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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)

Fatburn Fix Saves Life of Type 2 Diabetic

I would like to thank you for literally saving my life. Back in February, I had to be hospitalized while on vacation in Phoenix with an A1C of 11% and had to start taking 2 types of insulin and 2 other meds. I read the Fatburn Fix in April, and followed the program to a tee, and I’m down by 15 pounds, 6.8 A1C, and only one once weekly diabetes medicine. Prior to reading the book, it was almost impossible for me to lose weight as a diabetic. 

Leontyne Tompkins

I feel free

For the last month, I have really been reading all labels on everything. I have completely remove those 8 oils you talk about. I must tell you, I feel great! I have more energy and I am now 197 lbs (have always been around 205 to 210lbs). I eat potatoes with real butter, grass fed steak, pasta with the right toppings. I eat everything! I seem to crave less sugar. I love it! 

Robert Kirkendall

I feel so much better

I had terrible aches and pains everywhere in my body, my hands, shoulders and knees. I feel so much better and the way I feel is motivating me every day! Thank you

Mike Deb Wootan Burcin

Better than ever

I am an anesthesiologist in Orlando and a huge fan of both of your books! I have been incorporating your principles for the last 10 months and feel that my health is better than ever.

Marnie Robinson, MD

My allergies disappeared

The biggest difference for me (and a surprising one) is that my allergies have almost completely disappeared! This is a big deal for me, because I’ve had allergies most of my life and they have often affected what I do which is a teaching music in [a public school district].  In general, I feel much better and have more consistent energy throughout the day.

Erica Turrell

Heart Palpitations have Stopped

I’ve lost 20+ pounds (also fasting 16-24 hours daily) and haven’t had palpitations except for one occasion — I had a mini bag of Fritos for the first time in July. And, I feel better now on a daily basis than I ever did all through college.

Mike Wright
Deep Nutrition and Fatburn Fix reader
Mitzi Wilkinson Champion

I’ve lost over 50 pounds

I’ve lost over 50 pounds. I’m 56 years old. Cutting processed food and unhealthy fats from my diet was one of the first things I did on my health recovery journey...I went cold turkey off the bad oils. Emptied my pantry into the trash and just started eating real food

Mitzi Wilkinson Champion

Knowledge I didn’t know I needed

Your Fatburn Fix book is amazing, my friend. Thank you! I’m an Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and I know my stuff. This is the extra layer of knowledge I didn’t know I needed. Well done!

Jennifer Dillman
Fatburn Fix reader

Lost a solid 20 lbs and my bloodwork is great

I have lost a solid 20 lbs and my bloodwork (after 3 months of eating your way) was even better! I was metabolically healthy (per your book) before I read your book, but barely. Lowering my weight, sealed the deal! I have been talking about you and your book to anyone who will listen...Thank you for all you’ve done and what you continue to do! You are changing lives for the better!

Missy Cramer
FatBurn Fix reader

Lost 20 lbs I could never shed

I love your Fatburn Fix!  Has helped me so so much!  I have had the dreaded weight all my life - 20 or so pounds I could never shed.  I have lost that now. I only eat 2 meals a day lunch and dinner with a glass of milk or cappuccino around 4 to hold me over. No snacking and not bad oils.  It has been the key to unlocking my fatburn.  I work out in the am and believe I am burning fat for energy not from food!

Lauren Smith

I feel great

My waist is four inches smaller. I feel great and many of the minor aches and pains that I had (knees and lower back) are gone. Also, my muscle tone is amazing, even though I have not increased my workout routine.

Richard Janelle
Completed Dr Cate's online course
Kent Matthes

The go-to for strength and conditioning coaches

Whenever I advise my clients about eating to perform I go straight to what I have learned from Dr. Cate. Her book Deep Nutrition has become the go-to for strength and conditioning coaches across the country.

Kent Matthes
Major League Baseball Agent with WME Sports
Ken D Berry

Dismantles the lie

Dr. Cate dismantles the lie that seed oils are healthy, which may the biggest lie about nutrition and health because it’s so insidious.  

Ken D Berry, MD
Author of Lies My Doctor Told Me
Dr. Drew Pinsky

She knows the chemistry

Dr. Cate alerts us to the harms of seed oils and she’s convincing because she knows the chemistry better than anyone.

Dr. Drew Pinskey, MD
Globally recognized internal medicine and addiction medicine specialist, media personality, LoveLine Host, and New York Times bestselling author
Kelly Starrett

No one is better at communicating nutritional truth

Dr. Cate has had the single greatest impact on how we talk to people about fueling for both performance or durability. While we all are a little unique, the foundational principles of human nutrition are immutable. If you are looking to create a more durable, resilient body, no one is better at communicating nutritional truth than Dr. Cate.

