Calories—Nutritional and Harmful Types

By Dr. Royal Lee

SummaryOne of the truly perplexing assumptions of conventional nutrition is that industrially refining and processing a food has minimal effect on the food’s nutritional value. Look through the history of scientific studies on diet and health, and rarely will you find a distinction made between pasteurized and raw milk, bleached and unbleached flour, refined and unrefined vegetable oil. Yet the chemical and thermal mauling of the food supply is precisely at the root of our ill health, writes Dr. Royal Lee in this 1961 manifesto of holistic nutrition. The reason for mainstream nutrition’s blind spot when it comes to food processing, Dr. Lee explains, is its tendency to view foods solely in terms of calories—the measure of how much fuel a food supplies. Because processing and refining do not tend to alter the caloric content of foods, we have allowed uncontrolled damage to be done to the foods’ noncaloric elements—the vitamins, minerals, and countless other known and unknown cofactors that spur the thousands of biochemical reactions required to repair and sustain the body. The result of this destruction is a sea of “foodless calorie products” that, while giving the illusion of sustenance, fail on the most basic level to sustain human health. From Natural Food and Farming, 1961. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 30H.

Do You Want to Lose the Hair on Your Chest?

By Dr. Royal Lee and unknown author

Summary: Two articles featuring quotes and commentary by Dr. Royal Lee that contrast the incredible nutritional value of butter with the equally incredible lack of nutritional value of “oleomargarine” (what we call simply margarine today). In particular, the relationship between vitamin E and pubescent development is discussed, with Dr. Lee reminding readers that “sex development demands vitamin E, and butter is our main source in the American diet.” Dr. Lee presents photos of boys and girls demonstrating the failure of sexual differentiation to occur as a result of nutrient starvation. He also discusses the vital roles of the vitamin F and D complexes—both found naturally and in their entirety in butter but not in margarine—in assimilating and distributing calcium in the body. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 59, 1948. Multiple original sources. 

Fat and Its Utilization in Cholesterol Control

By Dr. George Goodheart

SummaryIn 1961 the American Heart Association (AHA) officially endorsed the “diet-heart hypothesis,” the idea that overconsumption of dietary fat increases the risk of heart attack. In particular the AHA condemned saturated fat, a type of fat found primarily in animal foods. Holistic health practitioners balked at the idea of this natural substance causing an unnatural condition such as heart disease and sensibly claimed that, if anything, synthetic fats such as hydrogenated fats and heat-processed plant oils—introduced just prior to the rise of the heart disease epidemic—were likely to blame. These natural healers proved to be prescient, as research in recent decades has shown a correlation between the consumption of hydrogenated fats and heart disease while failing to show such a connection for natural saturated fat. (Ironically, many of the early studies “supporting” the diet-heart hypothesis lumped hydrogenated fats and saturated fat into the same category.) In this article from 1965, famed chiropractor Dr. George Goodheart dispels myths about the diet-heart hypothesis—including the idea that cholesterol is a toxin—and explains why natural fats actually aid proper cholesterol metabolism, not hinder it. He goes on to suggest that overconsumption of refined carbohydrates, not natural fat, is likely the biggest dietary cause of heart disease—a hypothesis explored in scientific detail in the seminal 2007 book Good Calories Bad Calories. From the Digest of Chiropractic Economics, 1965. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research form VH-1 75. 

Fats in the Diet

By Wendell H. Griffith, PhD

Summary: A report from 1957 on the health effects of different dietary fats by Dr. Wendell Griffith, the chairman of the Department of Physiological Chemistry at the University of California Medical Center. Griffith describes the differences between natural fats and those created by hydrogenating vegetable and seed oils, explaining disturbingly that because of the many foreign chemicals created during hydrogenation, “it is virtually impossible to describe chemically some of the commercial hydrogenated plant oils.” The fact that the trans fats created during hydrogenation have since been strongly linked to heart disease would hardly have surprised Dr. Griffith. From the Journal of the American Medical Association, 1957. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 93.

High Blood Cholesterol and Its Control

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: While cholesterol has been demonized by modern medicine, wise health practitioners know that it is, in fact, an essential component for the proper functioning of the human body. In this 1956 article, Dr. Royal Lee describes cholesterol’s vital role as a “sealing compound” in controlling the diffusion of substances across cell and blood vessel walls. Dr. Lee condemns hydrogenated fats and refined vegetable oils in particular for disturbing the normal cholesterol balance in the body, one probable cause of their effect being the massive loss of nutrients—including the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and the essential-fatty-acid complex vitamin F—incurred during refining. From Natural Food and Farming, 1956.

