and here’s what I found:

    Sunflower lecithin is rich in choline and other essential fatty acids such as phosphatidylinositol, and some people take it as a supplement. Lecithin supplements have been shown to help with acne and improving liver function.May 8, 2017
    So, in conclusion, I think it’s a healthy drink, especially since I’m only drinking half a bottle a day.

  10. There’s two good reasons I don’t recommend omega-3 supplementation. 1) Most are deteriorated and will therefore contain toxins and 2) cutting out the hateful 8 without adding any more omega-3 will raise your body’s omega-3.

  11. I saw your list of suggested supplements, but I did not see Omega 3. A friend of mine takes hemp seed oil and says it is higher in Omega 3 than fish oil. He says it fixed his crepe skin too. I would like your thoughts on Omega 3 and hemp seed oil. Thank you.

  12. How about supplements such as my Vitamin D which lists soybean oil and corn oil under other ingredients? I work nights so getting enough natural sunlight is not practical. What about soy or sunflower lecithin as the last ingredient in my egg and isolated soy protein powders? Thanks

  13. None whatsoever. She’s a quack.

    Her ‘I’ve read some articles’ line reminds me of Jared Kushner, who ‘read over twenty books’ before coming up with his boneheaded Israel solution.

    I’m willing to bet she’s lying about being a doctor as well.

  14. ‘No’. Because you’re not a real scientist. You’re just making up pseudoscience to sell books, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself, you money-grubbing quack.

  15. You should be ashamed of yourself for spreading this fearmongering twaddle. Trying to profit from a pandemic is deeply sick. How is this misinformation not illegal?

    This entire ‘article’ is just straight up lies.

  16. Hi Thomas, no and here’s the page I’ve provided slightly more detail on… Scroll down to the FAQ section heading “What about skin products made with seed oils?
    ” and of course if you have further questions, please post on that page

  17. I am a massage therapist and I use safflower oil and sunflower oil topically on clients skin for moisturizing skin benefits. Is this a problem as with ingesting these oils?

  18. Not a big fan. They say “Highest level of monounsaturated fats and 75% less saturated fat than olive oil and avocado oil* the fact they think less saturated fat is a good thing indicates they don’t really understand the chemistry. They also say “Light, neutral taste lets the flavor of your food shine through” neutral taste means its refined, as does the high smoke point. Refining strips away nutrients, but who knows if there ever were any since we’re talking about algae, pond scum Franken food. Ever see the movie Soilent Green?

  19. I agree with Ralph, on the product is garbage question and on regenerative ranching, which offers ecological, sociological, economic and spiritual benefits.

  20. Good, in general. The better the animal is treated (eating it’s natural diet, getting to be outside) the healthier the fat. What comes around goes around.

  21. My son didn’t want to eat meat for a few years around that age but grew out of it. I was mostly vegetarian for a while, but once I realized the negative effects on my health I started reading more about the different arguments. One book that really helped me is The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith

  22. Hi Dr Cate,
    I really enjoyed your appearance on Real time, it was very enlightening, I only wish that Bill had let you speak more. 🙂
    May I ask your professional opinion on cooking with animal fat (eg. with lard or duck fat)?
    It has seen a reneissance in my country (Hungary) in the last couple of years and I’m intrigued.
    (I tried to find some info in the FAQ but couldn’t. Please direct me to the material if you’ve posted about this earlier.)
    Thank you in advance!

  23. All those fake meats are basically ultra processed garbage. Second ingredient is canola oil, one of the hateful eight harmful seed oils. And let your daughter know that far more animals are killed in the growing of pea protein than would be with regeneratively raised cattle.

  24. Hi Dr. Cate. Our family has been eating much more of the plant based meat alternatives like Beyond Burgers. My daughter is a vegetarian and as a family we’ve been eating much less meat. I’d say we eat a plant based meat alternative about once/week. Curious if you think these are a healthy choice? Thanks so much!


  25. I appreciate your reply. However, you seem to have missed the gist of my question. Probably my fault, I type too much and may have buried the lead. I wasn’t asking how to make mayo, I already know how to do that. I was asking which “good” oil or combo you would suggest using that would impart the least flavor? With mayo or any other recipe for that matter, where soy/sun/canola is typically used for their blandness in particular.

    I assume refined peanut/avocado/coconut would have the least impact on flavor, but you list them as “okay not great.” Is that strictly because they are less nutritious? Or are they actually harmful with other deleterious effects one should worry about like PUFAs and the like?

    I apologize, the answer is probably in The Fatburn Fix, but it was backordered, and my copy won’t arrive until later this week. Dying to read it! Just started reading Deep Nutrition which arrived first.

  26. The Oatley oat milk I buy (full fat) uses rapeseed oil for the fat content. It is listed as non-GMO and no hexane processing. Obviously, it is processed somehow. Should I automatically assume that it is problematic? Per Oatley’s website: “In our US operations, we use only non-GMO canola oil that is expeller-pressed with zero hexane involved in the process.”

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