soybean oil, refined grains

Refined Grains and Negative Side Effects of Soybean Oils

In this episode, we will be talking about our 4x4x48 journey, the David Goggins-inspired run. We’ll also share some research we found regarding refined grains and the negative effects of soybean oil.

What are Refined Grains?

“Refined grain” is the term used to refer to grains that are not whole, because they are missing one or more of their three key parts (bran, germ, or endosperm). White flour and white rice are refined grains.

Whole grains are nutrient-packed with fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, vitamin E, and protein. With all these wonderful compounds, whole grains are nutrients superior to refined grains.

  • Fiber is the part of the plant we don’t digest and help us feel full for longer periods of time making it useful for weight control. 
  • Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps us combat disease and stay healthy. 
  • B vitamins help us feel energetic. Those are definitely great reasons to eat more whole grains: oats, quinoa, barley, and brown rice among many others.

Refined Grains and Negative Health Outcomes

Associations of cereal grains intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality across 21 countries [1]

  • Data on people 148 858 aged 35 to 70 years at baseline were collected from 21 countries. – 137 130 participants after exclusion
  • The highest category of intake of refined grains (≥350 g/day or about 7 servings/day) was associated with a higher risk of total mortality and major cardiovascular disease events.
  • We did not find significant associations between the consumption of whole grains or white rice with total mortality and cardiovascular outcomes.

Relationship Between Bread and Obesity

  • A systematic review of white bread’s effect on fat and weight gain
  • Bread consumption, which has been part of the traditional Mediterranean diet, has continued to decline in Spain and in the rest of the world because the opinion of the general public is that bread fattens.
  • The present study was conducted to assess whether or not eating patterns that include bread are associated with obesity and excess abdominal adiposity [2].
  • Consumption of whole-grain bread was more beneficial than refined bread, especially in relation to abdominal fat.
    • (a) Whole-grain bread: does not influence weight gain. (b) White bread: possible relationship with excess abdominal fat.
  • 14 studies
    • 5 found refined wheat to increase fat
    • 5 studies showed the benefit of whole grain over white
    • 4 studies show no relationship between food groups that included bread

Breakfast Cereal Consumption and Obesity Risk amongst the Mid-Age Cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health

  • Longitudinal study
  • Any breakfast cereal intake was not associated with incident obesity
  • Oat-based, muesli and bran-based cereal intakes were associated with a significant reduction in obesity risk. 
  • Muesli on its own or as part of oat-based cereals, and All-Bran, were associated with a reduction in obesity [3].

Glycemic load, glycemic index, bread and incidence of overweight/obesity in a Mediterranean cohort: the SUN project

  • Followed up 9,267 Spanish university graduates for a mean period of 5 years.
  • White bread and whole-grain bread were not associated with higher weight gain. No association between glycemic index, glycemic load, and weight change was found.
    • White bread consumption was directly associated with a higher risk of becoming overweight/obese.
    • Consumption of white bread (≥2 portions/day) showed a significant direct association with the risk of becoming overweight/obese [4].

The Negative Effects of Soybean Oil 

Soybean oil is used in fast food frying and packaged foods and fed to livestock. Its use in the U.S. increased 1,000 times throughout the 20th century, the researchers said.

The dogma is that saturated fat is bad and unsaturated fat is good. Soybean oil is polyunsaturated fat, but the idea that it’s good for you is just not proven

A diet high in soybean oil causes more obesity and diabetes than a diet high in fructose, a sugar commonly found in soda and processed foods, according to a just-published paper by scientists at the University of California, Riverside.

This study was done by scientists who fed male mice a series of four diets that contained 40 percent fat, similar to what Americans currently consume. The diet mimics what the average American consumes daily.

Four different diets:

  • Coconut oil – primarily saturated fat
  • Half of coconut oil and soybean oil-primarily polyunsaturated fats and is the main ingredient in vegetable oil. 
  • The other two had added Fructose to the above, comparable to the amount consumed by Americans. 

Compared to mice on the high coconut oil diet, mice on the high soybean oil diet showed increased weight gain, larger fat deposits, a fatty liver with signs of injury, diabetes, and insulin resistance, all of which are part of the Metabolic Syndrome.

Fructose in the diet had less severe metabolic effects than soybean oil. However, it did cause more negative effects in the kidney and a marked increase in prolapsed rectums, a symptom of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which is like obesity is on the rise.


The mice on the soybean oil-enriched diet gained almost 25 percent more weight than the mice on the coconut oil diet and 9 percent more weight than those on the fructose-enriched diet.

And the mice on the fructose-enriched diet gained 12 percent more weight than those on a coconut oil-rich diet [5].

The major surprise is soybean oil causes more obesity and diabetes than fructose.

