Blame Margarine NOT Animal Fat

Aside from incorrectly grouping trans-fats and saturated fats in the same category, there’s an unfair assumption that the natural trans-fatty acids in animal foods are the same as those produced from the hydrogenation of vegetable oils.  Also known as margarine or shortening – the stuff we were all told to eat (and some still eat) in an effort to prevent heart disease.


First of all, there’s notably less trans-fats in animal foods (0.3g in a cup of milk) compared to other non-animal products on the market (1.5g in an ounce of corn chips).  And second of all, heart disease is only linked to trans-fat from hydrogenated vegetable oils, NOT from naturally occurring trans fats in meat and dairy products from cattle.

We’ve been misled into believing that saturated fats are bad, and the governments support to replace them with plant oils has given marketing agencies the ability to make claims like this:

“Margarine has 80% less saturated fat than butter.” -Becel, 2013 Commercial

Meanwhile, an analysis of the results from the Framingham Study determined that just four teaspoons of margarine per day increases cardiovascular disease by 66%!


Unlike saturated fats, which are beneficial to our heart health because they raise HDL cholesterol and lower the harmful small-dense LDL cholesterol particles, hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans-fats) do the opposite.  And other than heart-disease, a small amount of daily trans-fat intake (<2g/day) has been linked to insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, depression, brain deterioration, oxidative stress, poor cognition, cancer, increased body pain and even aggression. With some evidence suggesting that trans-fats could be responsible for nearly 30,000 premature deaths!

There’s an equally disturbing misconception with fat type and various cancers. As animal fats are commonly blamed for increasing cancer rates, even though various studies have linked lineolic acid (the dominant polyunsaturated fat in vegetable oil) consumption to tumor growth, specifically in the breast.

“Vegetable oils (eg Corn oil and sunflower oil) which are rich in linoleic acid are potent promoters of tumor growth.” – Raymond Kearney, International Clinical Nutrition Review, 1987

And more importantly, the lineolic acid found in the fat of animals, conjugated lineolic acid (CLA), has proven effective at preventing cancer; specifically reducing the risk of breast, colon, and skin cancer.


Not surprisingly, it’s the same outcome with heart disease. As a 2004 study from the Harvard School of Public Health studied fat intake on the progression of atherosclerosis, and found:

The group eating the most polyunsaturated oils experienced the worst outcome, while the group eating the highest amount of saturated fat reversed the atherosclerosis!

This is because the fats from animal sources are better for our health, and body composition and should be recommended, not avoided or replaced. These are the same fats we’ve relied on for over a million years, to support our body and brain with the essentials.


As I’ve shown you in the past, and this post demonstrates:

Reducing your intake of saturated fat is not beneficial, and replacing it with vegetable oils is highly detrimental.

ESPECIALLY when it’s the hydrogenated fake-butter variety.

Stay Lean!
Coach Mike