1, 2, 3, and to the 4,
All these fake gurus are knockin’ at the door,
Tryin’ to take your money, so back on up,
‘Cuz I need to know who do YOU trust?
– Snoop and Dre (probably)
If you wish, you can grab the N.W.A. Newsletter Playlist on Spotify here, all of the songs that have been featured in the newsletter are on the playlist.
Happy Friday, Coach J here from Anyman Fitness – and welcome to the latest edition of The N.W.A. Newsletter.
Each Friday’s N.W.A. Newsletter will have 3 parts:
- A Nutritional Tip to help make your diet healthier and easier to stick to.
- A Workout Tip to help make your training sessions more effective and fun.
- An Attitude/Mindset tip to help you strengthen your greatest asset – your mental toughness.
I will also give you my single favorite piece of social media content from AF over the past week and link to it on either Instagram or Twitter.
Without any further ado… let’s get started, shall we?
N.W.A. Nutrition Tip of The Week
Every time I get onto social media, I see the same thing.
Non-stop posts, articles, and videos about how “seed oils” will destroy your health.
But what does the research really say about them?
And how do you know who – and what – to believe when you read an article on the internet?
50 years ago, we had an information problem.
It took time for news to get from Point A to Point B.
That is no longer the case; with the internet and social media as huge as they are, the very second something happens, it’s all over the place.
Anyone with a pulse can hop onto social media, create a social media account, and start spewing fake news everywhere.
It can be frustrating, and borderline infuriating to see an anonymous social media account explode out of nowhere, gaining hundreds of thousands of followers overnight by vomiting out incorrect and inaccurate information.
When you make fear-based comments and claims, people notice.
They get scared.
They say “oh crap, I had no clue, I’d better share this or we’re all going to DIEEEEEEE!”
And “seed oils cause obesity, inflammation, cancer, and will kill you if you eat them” is the exact kind of nonsense people use to sell their pdf’s, ebooks, and gain social media notoriety.
There has always been a “nutritional boogeyman” since the obesity epidemic came into full swing in the early 1980’s.
At first, the boogeyman was saturated fat and cholesterol.
Time magazine ran this cover in 1984, and everyone collectively lost their shit:
Everyone was certain fat was making us fat, clogging our arteries, and was the cause for skyrocketing obesity rates across the country.
America is a capitalist country.
And all of a sudden all the high-fat food products dropped out of vogue.
We stopped eating dietary fat and we started buying low-fat cookies (Snackwells, anyone?) and high carb breads and bagels.
And of course, it didn’t work.
The next nutritional boogeyman was sugar, and eventually all carbs.
After all, eating less fat didn’t work.
So the answer must be the sugar, right?
We’re eating too many carbs, which is causing our insulin to spike, and insulin is a “storage hormone” and if we eat carbs, we can’t lose weight.
(This theory is called the insulin hypothesis, and it’s total bullshit, by the way.)
So, Time magazine went in the other direction, and came out with this cover in 2014:
And like clockwork, all the food companies said, “shit, nobody wants to buy our low-fat products any longer! We need to make low-carb products, because fat is GOOD now, and carbs are bad!”
And our grocery store shelves were bombarded with low-carb cookies, gluten-free cakes, pork rinds, and Atkins approved muffins.
And of course… it didn’t work (yet again).
And since we obesity rates are still rising, we need another boogeyman.
Sugar consumption has plummeted in America over the last 10 years.
And we’re still bigger, and more obese than ever before.
Clearly, we haven’t pinpointed the proper boogeyman.
Enter seed oils.
Seed oils are oils which come from seeds.
They are “cold pressed” – meaning, when you squeeze the seed, oil comes out.
Common seed oils include canola oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil.
Sometimes, chemical solvents are used to extract the oils as well.
This association with “chemicals” is what makes seed oils a prime target to scare people away.
People see the word “chemicals” and “processed” (which seed oils are), and the appeal to nature logical fallacy is difficult to overcome.
Seed oils are also high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which scares people, since the Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acid ratio needs to be kept in check.
The biggest reason seed oils have been deemed “bad” is because they’re used in processed foods.
They are less expensive than other fat sources, and they have a longer shelf life, and because of this, food companies often use them in their products.
People who eat more seed oils do tend to have worse health outcomes because of this association with ultra-processed foods.
Eating processed foods makes it much more difficult to eat the right number of calories.
Processed foods are created to taste delicious, have a delightful “mouth feel” and cause you to overeat them.
It’s tough to lose the weight if you’re going to be regularly eating junk food like cakes, candies, and potato chips.
But you already knew that, right?
You were never supposed to eat most of your foods from a bag or a box.
But sadly, that’s what most people do…
The question remains… is it the seed oils themselves that are causing the health issues?
Or is it the excess calories that comes along with eating processed foods?
Last week, I posted this on Twitter… and I got a lot of heat in the replies…
I had people saying “just because you have abs doesn’t mean you’re healthy”.
I had people saying “you’re going to get cancer when you get older”.
I had people saying “you’re stressing your organs and causing inflammation”.
Gotta love social media, amirite?
But this brings us back to the question – what does the research really say about the healthfulness of seed oils?
There are 2 types of fitness/health coaches – innovators and simplifiers.
