The Israeli Paradox

Probably most of you have heard of the French paradox.

The idea is that the French eat all kinds of saturated fat in their food, yet have a low rate of heart disease. Second lowest in Europe actually, after Switzerland, and the Swiss eat even more saturated fat than the French.

If you’ve been following my writing for a while, you know what I think about the French paradox: it’s B.S.

You don’t need to explain low rates of heart disease among the French because saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease.

So, the fact that the French drink wine, while probably relevant to their low heart disease rates, doesn’t counter their fat intake, because it doesn’t need countering.

The amount of resveratrol in their wine is too low to matter as well.

Anyway, there is another paradox which, well, when you look at it, is less of a paradox than you might think.

That’s the Israeli paradox.

Here it is:

  1. Israel has one of the highest consumption rates of omega-6 fatty acids in the world. These fatty acids are abundant in vegetable (seed) oils, and the Israelis consume a lot of it.
  2. Vegetable (seed) oils are good for you – allegedly.
  3. The Israelis suffer from a high rate of heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

That’s a real head scratcher, according to mainstream health authorities, who tout seed oils as being uber-healthy.

But the paradox disappears when you just forget the idea that seed oils are healthy.

Of course the Israelis have high rates of chronic disease. If they used animal fats and/or olive oil in place of seed oils, they would be a whole hell of a lot healthier. (Yam, Daniel, Abraham Eliraz, and Elliot M. Berry. “Diet and disease–the Israeli paradox: possible dangers of a high omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid diet.” Israel Journal of Medical Sciences 32.11 (1996): 1134-1143.)

To quote the authors of the cited article, “Thus, rather than being beneficial, high omega-6 PUFA diets may have some long-term side effects, within the cluster of hyperinsulinemia, atherosclerosis and tumorigenesis.”

Seed oils can give you heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

When does anyone ever say that?

There’s only a few of us out here saying it, like voices in the wilderness.

Vegetable oils, which are better termed industrial seed oils, are made by modern manufacturing techniques from seeds that generally contain little oil.

Soybean, corn, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed, and others are all industrial seed oils.

And you should avoid them like the plague.

Seed oils like these are also implicated in obesity.

So, if you’re trying to lose some body fat, ditching seed oils is a great thing to do.

Unfortunately, the modern food supply is drenched in seed oils.

They’re in virtually all ultra-processed foods – the packaged foods in boxes and bags that you can buy in the middle aisles of the supermarket. The stuff that Big Food manufactures.

Virtually all restaurants cook with them too.

What to do about it?


Avoiding seed oils is just one of the helpful rules used in my fat loss plan.

Grab a copy of The World’s Simplest Fat Loss Plan for hunger-free fat loss.