Bio: Dr Evan Allen
Dr. Evan Allen, the author of Oversaturated, believes that a pervasive distortion of the truth ignores decades of established research and has led millions of people to embrace a diet high in saturated fat. Furthermore that this diet results in millions of people suffering the consequences of diabetes, dementia and heart disease each year.
Evan has been practicing medicine for over 25 years. During this time, he has opened two practices in Henderson, Nevada. He’s received board certification from the American board of obesity medicine. But more importantly, when he really started to pay attention to nutrition, the health of his patients improved dramatically.
He hopes to give healthcare providers what he never had, which is a guide to talking to your patients about a healthy diet that’s low in saturated fat and ultimately, genuinely improve the health of your patients.
Palm Oil Detectives is honoured to interview to Dr Evan Allen about his fascinating work, why his research into fats in the diet led him to becoming vegan.
Contrary to false health information – saturated fat from #palmoil #meat #pizza is unhealthy for you. Find out why from physician Dr Evan Allen MD @EAllen0417 author of ‘Oversaturated’ #BoycottpalmoilTweet
“Reducing your intake of #palmoil and other saturated fats lowers your risk of blood cholesterol or vascular dilation ability: involved in heart disease, diabetes, fatty liver” ~ Dr Evan Allen MD author of Oversaturated #BoycottpalmoilTweet
“In addition to destroying the habitat of magnificent wild animals, #palmoil is also bad for your health. It is a win-win to avoid it” Dr Evan Allen MD @EAllen0417 author of Oversaturated #BoycottpalmoilTweet
A diet high in saturated fat is incredibly unhealthy for you
Saturated fats once were considered as bad for you as cigarettes. However over the past 15 years, an ocean of misinformation online created by the food industry has sought to ignore decades of established research about the health dangers of these fats in the diet.
Saturated fat causes millions of people to get diabetes, dementia, high cholesterol, and heart disease each year
Dr. Evan Allen’s new book Oversaturated: A Guide to Conversations about Fats with Your Patients assists Health Practitioners to clearly and confidently speak with their patients about the facts on saturated fat and how to adopt a regimen of preventative care involving diet and lifestyle changes, with surgery and medication as a last resort.
From my perspective, the weight of the scientific case against saturated fat was so strong that I felt it was necessary to have a book that distilled down that case into a readable, accessible format that someone could read quickly and understand fully in a short period of time.
An easy win for health: avoid top sources of saturated fat in the diet
- Palm oil
- Grain-based desserts
People who dramatically reduce their saturated fat intake will likely see remarkable benefits in their health.
The best part is, it’s easy to experience these benefits. Just cut out the top five sources — or at least drastically reduce how often you eat them — to cut your saturated fat intake way down.
Doing so is likely to reduce long-term risk factors like blood cholesterol or vascular dilation ability (involved in heart disease, diabetes, fatty liver, etc). Other benefits will accrue more quickly, like improvements in erectile dysfunction and chronic back pain due to less arterial plaque buildup.
In addition to this, going vegan – avoiding palm oil is also a win-win for the environment and your health
Misinformation about palm oil is the same as misinformation about other industries
The food industry needed a fat to replace trans fats that is “inexpensive” (palm oil is actually very costly in ecological and biological diversity terms) so that all the common snack foods would go rancid less quickly.
The food industry needed this greenwashing, they needed to spruce up the image of palm oil and its environmental and biological cost. This was accomplished using the same mechanism that all industries have used over the past century to make a harmful product seem harmless or even beneficial: the media and now social media.
Examples of the greenwashing of “sustainable” palm oil from the RSPO/WWF
Vegans should avoid palm oil and coconut oil
Primarily because they are saturated fats, the avoidance of which is one of the primary benefits of a plant-based diet. You can remove significant amounts of the benefits of PBD simply by adding in copious saturated fat.
In addition to destroying the habitat of magnificent animals, palm oil is also bad for your health, it is a win-win to avoid it
Palm oil is bad. So is animal agriculture
Both palm oil production and animal agriculture lead to significant habitat loss for our fellow creatures. Saturated fats of all types tend to push negative health and ecological outcomes. Avoiding them is a win-win.