Dr. Kelly Starrett
Physiotherapist coach and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author
Brian Lenkzes

Highly recommend The Fatburn Fix

Dr. Shanahan has had a significant impact on my practice of medicine. I am known as a Low Carb Doctor, but I never really appreciated the negative effects of processed seed oils on the health of my patients. I highly recommend The Fatburn Fix to my patients and have a loaner copy in my waiting room. It is amazing how quickly blood sugars and overall health improves with cutting seed oils. It is not just about the carbs!

Dr. Brian Lenkzes, MD
CEO of LowCarbMD San Diego, co-host of Low Carb MD Podcast and host of Life's Best Medicine Podcast
Chris Kaman

Respected in the sports world

Dr. Cate reordered my diet when I was with the L.A. Lakers, and the benefits, for me personally, were felt immediately and have served me to this day. I’ve come to take real food so seriously I started a small family farm. I know of no M.D./nutritionist more respected in the sports world than Dr. Cate Shanahan.

Chris Kaman
NBA Player
Mark Sisson

Brought seed oil issue front and center

Cate brought the seed oil issue front and center. Healthy fats matter. So much so that I created an entire product line to swap out bad fats with good.

Mark Sisson
Founding Father of the Primal/Paleo Movement
Dallas Hartwig

Optimal health starts with food

If you want to understand how optimal health starts with food, start with Dr. Cate. Her book Deep Nutrition leaves you with an appreciation of the profound relationship between our genes and the planet, inspiring us to be good shepherds of both.

Dallas Hartwig
Attribution author of The Whole 30
Dwight Howard

Helped me with endurance

Deep Nutrition really helped me with endurance. I started to feel better as a player. I was able to run more, I was able to be more active …and I just decided to keep going with it to this day.

Dwight Howard
NBA Player
Paul Grewal

Silver bullet for me

Dr Cate’s teachings helped me lose 60 pounds like it was nothing. It was like a silver bullet for me.

Paul Grewal, MD 
Dr Grewal Internal Medicine, MD, author of Genius Foods
Joesph Mercola

Radically improve your health…

Dr. Shanahan has provided a solid reference that deserves a place in the library of anyone who is seriously interested in nutrition. Her perspective on the vital role that healthy fat has in our diet is novel and, if implemented, can radically improve your health.

Dr. Joseph Mercola
Author of Fat for Fuel and Founder of
Dave Aspery

Pull up a chair…

I have based my work on the idea that getting the right kinds of healthy fats into your body and avoiding the worst fats is essential to optimal health. I've interviewed dozens of the world's top experts about this, and I know of no one who speaks more eloquently on this topic than Dr Cate. If she’s talking fats, pull up a chair. Take notes.

Dave Asprey
Author of the Bulletproof Diet

The key to unlocking my fatburn

I love your Fatburn Fix!  Has helped me so so much!  I have had the dreaded weight all my life - 20 or so pounds I could never shed.  I have lost that now. I only eat 2 meals a day lunch and dinner with a glass of milk or cappuccino around 4 to hold me over. No snacking and not bad oils.  It has been the key to unlocking my fatburn.  

Lauren Smith

Saved my life

I would like to thank you for literally saving my life. Back in February, I had to be hospitalized while on vacation in Phoenix with an A1C of 11% and had to start taking 2 types of insulin and 2 other meds. I read the Fatburn Fix in April, and followed the program to a tee, and I’m down by 15 pounds, 6.8 A1C, and only one once weekly diabetes medicine. 

Leontyne Tompkins

Tears of joy

 I'm crying tears of joy and appreciation for all you've done for me and my health! Without Deep Nutrition and Fatburn Fix, I would literally still be in the vicious cycle I'd been fighting all my life! In a nutshell - I am no longer a compulsive overeating addict suffering under the crushing 'thumb' of all food and alcohol.     

Penni Wicks


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. Hello Dr. Cate,
    Like so many others, I’m here after seeing you on Bill Maher. I’ve been practicing extended water fasting for the past several months both for weight loss and the detoxing health benefits of autophagy. 2-3 week fasts followed by 2-3 weeks low carb diet. Down 40 pounds (25 to go) and feeling amazing. However the low carb diet is primarily achieved by home cooking. As such, I use a lot of mayonnaise for things like egg salad, chicken salad, etc. Imagine my dismay in finding out that the (by far) main ingredient of my favorite name brands is soybean oil. I’ve read your grocery list, but that stuff is not only prohibitively expensive, I’m worried the avocado oil will be too noticeable. Long story short, I’ve decided to make my own, which isn’t too difficult with a decent immersion blender. But which oil or combination of oils can I use to impart the least flavor? I want my mayo to taste like eggs, not avocados or olives. Or to be green for that matter. Are any of the good oils or combos good at being bland like soy or corn oil? Especially as there’s no cooking involved? What would you recommend for homemade mayo?

