For many individuals, fat is something to look out for, but for Dr. Fred Kummerow – fat is truly essential. Dr. Kummerow, a 99-year-old nutrition scientist and early opponent of artificial fats, discovered processed food’s hidden health risk. Through his pioneering research and close observation, Dr. Kummerow was able to establish a correlation between trans fats, hydrogenated oils found in certain foods, and other forms of heart disease. It turns out that there are high fat diet benefits.
Way before the FDA considered some fats as unhealthy, Dr. Kummerow studied arteries from heart attack patients, and many were found to be full of fat – specifically trans fat. Polyunsaturated vegetable oils, such as soybean, corn, and sunflower, are making people sick. According to Dr. Kummerow, the problem is not with cholesterol, but whether the fats are oxidized. Oxidized LDL is easily measured and is among the most important blood tests.
Oxidation, a chemical process that damages cell membranes, DNA, lipids, and proteins, is a major contributing factor in degenerative disease. When oils are heated above normal temperatures, they become instable. As simple as it sounds, these oxidized fats have the chaotic potential to cause excess free radicals exposure, which have been linked to liver disease, cancer, and brain degradation.
In between his years as a scientist, Dr. Kummerow has generously eaten butter, cheese, and meats several times a week. His diet, which consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, and a daily glass of high-fat milk, is anything but deep-fried. When the topic of eggs was brought up, Dr. Kummerow explained, “Eggs have all of the nine amino acids you need to build cells.”
Even though oil manufacturers work tirelessly to reduce oxidation during processing, they can still oxidize when consumed in their uncooked state. It can’t be denied, Dr. Kummerow’s early research on trans fats was groundbreaking and marked a huge turning point in the general opinion of fat consumption in the world today. His hope for better nutrition and better understanding of foods is truly a testament to human research and longevity.