How Are Industrial Seed Oils Made?

The general process used to create industrial seed oils is anything but natural. The oils extracted from soybeans, corn, cottonseed, safflower seeds, and rapeseeds must be refined, bleached, and deodorized before being suitable for human consumption.

  1. First, seeds are gathered from soy, corn, cotton, safflower, and rapeseed plants.
  2. Next, the seeds are heated to extremely high temperatures; this causes the unsaturated fatty acids in the seeds to oxidize, creating byproducts that are harmful to human and animal health.
  3. The seeds are then processed with a petroleum-based solvent, such as hexane to maximize the amount of oil extracted.
  4. Next, industrial seed oil manufacturers use chemicals to deodorize the oils, which have a very off-putting smell once extracted. The deodorization process produces trans fats, which are well known to harm human health.
  5. Finally, more chemicals are added to improve the color of the industrial seed oils.

From Toxic Waste to “Heart Healthy”: The History of Seed Oils

The surprising story of how seed oils were classified as “heart-healthy” involves a scandalous combination of donations to medical organizations.

In the late 1940s, a small group of cardiologists who were members of the still somewhat new American Heart Association received a $1.5 million donation from Procter & Gamble.

Thanks to this generous infusion of cash from the makers of Crisco, the AHA now had sufficient funding to grow its national profile as a physician’s organization dedicated to heart health.

It also was quick to endorse industrial seed oils, more kindly referred to by now as “vegetable oils,” as a healthier alternative to traditional animal fats.

Around the same time, a physiologist and researcher named Ancel Keys introduced his diet–lipid hypothesis. He presented data suggesting a link between saturated fat and cholesterol intake and heart disease.

Citing animal fats as “unhealthy,” Keys instead recommended the consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which preliminary research had associated with reductions in cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.

Keys’ conclusions aligned with the industrial seed oil industry’s motives—to get people to eat more seed oils! Soon, ads for “heart-healthy” margarine (a solid form of vegetable oil) and other seed oils became commonplace and healthy. Traditional fats were all but forgotten [6].

What does P&G own?

Procter & Gamble is one of the biggest companies in the world. But what brands and products do they own?

Soybean Oil Induces Genetic Changes in Brain Region Controlling Metabolism

The study, “Dysregulation of Hypothalamic Gene Expression and the Oxytocinergic System by Soybean Oil Diets in Male Mice,” was published in the journal Endocrinology.

The findings indicate that, besides its effects on obesity, this oil affects the brain control of insulin signaling and inflammation while also impacting neurological pathways important in depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

The hypothalamus harbors brain cells that play pivotal roles in controlling body fat — adipose tissue — by regulating the balance between caloric intake and energy expenditure.

Hypothalamic cells release small molecules, such as the hormone oxytocin, whose role in regulating food intake and energy spending has increasingly been recognized.

The researchers fed mice with three diets high in fat — soybean oil, soybean oil modified to be low in linoleic acid, and coconut oil (control). The mice were fed twice weekly for up to 24 weeks [7].

The results showed that both soybean oil diets induced significant changes in over 100 hypothalamic genes compared with the coconut oil diet.

The coconut oil diet used that oil as a regular oil without linoleic acid or stigmasterol — a cholesterol-like molecule that is the main component of soybean oil — and a coconut oil supplemented with stigmasterol [8].

The genes with altered activity were involved in processes such as inflammation and insulin signaling, and signaling pathways important in anxiety, depression, and Alzheimer’s.

One such gene was the Oxt gene, which generates oxytocin. Levels of this hormone, which also has been associated with obesity, were reduced in the hypothalamus and appeared to lead to an increase in glucose sensitivity — an indicator of diabetes.

The Oxt gene is associated with neurological, metabolic, and inflammatory diseases that showed increased activity in both soybean oil diets. 

In additional experiments, the scientists confirmed that the impact of soybean oil on the hypothalamus was not linked with linoleic acid or stigmasterol.

Learn more about the 4x4x48 challenge and the effects of soybean oil by clicking here 👇


00:00 – Intro
00:37 – Episode introduction
01:56 – 4x4x48 Challenge
04:47 – Fight for the Forgotten Donations
07:48 – We’re not marathon runners
10:00 – Refined Grains
15:01 – Mediterranean Diet
17:07 – Breakfast cereal consumption
21:21 – Effects of Soy Bean Oil
26:59 – The problem is our diet and lifestyle
34:32 – Not going the artificial route
35:47 – No animals in the future?
37:06 – Industrial Seed Oils
39:36 – A Study on Mice
42:03 – Epigenetics
44:16 – Results of the Study
45:50 – Reflect on your diet
48:00 – It’s a Great Episode!


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