Solid vegetable oils were created before World War One. After World War Two, vegetable oils were being packaged in bottles. Animal testing of the liquid vegetable oils did not yield great results. The animals developed cirrhosis of the liver or had enlarged livers. Tests using heated oil (as we do frequently when frying French fries) resulted in many premature deaths. It might be that the vegetable oils we use daily might be worse for our health than trans fats.
Switching to vegetable oils has generated several new problems for restaurants and related industries. The waste oil from frying created a huge build-up on the drains, walls, and floors. The build-up was nearly impossible to remove. The volatile airborne chemicals resulting from frying were deposited on the workers’ uniforms. Piles of uniforms in the back of trucks have experienced spontaneous combustion. Cleaners experienced similar fires in their equipment after washing and cleaning restaurant uniforms. This has caused cleaning companies to use more potent chemicals to clean the walls, drain, floors and uniforms.
It has been difficult to determine which airborne chemicals are creating these problems. There are many mechanical problems with the equipment being used to cook and fry. What are these airborne chemicals doing to our lungs? The chemicals change often and are hard to isolate. We now know that many exist.
One group of chemicals that has been isolated is aldehydes. It caused increased inflammation in animal studies. Additionally, it showed an increased risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Aldehydes generated from heating vegetable oils creates many problems in your gut – immune related and many gastrointestinal-related diseases.
Tallow (hard fat from cows) and lard (hard fat from pigs) have been around for centuries. They are saturated fats from animals. They do not oxidize when heated. They cannot form aldehydes when heated either. The level of toxic by-products from heated saturated animal fats is extremely low compared to heated vegetable oils.
Over the past couple of years, analyses have been done of many previous studies involving saturated fats. The conclusion is that saturated fats do not cause heart disease. We need saturated fats for good brain function. Animals are a good source of meat, cheese, dairy and eggs. The fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) require fat in your body to be absorbed. We need nutrient dense foods to minimize total calories. You do not get the necessary fats needed in products that are made as ‘skim’, ‘fat-free, or ‘2 percent’.