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.[The following is a transcription of the original Archives document. To view or download the original document, click here.]
Forty percent of the American diet is said to consist of fats. No other nation boasts a higher consumption of high-cholesterol foods. In this country heart disease is also the leading killer. Is this merely coincidence, or is faulty diet the real threat to our health?
The Situation Today
One out of three of all male deaths between the ages forty-five and seventy-five is due to coronary thrombosis or an occlusion.1 A thrombosis, or blood clot, is precipitated by a thickening of the blood vessels due to a cholesterol buildup on the inner lining.
Cholesterol is a fatty, waxlike substance found in many foods. Natural foods contain cholesterol-metabolizing agents (phospholipids), but refining and processing (hydrogenation) destroy these valuable health protectors and leave us susceptible to the dire results of impaired cholesterol metabolism.2
Examination of 300 American boys killed in Korea of an average age of 22.1 years revealed that 77.3 percent had “gross evidence of coronary arteriosclerosis.”3
Arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis have been artificially produced in test animals by placing them on a diet high in cholesterol but low in the vital cholesterol-metabolizing factors.4,5 An excess of cholesterol in test animals causes them to be predisposed to cancer.
Virtually all of the fats composing the American diet are of the hydrogenated variety, which is lacking in metabolizing agents necessary for normal body usage.
Progress Toward a Solution
A number of nations, including Japan, Hawaii, South Africa, and Finland, have a lower refined dietary fat intake and correspondingly lower heart disease and coronary difficulties.1
Dr. B. Bronte-Stewart noted the effects of eggs (a high-cholesterol food) fried in unrefined peanut oil on a number of patients. Consumption of such food did not increase blood cholesterol in these subjects, but a marked increase was noted when the same food (eggs) fried in hydrogenated oils was consumed.6
President Eisenhower’s consulting physician, Dr. Paul Dudley White, accompanied Dr. Bronte-Stewart, of the University of Cape Town, and Dr. Ancel Keys of the University of Minnesota to Japan for further studies relating a high-fat diet to heart disease.1
Drs. Pottenger Jr. and Krohn fed patients suffering from high blood cholesterol foods rich in cholesterol plus natural oil components rich in phospholipids (fat-metabolizing agents). Seventy-nine percent of the patients showed a marked decrease in blood cholesterol.7
Thus it can be seen that unrefined natural fats or oils are not harmful; and, more importantly, unrefined vegetable oils, rich in natural associated factors, can actually reduce the threat of arteriosclerosis and coronary disease by keeping cholesterol levels within normal limits.
1. Spencer, S.M. “Are You Eating Your Way to a Heart Attack?” Saturday Evening Post, December 1, 1956.
2. Dock Jr., George. Readers Digest, November 1946.
3. Enos, Major Wm. F. “Coronary Diseases Among U.S. Soldiers Killed in Action in Korea.” J.A.M.A., Vol. 153, No., 12, p. 1090, July 18, 1953.
4. Revue Intemationale du Soja, March 1946.
5. Chemical and Engineering News, November 30, 1953
6. “Serum-Cholesterol Diet in Coronary Heart Disease.” Lancet, Vol. 2, No. 22, pp. 1103–1108, November 26, 1955.
7. Am. Journal of Digestive Diseases, April 1952.
[Additional content from Vitamin Products Company, regarding unrefined peanut oil:]
Crude peanut oil—[peanut oil] in its most natural form—is now available in our commissary line. It is rich in phospholipids, the factors so vital to the proper metabolism of cholesterol. This natural peanut oil is vastly superior in contrast to semi-refined [peanut and other vegetable] oils, from which most of the phospholipids have been removed, and especially to the hydrogenated fats, which have been converted to solids at the expense of losing virtually all of their phospholipids. For salads, frying, baking, or any of a multitude of culinary uses, [our crude] peanut oil will serve a useful purpose in your kitchen.
1 12-fluid-ounce bottle: $1.00 plus postage
1 case (twelve) 12-fluid-ounce bottles: $12.00 plus postage
[Product pricing and information preserved for historical purposes only.]
Form No. VC-117
Vitamin Products Company:
2023 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee 1, Wisconsin
612 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles 4, California