According to Silberstein and Joyce, avocado oil is the best oil for cooking because it has the highest smoke point, which means it does not develop unhealthy toxins at high temperatures (“Oils and Butter”). However, they fail to mention that avocado oil is stable at high temperatures only when it is refined while virgin oils usually have a smoke point lower than 400°F (Eyres, Sherpa, and Hendriks 87). With that in mind, I doubt I would make a transition to the recommended oils because even though refining those oils filters some impurities, a lot of nutrients are lost in the process.
Although I mainly eat foods prepared on canola oil, I could consider a transition to ghee, which is made by cooking butter on low heat and filtering milk solids from the liquid. Unlike butter, which has a smoke point of up to 375°F, ghee is stable with a smoke point of up to 500°F and can be used to cook in a higher heat range (World’s Healthiest Foods, “Butter and Ghee”).
However, like other animal fats, ghee should be used in moderation. Therefore, when cooking food at high temperatures is not required, grapeseed oil is a better alternative. Besides a high smoke point at more than 400°F, 69.9 percent of grapeseed oil fat content consists of polyunsaturated fatty acids according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture, which means it is suitable for a heart healthy diet. Finally, a heart healthy diet does not mean a complete absence of unsaturated fatty acids. In order to fulfill the daily requirements for saturated fats, which are not healthy if more than 20 grams per day are consumed, I should consider lean red meat and reduce carbohydrate intake to improve my cardiovascular health (Li et al. 117; Reyna et al. 29).
According to a report by Gupta, current research considers sugar toxic because it reduces insulin sensitivity and increases risk for type 2 diabetes development, tumor growth, and cardiovascular disease (“Is Sugar Toxic?”). Furthermore, even though the participants at trials substituted the same amount of calories from carbohydrates, several cardiovascular risk factors were found when participants obtained calories from beverages with added sugar (“Calories”).
Despite the growing body of research on the topic, it is difficult to study dieting in the general population because a large sample size is required to generalize the findings. Monitoring nutrient intake and physiological responses also requires a lot of resources (Gupta, “Is Sugar Toxic?”), which often leads to limited sample sizes in studies. Finally, attributing obesity and cardiovascular illness to sugar alone is not realistic because other dietary factors and genetic susceptibility play a role in determining those health outcomes.
For example, even a low-fat diet, which is a traditional healthy recommendation, causes factors related to cardiovascular disorders and diabetes, such as decreased insulin resistance and unhealthy lipid patterns (Mooney, “When a Calorie”). The healthiest diet for regulating risk factors associated with chronic disorders is the low-glycemic index (GI) diet. By including more fruits and vegetables in our diet while replacing processed wheat with whole wheat, it is possible to reduce high GI intake and increase low GI intake.
It is reasonable to ban or regulate substances that can amplify risks for obesity in people with heredity risk factors (CBS News Staff, “Study of 33,000 People”), especially because the same substance was identified as a risk factor for other chronic disorders, such as cardiovascular illness. Although I do not oppose the ban, I don’t think it will have a significant impact on public health. While avoiding those drinks is certainly beneficial to health because it reduces obesity (Rabin, “Avoiding Sugared Drinks”), the ban does not completely eliminate those drinks.
Because small servings are still allowed, people can order multiple servings, which makes the ban useless. Most importantly, the ban itself focuses too much on removing substances people should avoid rather than teaching people about healthy substances they should eat, so it cannot help people make healthier choices. Without giving people clear guidelines for making healthier choices, it is impossible to expect them to make those choices simply by removing substances associated with risk factors for obesity and chronic disorders.
CBS News Staff. “Study of 33,000 People Shows Soda Affects Genes That Control for Weight Gain.” CBS News. CBS, 21 Sep. 2012. Web 19 July 2013.
Eyres, Laurence, Nimma Sherpa, and Glenn Hendriks. "Avocado Oil: A New Edible Oil from Australasia." Lipid Technology 13.4 (2001): 84-88.
Gupta, Sanjay. “Calories: Not All Created Equal.” CBS News. CBS News, 2012. Web. 18 July 2013.
– – – . “Is Sugar Toxic?” CBS News. CBS News, 2012. Web. 18 July 2013.
Li, Duo, et al. "Lean Meat and Heart Health." Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 14.2 (2005): 113-119. Print.
Mooney, Andrea. “When a Calorie Is Not Just a Calorie.” Harvard Gazette. Harvard, 27 June 2012. Web. 18 July 2013.
Petrecca, Laura. “’Supersized’ Drinks on the Way Out in NYC.” USA Today. USA Today, 13 Sep. 2013. Web. 19 July 2013.
Rabin, Roni Caryn. “Avoiding Sugared Drinks Limits Weight Gain in Two Studies.” New York Times. NY Times, 21 Sep. 2012. Web. 19 July 2013.
Reyna, Nadia, et al. “Ingestion of Lean Beef Meats in Blood Pressure and Biochemical Parameters in Hypertensives Patients.” Latinoamericana de Hipertensión, 4.1 (2012): 26-31. Print.
Silbertstein, Susan and Marilyn Joyce. “Oils and Butter.” Videojug. Videojug Corporation Limited, n.d. Web. 18 July 2013.
U. S. Department of Agriculture. “National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.” USDA. USDA, n.d. Web. 18 July 2013.
World’s Healthiest Foods. “What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Butter and Ghee When It Comes to Cooking.” WHFoods. WHFoods, n.d. Web. 18 July 2013.