    Thanks in advance for your reply
    BTW, I’ve ordered all three of your books, and am looking forward to their arrival!


  2. hi dr. Cate – this is Ralph from Beautiful Bamboo

    loved your appearance on bill maher – hope you can do more like that.

    below are a few small typos I found.

    also, I wanted to tell you about a great and reasonably priced bone broth that publix sells now in their meat aisle called Butchers Bone Broth – we have been using a lot of it.

    missing the word “in” before metabolism
    Learn about your body’s metabolism my latest book, The FATBURN Fix

    Ask you doctor for a HOMA-IR test. your not you

    bottom of the page goal not goals
    The goals is to serve as a clearinghouse for discussion

  3. Whole seeds and nuts are healthy. The seed or nut ground up into butter will be healthy until it goes rancid. It’s the refining that makes the seed oils super unhealthy.

  4. Definitely you will feel better by avoiding the Hateful 8. If you’ve not been consciously avoiding them, you’re getting them when you eat out and from most packaged products. Your hives are inflammatory and chronic pain is worsened by inflammation.

  5. No, because it’s high in antioxidants thanks to being unrefined. It is high PUFA so it’s best not to use mustard in extended high heat cooking.

  6. Lecithin is listed after salt, so very little would be added, not enough to worry about healthwise. There’s a suprising amount of sugar, though, a full teaspoon per tablespoon, just FYI.

  7. Thank you! The people in power, the now global elite. The resource/asset divide, so apparent in the twin crises of George Floyd & the pandemic, did not exist in the small band hunter gatherer groups; their custom was equal access to resources regardless of contribution.

  8. I’m not a fan of protein powders. Such a non fan that when writing Deep Nutrition I considered doing a whole chapter on the topic but the book was too long already so couldn’t squeak it in. In The FATBURN Fix I discuss how these powders mostly get converted into sugar and on page 322 discuss the myth that you need to get protein around workouts or you start losing muscle.

  9. In terms of fatty acid composition, a typical palm stearin might contain almost 50% palmitic acid and 35% oleic acid (from Wikipedia) and that means it’s ok. Apparently palm stearin is supposed to retain the vitamin A precursors, so that one gets a pass. The sunflower lecithin is not so great but usually it’s far down on the list and unlikely to be present in high enough concentration to cause problems. Snap a photo of the ingredients list and the nutrition label and post it as a comment so I can have a look and see if I can tell what’s up.

  10. Hi Dr. Cate. I read Deep Nutrition about 4 years ago and I’m still holding the standard to this day. It definitely has had more impact on my life than any other book I’ve read. So thanks! My question is about Palm fruit Stearin. Is this a highly processed food additive or safe? I recently bought a delicious product called Seedible. It’s an organic sesame seed butter with a twist but it has palm fruit Stearin and sunflower lecithin in it. Are these okay or should I move on? Thanks

  11. Also, if you know what the event was, and the date; as well as what happened that might have made him feel humiliated, that all could be helpful.

  12. The link is on the Ancel Keys page (…, toward the end in a section with misc. comments. The link itself is… It says, “The page you were looking for doesn’t exist.” I say, ha. Ghosts can have efficacy, either directly or through mind-control of devotees.
    As to the research I’m doing, it springs in part from the work of Darcia Narvaez of Notre Dame (and others) into the lifestyle of small band hunter gatherers (see, the work of Allan Schore (UCLA) on the developmental neuroscience of the attachment period, and my experience after doing 45 years of outpatient psychotherapy where I became sensitized to the power of shame. Much of the shadow cast by the global ½ of 1% includes the now-mega food industry. Losing power, the threat or fear of losing power, means losing profound status and that is shame. (Soulfulpsy aka David E. Roy, Ph.D.)

  13. Thank you for your kind comments. Interesting work. For more on PUFA, see the link under further reading above. Can you post the nonfunctional link here? I’m not sure which one you might be referring to. Thank you for your time!

  14. The bottom of the article contains a link to a short list of the research articles I’ve read over the past 20 years on the PUFA problem, and additionally there are more than 500 citations in Deep Nutrition.

  15. I’ve not seen that occur. Keep in mind, many products do have added vitamins, including protein powders so I’d double check if you have not already.

  16. Hi Dr. Cate, Looking forward to seeing the interview. I just wanted to add I’ve been eating in align with your 5 pillars for years now. It’s been neat to see how I’ve lowered my triglycerides and I feel great. Just a question regarding allergies since I have seasonal environmental allergies and live in an agricultural area so they’ve been worst during spring time. I just take Nettle-Quercetin which helps. Wanted to know your thought regarding my metabolic health if I’m already eating this way. Happy to see this info get out there! Thanks!

  17. Hugely important topic! Thank you for the clarity. We’ve got to get rid of these destructive ‘food-like’ substances from our diets.