Body Temperature and Vegetable Oil

I just read This is Your Body Temperature on Vegetable Oil. It is an interesting article that supports the information I learned from Matt Stone back in 2013 that PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) consumption can reduce body temperature.

By 2013, I had already eliminated the use of vegetable oils. However, growing up I had my fair share of vegetable oils and other sources of PUFA. And my body temperature was always around 96.9 – 97.1F whenever I went to donate blood. So I began an experiment to be hyper diligent about removing PUFA from my diet. I made sure nothing I consumed had vegetable oil in it. I also removed nuts and seeds from my diet.

In hindsight, I failed to remove some of the meat sources with high PUFA, but it didn’t matter. My body temperature gradually increased to 98.5F over the course of a year and I’ve maintained that increase ever since.

When I engaged in the experiment, I knew that the information was speculative, but the This is Your Body Temperature on Vegetable Oil article shares the story of a population that was exposed to vegetable oil in recent years that experienced the exact opposite of what happened to me. Their body temperatures fell rapidly.

cooking with veggie oil

Photo by Markus Winkler

The article links to Decreasing human body temperature in the United States since the Industrial Revolution, which discusses how in earlier times average body temperatures may have been a response to inflammation. Not the inflammation we think of today, but that caused by chronic infections. It also raises the possibility that by living lives in temperature-controlled environments that a drop in body temperature might be an efficient response.

This is Your Body Temperature on Vegetable Oil also details why fat built on PUFA would generate less heat than saturated fat. I do recall feeling better and sleeping better when my body temperature increased, but I don’t have any data to support that statement. This was long before I got an Oura ring.

Now the question to ask is it a good or bad thing to be running at a slightly higher or lower body temperature? Does it reduce longevity? I’m guessing that the damage caused by seed oils will take you out long before any reductions in metabolic efficiency would. Love to hear your thoughts.

9 Comments

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  1. Chris Highcock

    Jan 31, 2021 — 2:03 pm

    Interesting to see you reading the Fire in a Bottle blog. He has some interesting ideas.

  2. Interesting that you found PUFAs were less healthy so long ago, with real evidence if only it was noticed for what it was. I have recently come to the same conclusion, learning from the various posts/videos of Matt Blackburn and Paul Saladino. They have been studying the subject independently and have come to largely the same conclusion that PUFAs are not a healthy part of the human diet and should be avoided. Both emphasize animal proteins and fats as the center of human nutrition.

    Blackburn emphasizes that in the presence of adequate protein, sugar (table sugar, honey, maple syrup) is pro-metabolic and not needed to be restricted other than ad libitum. Carbs from root vegetables, rice and fruits are also preferred sources, and that green leafy vegetables are not necessary as part of the diet.

    Saladino is still leans quite carnivore/keto, and emphasizes minimizing sugar while allowing for some consumption of honey and fruit as carb sources. He also does not see a need for vegetables in the human diet, but limits other carbs including the root vegetables, rice and fruit that Blackburn encourages.

    The other major difference is that Blackburn is vocal that Omega 3s should be included among the PUFAs that are not encouraging to health, especially in large amounts that supplement companies encourage. He is correct in that Omega 3s are PUFAS by the scientific definition. Saladino is silent on the topic to my knowledge, but some evidence on views can be gathered circumstantially by the fact that his supplement line does not include an Omega-3 product.

    In any case, Blackburn and Saladino are two people researching and discussing the topic of PUFAs and their detrimental effects on health. Worth checking out for their views on the topic. [Apologies to either of Blackburn or Saladino if I have mis-characterized their views – I am open to correction]

  3. @Brock – I listend to Saladino being interviewed on Dr Drew a few months ago. The first 45 minutes I agreed with and thought he sounded super smart. Then he lost credibility on several points. We agree PUFA is deadly. But to say veggies are unhealhty and root veggies are bad is too far for me. Maybe one day I’ll detail my thoughts, but I suspect others have a done a better job pointing out those disagreements.

  4. @MAS – I hear your point about Saladino. I think the under-appreciated element of his advice is to avoid nuts and seeds, which are otherwise staples of keto and paleo diets. Every keto/paleo cookbook seems to smear almond butter on everything, which I don’t think is healthy

    I agree with you that he is wrong about root vegetables being bad for you and mostly agree with you that he is wrong about vegetables. He has been evolving towards allowing or encouraging more carbs, with the honey as a relatively new addition to his dietary guidance. Give it another 12 months and we’ll see where he evolves to.

    I personally lean towards Blackburn’s guidance on diet, which does include the root vegetables and isn’t orthorexic about vegetables. His philosophy seems to be if you want to eat a salad, feel free, just favor olive oil based dressing instead of canola oil, and don’t feel bad if you aren’t eating tons of veggies. He does also say to avoid nuts and seeds, which I think is probably good advice.

  5. I may be out of the loop, but what’s wrong with PUFAs, especially whlle food sources of it? Academic literature generally says that PUFAs are better than SFAs. I saw the demonization of PUFAs only from paleo/keto/low carb crowd without proper references. Let’s be frank, Saladino is not reliable source of information.

  6. @Marcin – The issue with PUFA is excess PUFA, which all comes from industrial seed oils. They increase the Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio, which all parties agree is a poor health marker.

    In addition to the keto crowd, the whole food plant based group is also favors a minimal approach to seed oils.

    Natural forms of PUFA in the form of nuts and seeds are fine in my opinion.
    https://criticalmas.org/2014/08/nuts-pufa-vitamin-e/

  7. @MAS Aren’t PUFAs not all created equal? Afterall omega-3s are PUFAs too, so I assume you mean high omega-6 ones only (do paleo/keto/etc. crowds assume that?). But then canola oil should be relatively fine, as it has the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 1/2. I agree of course that for better health it’s good to take care of it, however I question priorities. My reasoning is that since studies on people consuming SAD show benefits of replacing SFAs with PUFAs even with the already existing excess of PUFAs. It seems odd focusing on speculative and smaller in effect issues while ignoring the elephant in the room, like Saladino and others do.

  8. @Marcin – When talking about PUFA issues, they are talking about the sources of high Omega 6 that are causing the most damage. That would be seed oil. Is one seed oil better than another? Sure. OK.

    I just avoid them all. I use boiling, steaming, and pressure cooking as my forms of cooking. Lower temps. Lower AGES. No oxidized industrial seed oil. That is where I am on my health journey. Someone else might benefit from using canola. Not me.

    This post was about the impact high amounts of seed oil have on metabolism (probably from the linoleic acids). I got rid of them and my body temp increased and today I consume a low-fat diet (lots of tubers and non-gluten grains) and my body fat has never been lower.

  9. @MAS Ha, fair enough. I wouldn’t advice anyone with your way of eating to include oil, including olive, that’s for sure.

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