Is Crisco a Heart Healthy Food?

In the Harvard School of Public Health Nurses Health Study, it was shown that people who “enjoyed” only 3 grams of trans fat (about 27 calories per day) in their diet increased their risk of heart attack by nearly 200%! Not what the average person would call heart healthy foods.

Prior to 1909, dietary fats primarily consisted of butterfat, beef tallow, and lard, but in 1909 Procter & Gamble began marketing Crisco, the miracle shortening composed largely of partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil. 

The effect of trans fats on human health was largely kept quiet by special interests until Dr. Mary G. Enig, one of the world’s leading biochemists and a pioneer in research on fats and oils published her findings in 1978.

Although there’s no way for me to prove it, I have a sneaking suspicion that Crisco played a significant role in the clogging of six of my favorite arteries.

"I'm from the FDA and I'm here to help you."

If you have been counting on a government agency (the FDA) to guide and protect you from choosing unsafe foods, I suggest that you take a look at their record.

The US Food and Drug Administration bureaucracy took more than 25 years to finally consent to showing the amount of trans fats on food labels, and even today does not warn against their dangers to our health. As a concession to food processors they are allowed to show zero trans fats on the label if the amount is less than 1 gram per serving.

How about the American Heart Association? Can you depend on their diet recommendations? Sorry, but their advice leaves much to be desired.

As of September 2012 their Nutrition Committee allowed 2 grams of trans fats in a "heart healthy diet." They recommend limiting saturated fat and recommend vegetable oils that have been ruined by processing. You be the judge.

For years they have maligned eggs, meat and dairy products as “cholesterol producing” which their “experts” contend increases risk of heart disease.

Dr. Enig responds, "The fact is that for the last four decades, saturated fats have been condemned for the misdeeds of polyunsaturated fats, trans fats, and refined carbohydrates.”

The diet police have arrested the wrong suspects.

Saturated fats are not only good for you...they are essential, and may keep you from having a heart attack or stroke. Your body needs saturated fat to nourish your heart, brain, nerves and hormones. Every cell membrane is ideally made up of 50% saturated fat including your brain.

So what are the lessons here? Be careful who you trust. The tried and true old time foods such as butter, meat and eggs not only taste best but they are the best heart healthy foods!

I'm here to help, to be your advisor and heart health coach. I want you avoid the pitfalls and false starts that I have made. And I've made plenty of them.

Take some time and browse through some to the articles on our website. I think you may be surprised what you find.

We also invite you to take a look at a few heart health testimonials.

Pictured on the left is a 2012 photo of Gene Millen and his wife and best friend Bernie, your hosts on this journey to a healthy heart and a vital long life.

Gene experienced a heart by pass surgery in 1990 which prompted a change in his career from bank president to heart health coach.

His credentials include several fitness and wellness certifications and starting and operating the Vital Life Center, a health and wellness club for the "over 50 crowd, which was judged # 1 in California and 2nd in the nation for the wellness programs he developed.


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