Margarine: A Counterfeit Food

By Kenneth de Courcy

Summary: This reprint of a 1957 article on margarine production epitomizes two fundamentally opposed philosophies of food production that emerged from the Industrial Revolution. On the one hand, large scale manufacturers strove to deliver food to consumers at the lowest cost possible, using novel chemical and thermal methods to preserve and manipulate foodstuffs regardless of the effect on the foods’ nutritional quality. (Indeed, industrial food processing was the reason the vitamins were discovered in the first place, the inadvertent removal of the then-unknown nutrients leading to mysterious epidemics across the globe.) Nutritionists, on the other hand, decried industrial adulteration of the food supply, citing copious evidence that eating foods in as natural a state as possible is critical for the growth, upkeep, and immunity of the human body. In this article the author, an advocate of commercial food manufacturing, sells margarine as a sort of modern super food, with a nutritional value “as high as that of butter” simply because the two contain the same amount of fat and calories per ounce. Such sophistry is what allowed food manufacturers to run roughshod over America’s food supply, as noted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, which reprinted the article so its audience could see margarine precisely for what it is—a “counterfeit food” made from “refined, rancid, and otherwise unfit food sources.” From World Science Review, 1957. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 106.

The Menace of Synthetic Foods

“There is only one test for safety and wholesomeness in food,” Dr. Royal Lee proclaims in this succinct overview of his nutritional philosophy. “That is the test of time. The test of a long history of use, over many generations of life.” Dr. Lee expounds on the ill effects of processed foods, which were pushed hastily onto the market by industrial food processors seeking immediate profit. He cites evidence that bleached flour produces headaches, diarrhea and depression; corn syrup causes diabetes; and hydrogenated fats help cause heart disease. Dr. Lee also documents the negative effects of synthetic isolated vitamins, the “jackpot in synthetic foods.” Includes also a report on chicanery regarding food additives at the Food and Drug Administration from one of the most outspoken watchdog publications of its day, Morris Bealle’s American Capsule News. 1957.

Natural Oils

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: In this paper on the relationship between cooking fats and blood cholesterol, pioneering nutritional therapist Dr. Royal Lee emphasizes the importance of phospholipids in the former for metabolizing the latter. While natural, unrefined oils such as crude peanut oil contain such phospholipids, he says, synthetic hydrogenated fats do not (because they are destroyed in the manufacturing process). Dr. Lee cites studies in which a diet of high-fat, high-cholesterol foods cooked in unrefined natural oil led to a decrease in blood cholesterol, whereas a diet of foods cooked in hydrogenated fats raised it. From Vitamin Products Company, circa 1956.

Synthetic Foods and Race Suicide

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: “The civilized fraction of the human race is committing suicide by its acceptance of synthetic food products.” Perhaps no sentence better sums up the work and life of Dr. Royal Lee, who fought tirelessly to alert the American people that processed, imitation foods such as corn syrup, hydrogenated fats, and bleached flour truly were killing them (and still are), in spite of assurances to the contrary by the country’s food manufacturers and their partners in crime, the FDA. A must read for anyone who wants to see where and how our country’s health went off the rails. Original source and publication date unknown.

Various Oils and Fats as Substitutes for Butterfat in the Ration of Young Calves

By T.W. Gullickson, F.C. Fountaine, and J.B. Fitch

Summary: Cream, which is used to make butter, is a much more valuable product than a refined vegetable oil. As a result, farmers of the mid-twentieth century got in the bad habit of skimming the cream off their milk to make butter for consumers and then combining the skimmed milk with a vegetable oil to feed to their calves. Gullickson and his colleagues report on an experiment in which they fed calves skim milk homogenized with butter, lard, corn oil, cottonseed oil, and soybean oil. Their findings were what one would expect in replacing a natural, whole food with a refined, processed one: “The results as measured in terms of rate of gain in weight, physical appearance and general well-being of calves indicated clearly the superior nutritive value of butterfat over all the other fats and oils tested.” Practices like the one described here, so longstanding in American food manufacturing that they’re taken as “normal,” go a long way to explain the rampant rates of degenerative disease in the United States. From the Journal of Dairy Science. Reprint 138, 1942.