David Williams, University of Leeds and Michael Clark, University of Oxford Scientists know that biodiversity is declining across much of the world although less universally and dramatically than we feared. We also know that things are likely to get worse in the future, with a combination of habitat loss, climate change and overexploitation set to…
Palmitate: the saturated fat most commonly found in animal products and palm oil is used to produce ceramides in the body
Palm oil is a huge contributor to the saturated fat burden and is found in around 50% of all supermarket items
Let’s talk about ceramides
When one’s diet is high in saturated fat from any source, the body has an enzyme that is switched on called Serine palmitoyltransferase (note the palm in the start of that second word). This makes a specific kind of ceramide, C-16:0 ceramide.
Ceramides with different attached fatty acids have differing physiological effects within the human body.
However, saturated fats that are 14-18 carbons long typically have negative metabolic and health impacts. C-16:0 ceramide worsens the symptoms of asthma, heart disease and heart muscle function, and increases the risk of death from heart failure.
A host of maladies arise from elevated cholesterol levels, including stroke, heart attack, spinal disc disease and erectile dysfunction.
Ceramide consumption comes from the consumption of saturated fat- whether from pigs, chickens, sheep, ducks or palm oil the body can’t tell the difference between the origin of one C-16:0 ceramide or another.
“Eat a lot less meat than you do now,” is far more ambiguous and difficult request than to simply say:
“It is harmful to your health to eat meat, so stop doing it completely”
Cutting out meat from your diet means you get better overall blood flow to your organs. There will be less stress on the kidney and liver, along with reduced inflammatory markers. In addition, most people who eliminate those foods add in more unprocessed plant foods, which have specific health benefits.
The diet I propose is not fat-phobic, it is simply healthier
All cell membranes from all organisms are made of fat, so there’s no reason to have a phobia about fat in general. However, fat is definitely the most calorie dense of the main nutrients. Therefore, for people with obesity, there are good reasons to try to minimise calorie density in diets.
I became vegan to reverse my fatty liver
However after making diet change for health reasons, I realised that many people adopt veganism primarily for ethical, animal justice and environmental reasons.
Primatologist Dr Frans De Waal labeled people who believe that our fellow creatures are somehow cognitively different from us “neo-creationists.” I find his argument compelling, both scientifically and as a basis for veganism.
In my case, I needed to change how I ate for my health, before I would even consider the ethical and environmental cases against eating animals.
A fourth reason for avoiding meat and going vegan: The spread to Zoonoses, such as Covid-19
Halting deforestation means that we halt the spread of zoonoses. The vector-borne illnesses the jump from animals to humans due to the industrial-scale commodification of our fellow creatures.
Amy Y. Vittor, University of Florida; Gabriel Zorello Laporta, Faculdade de Medicina do ABC, and Maria Anice Mureb Sallum, Universidade de São Paulo Many pandemics originate from wildlife that jumps from animal to human. These leaps often happen at the edges of the world’s tropical forests, where deforestation is increasingly bringing people into contact with…
Terry Sunderland, University of British Columbia As the global population has doubled to 7.8 billion in about 50 years, industrial agriculture has increased the output from fields and farms to feed humanity. One of the negative outcomes of this transformation has been the extreme simplification of ecological systems, with complex multi-functional landscapes converted to vast…
My book is for fellow health practitioners to push back against the narrative of the food industry
When we determined asbestos was harmful and caused mesothelioma, we didn’t start looking for the very smallest, safe amount of asbestos. We just stopped using it and tried to get rid of it.
Each chapter of my book has a lengthy set of references that people can follow to learn more about the issue of saturated fat.
I hope that health practitioners find the book insightful and a supportive aid in having conversations with their patients about this critical health issue.
‘Ceramides and diabetes mellitus: an update on the potential molecular relationships’ H. Yaribeygi, S. Bo, M. Ruscica, A. Sahebkar. Wiley Online Library. 2019 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/dme.13943