Last weekend, nutritionist and author, Dr. Cate Shanahan appeared on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher to get down to the core of what is wrong with American diets. Dr. Cate, as she is known, is a board certified family physician. Her expertise is diet-driven metabolic disease. And for her, the problem with the foods most Americans eat is the processed oils in which we cook them…specifically the eight seed oils she refers to as “The Hateful Eight.” They include: canola, corn cottonseed, soy, sunflower, safflower, grapeseed and ricebran oils. These hateful 8 oils, like some seed oils, are what many people try to avoid altogether to have a healthy diet and lifestyle.
As Dr. Cate puts it, “They came from factories, they kidnapped your metabolism.” So below are four ways we can cut those hateful eight out of our diet.
1- Make your own salad dressing. Even if you buy your organic, GMO free dressing at Trader Joes or Whole Foods, chances are it’s made from one of the hateful eight oils. This applies even if the front of the bottle says made with olive oil. You always need to read the ingredients. So take a snapshot of this hateful 8 and keep it on your phone. Or better yet, use this one that gives a little more detail.
2- Take a good look at the ingredients in what you eat. Scan anything with an ingredients list for one of the members of the Hateful 8 clan. If you want alternatives, here’s a shopping guide to finding vegetable oil free products available in some of the most common grocery stores in the USA.
3- Support restaurants that refuse to use the Hateful 8. There are numerous excuses you will hear why a restaurant doesn’t use olive oil or another healthy, traditional fat. Canola is heart-healthy. We use soy instead of peanut because of peanut allergies. It’s a neutral taste that people prefer. It’s got a high smoke point. Those excuses are the best marker I know of for a chef who has lost his passion. Whenever you encounter a chef who proudly tells you he only uses olive oil and butter, or any of the good fats, you’ve also found heart-healthy, delicious food.
4- Find out how much vegetable oil is in your body fat. While there’s no direct test other than doing a subcutaneous fat biopsy and sending it to a lab for a full analysis, which you can’t do unless you’re part of a research study, you can get a decent idea of how your body fat is impacting your metabolism by finding out if you are insulin resistant. Ask your doctor for a HOMA-IR test. If he doesn’t know what it is, ask if he’ll order a fasting glucose and fasting insulin level. Then plug your numbers into this calculator.
We hope this helps! Let us know how you’ve cut the “Hateful Eight” out of your diet in the comments below.