About one in three Americans now has diabetes or pre-diabetes. That's nearly 80 million people, the majority of whom suffer from type 2 diabetes – a preventable and, often, reversible condition. The problem is that many Americans are unaware that the foods they're eating could be setting them up for a dietary disaster, and this isn't their fault. Public health guidelines condemn healthy fats from foods like butter and full-fat dairy and recommend whole grains and cereals – the opposite of what a person with diabetes, or any person really, needs to stay healthy. For the last 50 years, Americans have been told to eat a high complex carbohydrate, low saturated fat diet. Even diabetics have been told to eat 50 to 60 percent of their daily calories in the form of processed carbs! Research, including a new study involving dolphins, again suggests that this movement away from traditional full-fat foods is contributing to the rising rates of diabetes and metabolic syndrome across the globe.
Soybean oil is the most common oil used in the US, but this is a relatively new phenomenon. Prior to 1900, cooking was done with lard and butter, and the processed foods that are now primary sources of soybean oil (and other soy ingredients) were nonexistent. In the 1950s, saturated fats were condemned on the basis of them raising your cholesterol and causing heart disease – a theory that has since been proven wrong, but which is still lingering in medical offices and public nutrition regulations. Partially hydrogenated soybean oil was developed to replace saturated fats like butter and lard in the food supply. Not only did consumers embrace it, but food manufacturers did even more so because of its low cost, long shelf-life, and stability at room temperature. There was just one problem: partially hydrogenated oils are sources of trans fats, which are now known to cause chronic health problems such as obesity, asthma, auto-immune disease, cancer, and bone degeneration. Yet, even if you take the hydrogenation process out of the picture, soybean oil is still detrimental to your health. While trans fats are now being pulled out of processed foods due to their extreme health risks, soybean oil is still fair game… but it shouldn’t be – and here’s why.