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. 

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.

Vitamin E

By Franklin Bicknell, MD, and Frederick Prescott, PhD

Summary: A few pages about vitamin E from the classic text The Vitamins in Medicine. This authoritative book, which featured over 4500 references, was originally published in 1942, and in 1953 the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research published its third edition. In this excerpt, Bicknell and Prescott give some critical information not generally known about vitamin E. For instance, while chemists long ago declared vitamin E to be the single compound alpha-tocopherol, the authors, like Dr. Lee and many of the other early nutritionists, thought differently: “While alpha-tocopherol means one distinct substance,” they write, “vitamin E may mean either alpha-tocopherol or a mixture of this and other similar substances.” Other gems about vitamin E are packed into these few pages, which go a long way to combat the poor level of understanding of nutrition’s “most misunderstood vitamin.” From The Vitamins in Medicine, 1953.

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.

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.

Rancid Oil and Disease

By Don C. Matchan and Dr. Royal Lee 

Summary: This report on a 1962 lecture by Dr. Royal Lee—essentially about the connection between illness and refined cooking oils—is a rally call for the American people to eschew the processed foods that were destroying their health and return to a diet of nutritious, whole foods. Dr. Lee excoriates the leaders of conventional nutrition at the time for actively promoting the consumption of processed foods, specifically calling out the head of Harvard’s Department of Nutrition, Dr. Frederick Stare, for accepting a million-dollar grant from food-processing giant General Foods. Dr. Stare, who also received funding from Coca-Cola and the National Soft Drinks Association, was largely responsible for the deception that refined sugar is harmless, saying it was “not even remotely true that modern sugar consumption contributes to poor health.” Later, Stare and his department would also lead the charge in discrediting Dr. Robert Atkins and other proponents of low-carbohydrate diets. From Herald of Health, 1962.