Experts and Oils series: the murky world of dietary oils

This topic is so gigantic and so debated, I could blog about it only. I imagine someone else is. I’m going to touch on the topic with this basic introductory post about the potential problems we face in our understanding of dietary oil consumption.

Navigating the realm of nutrition feels like stepping into chaos, with ever-changing science and conflicting opinions from experts. Doctors, researchers and nutritionists all contribute to the confusion. Despite credentials, everyone has an opinion. So, I advise approaching with skepticism and an open mind.

This is what I do with nutrition: I stay informed. I try to keep up with current science, including science that has been debunked. I focus on what makes sense to me, and I trust my experience and what works for me (based on how I feel and my lab values, etc.) and doctors’ advice. As a practice, I avoid deep nutrition discussions with physicians, beyond a basic question here and there. And after all that, I hope for the best. LOL.

Part 1 – Dr. Neal Barnard
Part 2 – Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Part 3 – Dr. Mark Hyman
Part 4 – Dr. Joseph Mercola
Part 5 – Dr. Bobby Price
Part 6 – Dr. Andrew Weil

All this is a preface for the Experts and Oils series here at, which discusses the positions of six healthcare experts, most MDs. These experts, all chosen at random, are not traditional doctors in that they’re well-versed in nutrition science. Unlike most physicians, who receive little training in nutrition, these medical professionals have acquired specialized knowledge in nutrition science. While most physicians focus on diagnosing and treating illness, these experts prioritize nutrition education. I’d argue that many internet influencers possess greater knowledge of nutrition than physicians. Far greater, in many instances. Not all six experts selected are physicians; one is a Ph.D.

The health experts I’ve chosen for the series are highly visible, highly credentialed thought leaders in the industry. Many have huge social media followings and participate in numerous organizations. I’d fail you if I didn’t inform you that they all have commercial interests. While I’m making no correlations here, it’s important that you’re aware of this. In any case, I wanted to share with you their takes on the topic of vegetable/seed oils and tropical oils to illustrate just how confusing this can be.

I don’t have a leaning toward any of their philosophies necessarily. Some of them I know better than others.

In our discussion, when referring to vegetable oils (or seed oils), I’m referring to the following refined oils:

  • Canola
  • Corn
  • Cottonseed
  • Grape seed
  • Peanut
  • Rice bran
  • Safflower
  • Sesame Oil
  • Soybean
  • Sunflower

Some health experts think they’re poison. Others, not so much. And some consider them okay for consumption.

In referring to tropical oils, we’re talking:

  • Coconut oil
  • Palm oil

I expect to talk more about this in the future. This series just scratches the surface and merely serves to illustrate all the noise surrounding this. Friends, it’s dizzying.

As you read the series, decide what makes sense to you.

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