Some years ago, self-appointed busybodies screamed and yelled and hollered about McDonalds using beef fat to cook their fries. Deciding ahead of time that McDonalds was evil incarnate, they accused McDonalds of purposely risking our very lives with saturated fat.

And so it was in 1990 that McDonalds switched to trans-fats. The busybodies who suggested that action took a bow.

Well, now, there’s an oops! Trans-fats, liquid vegetable oils shot through with hydrogen to make them solid at room temperature–and to extend shelf life–are an unmitigated disaster.

Mayo Clinic recently confirmed the dastardly nature of trans-fats. Trans-fats lower our high density lipoprotein, which we want to be high, and raise our low density lipoprotein, which we want to be low. Plus, trans-fats raise triglycerides. This, they went on, raises the specter of heart disease as far as the eye can see.

Two teensy problems. First, while yanking our cholesterol around can’t be a good idea, cholesterol levels don’t cause heart disease. Second, the problem described by Mayo–cholesterol that blocks blood vessels–has nothing to do with cholesterol levels, but with cholesterol gone astray–the real problem behind heart disease.

Further down in their findings, Mayo talks about the inflammation that trans-fats cause. Bingo! They got it! That’s the problem! Trans-fats rough up the lining of our blood vessels, and cholesterol, with the best of intentions, rushes in to coat over the resulting cracks and rough spots–and ends up causing blockages. Get rid of inflammation, and you get rid of the problem.

Bottom line, trans-fats are bad for us. Which means nobody should eat oleo, no matter what the label claims. Oleo is trans-fat city. Vegetable oils are bad for us in any case–whether partially hydrogenated into trans-fats or not. Our bodies can’t deal with the massive amount of Omega 6 they pour into us.

What can we use for cooking?

Well, actually we have three nutritionally superior choices: Coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil.

The anti-saturated-fat crowd hates all three; they’re saturated fats. And this crowd won’t admit they were and are wrong about saturated fat. So they stay wrong, And mad. And self-righteous. In their eyes, nothing changes.

But truth marches on. Saturated fats are not a problem. They don’t raise cholesterol, even if cholesterol were a problem. More important, they don’t cause inflammation.

But McDonalds still can’t go back to using beef fat–the safest alternative–because the same people who started the problem are ready to raise a ruckus again. No mountain of evidence can persuade them from their cause.

Well, while they all duke it out, we have to protect our health. Cook with butter, coconut oil, palm oil or palm kernel oil. Make salads with virgin olive oil.

See? That wasn’t hard. We’ll move on and let others continue their outdated debates.

Author's Bio: 

Read more about all the things that affect your health at Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be one. She's a patient who's been studying the endocrine system and successfully handling her own health problems for more than 30 years. Her free e-zine at will arm you with the information you need to protect and improve your health.