Buying the healthiest fruits, vegetables and proteins is a great way to improve your diet. But health expert Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS says you also need to consider the effect your cooking oil may be having on your body. Some oils contribute to harmful inflammation. As a guest on the Marybeth Conley Show, Bowden told listeners which cooking oils cause inflammation and should be limited, and which oils you should invite back into your diet.
Bowden is a uniquely qualified nutritionist. In addition to holding a doctorate in nutrition, he also has a master’s degree in psychology and counseling. This scientific background helps him find the truth among the trends. “It allows me to read the research, see through the BS, understand what claims are being made, and see what’s supportable and what’s not,” he said.
For the past 10 years, the best-selling author has been working to redeem the reputation of healthy fats.”We’ve been so wrong in this country,” he said. “Over the last 40 years, the dietary guidelines told us to avoid animal products, avoid saturated fat and eat lots of vegetables oils, such as corn, safflower, soybean, sunflower and cottonseed oil. These oils are loaded with what we call omega-6 fats. They are not necessarily bad by themselves, but they’re inflammatory and we don’t balance them with the anti-inflammatory omega fats.” This imbalance may cause an inflammatory state in our body. “Inflammation is a part of every major degenerative disease,” explained Bowden.
He suggested reducing consumption of these oils and replacing them with healthier fats, such olive, coconut and palm oil. “I’m a huge fan of palm oil, particularly Malaysian palm oil,” he said. Palm oil is low in omega-6 fatty acids, which helps balance the diet. It consists of 50 percent saturated fat, which Bowden reminded listeners should no longer be feared. Palm oil is a nutrient-rich tropical oil. Red palm oil has 15 times more carotenoids than carrots. “Plus it contains vitamin E tocotrienols which help protect the brain from further damage after a stroke.” Bowden explained that some palm oil-producing countries have been accused of deforestation, but Malaysia is unique. “Malaysia is one of the most environmentally conscious countries in the world,” he said. Malaysia has kept its pledge to maintain at least 50 percent of its land under forest cover. Oil palm trees are limited to legal agricultural land, and burning is banned. “Their farming methods are just very sustainable,” said Bowden. “That is why I really urge people to use Malaysian-sourced palm oil.”