The innovators are always in front of the cutting edge research, developing new techniques and strategies, etc.
The simplifiers are taking this knowledge and using it to help their clients.
I am a simplifier; I always have been.
Even before I started coaching others, I didn’t want to know the nitty-gritty scientific facts behind protocols.
I just wanted to know how to implement it and what to do.
Give me the Cliff’s Notes – that was my motto – and that’s what I do for my clients as well.
Because of this, I need to know who to trust, especially in the world of nutrition, which many people treat like a religion…
Back in 2010 when I was learning how to get fit myself, I came across some dubious information, and I took it as gospel.
I fell hook, line, and sinker into the “carbs are bad and will make you fat” rhetoric that was running wild online.
For 5 straight months, I tried to eat zero carbs.
I went “Keto” before Keto was even a thing.
Did I lose weight? Yep, I sure did.
I also lost a ton of muscle, felt like shit, lost my libido, tanked my testosterone, and destroyed my immune system.
I was obsessive about not eating carbs and I was positive eating them made you fat, and caused cancers.
Because that’s exactly what “everyone said” online…
(Sound familiar? This is the exact same thing people are saying about seed oils right now…)
It wasn’t until I sought out trustworthy sources of information that I started to realize I was biased in my thinking.
I had to find unbiased practitioners and follow their lead.
What is an “unbiased practitioner”?
It’s a coach or figure who uses nuance when they speak.
They never talk in absolutes such as “if you eat this one thing, it will destroy your health”.
They also have no financial incentive towards what they are telling you.
If you listen to “Carnivore Bob” from Twitter, who sells “Carnivore ebooks and coaching”, OF COURSE Carnivore Bob will tell you things that fit his narrative, and try to sell you his products.
That’s how he makes money.
That’s how the internet works…
Reminds me of this classic Upton Sinclair quote:
These days, when I need to find reliable, unbiased information, I get it from 2 people:
Layne Norton and Alan Aragon.
Layne and Alan have been at the forefront of evidence based nutritional science for 30+ years.
Both of them have a research background and are highly intelligent.
They have zero financial incentive to tell you anything but the truth, either, an important distinction.
When I looked into the seed oil debates, I found a few little tidbits from these two.
Here is a clip of Layne Norton and Andrew Huberman (another unbiased practitioner) discussing seed oils and their impact on your health.
I’ll give you the summary:
There have been no RCT’s (randomized controlled trials) which have shown negative effects to consuming seed oils, assuming your calories are controlled.
If you want a longer, more detailed listen, here is Alan Aragon on the Fitness Stuff for Normal People podcast discussing seed oils and the Carnivore movement.
Alan’s summary is the same as Layne’s.
As long as your calories are controlled, there are no negative effects from seed oil consumption.
Before I dug into the answers to the seed oil debates, I had assumed this was the case.
I figured it was nothing but a loose association with eating processed foods, which cause people to gain body fat, and THAT was the true “danger” of seed oils.
After all, this wasn’t my first rodeo…
Years ago, after I realized myself that carbs, and sugar weren’t the “boogeymen” I thought they were, and I started eating some carbs again, I felt much better.
My strength and muscle returned.
My testosterone shot up.
My immune system returned.
My libido was back as well.
And my fat loss continued, as long as I kept my calories in check…
Funny how that works…
That lesson back in 2010 really opened my eyes.
From then on, I vowed to never get caught up in “tank think” and “echo chambers”.
I vowed to remain unbiased, and to see what the evidence truly says every time a new, nutritional “boogeyman” comes along.
Of course, if you eat animal protein, whole food carbohydrates, and limit your excess fats, you likely won’t be eating many seed oils.
Much in the same way that you likely won’t be eating much sugar.
So, I guess in that aspect, I wouldn’t recommend eating lots of seed oils… because if you eat nutrient dense whole foods (that fill you up better), you won’t be eating them anyways…
But it’s not the seed oils themselves that are causing issues.
It’s the fact that they’re associated with processed junk food.
And processed junk food is easy to overeat.
And when you overeat something, you gain weight, which has a negative impact on your health.
That’s it and that’s all…
If you eat mainly whole foods, and you sneak a treat into your diet from time to time, you will be just fine.
Even if it has a dirty, dirty seed oil in it…
The poison is always in the dose.
There are only 2 foods I would never eat myself, and I recommend you don’t eat:
- Trans fats (emphatically proven to have negative health outcomes)
- Energy drinks (sky high doses of stimulants that raise cortisol and stress)
That’s the list.
Just those 2 things.
Everything else is fine, assuming your calories are controlled.
High fructose corn syrup.
And yes, even seed oils.
Of course, if you eat real, whole foods, and your calories are in the right range, you won’t be eating much of the above list anyways.
It’s amazing how much you can get away with when you don’t overeat…
In our community, we have zero do not eat lists.
We never tell our clients what to eat.
We believe in 100% FOOD FREEDOM so you can live your life, and still make amazing fat loss progress.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
Twitter is the only social media where you’re guaranteed to see a “if you do this thing that almost everyone does you will die” thread every time you log on.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of the Anyman Fitness N.W.A. Newsletter.
I’ll be back next week.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
It took me way too long to realize Kanye was talking about Chicago in this song and not some girl… (NSFW – lyrics)