Heart Foundation challenges Gillespie’s new book ‘Toxic Oil’ message

  • February 27, 2013
  • Sophie Langley

Australia’s National Heart Foundation has challenged a new book about the ‘dangers’ of eating vegetable oils.

The book, ‘Toxic Oil’, published today by Penguin Books Australia by lawyer David Gillespie claims that eating seed oils is bad for health, despite advice to the contrary given by health agencies and government.

Gillespie writes that the human body has not evolved to digest polyunsaturated seed oils and that humans should instead be eating ‘more natural’ saturated and monounsaturated fats from animal and other sources.

Gillespie’s previous books, ‘Sweet Poison: why sugar makes us fat’ and ‘Big Fat Lies: How the diet industry is making you sick, fat & poor’, were both bestsellers, and attracted supporters and critics from within the food industry and nutrition health sectors.

The Heart Foundation has strongly refuted the claims about the negative health effects of seed oils.

“There is no single cause of chronic diseases, including heart disease,” a statement issued today by the Heart Foundation said. “However there is scientific consensus that replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat, in particular polyunsaturated fat, reduces your risk of heart disease”. The organisation said it was dangerous, misleading and wrong to say otherwise.

“The considerable weight of evidence for the recommendation of a dietary shift from saturated fats to unsaturated fats for positive health effects is insurmountable,” The Heart foundation said. “This position is also held by the world’s leading health organisations, such as World Health Organisation, British Heart Foundation and American Heart Association. In addition leading professional and government organisations, such as the Dietitians Association of Australia, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and National Health Service UK (NHS UK) support this dietary transition.”

There is consistent research to suggest that polyunsaturated fats reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood, and increase the ‘good’ cholesterol, which helps to lower the risk of heart disease.

The Heart foundation recommends a balanced diet eating a variety of foods, including fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, lean meats, oily fish, low-fat dairy, nuts, seeds, legumes and oils. “A healthy diet is just that – balanced,” they said. “It does not involve cutting out any food group entirely.”

David Gillespie's new book, 'Toxic Oil'


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4 Responses to “Heart Foundation challenges Gillespie’s new book ‘Toxic Oil’ message”

  1. Jill Fraser on February 28th, 2013 1:43 pm

    Sophie. are we going to see a response from David Glllespie to the comments above from the Heart Foundation?

  2. David M Driscoll on March 13th, 2013 8:47 am

    Journalists need to check the ‘facts’ that David Gillespie presents to support his theories. Both the Corn Oil study and the Veterans trial study DON’T support David’s position and he has been misrepresenting their findings in the media and in his book. He has also ‘conveniently’ not mentioned, and in some cases denied the existence of studies that go against his position.



    Even if the studies David Gillespie misquotes, did actually say what he claims – that still is evidence for ridiculous comments such as every mouthful is doing irreversible damage to you and your kids. This scaremongering is just a another stunt to get attention (and doesn’t seem to be working as well this time around)!

  3. Graham Hunter on March 26th, 2013 8:53 am

    I am not defending his conclusions. I find them very binary as opposed to properly researched science field conclusions which use statistics to report the likelihood of feasibility. His knowledge of science and more specifically biochemistry is clearly rudimentary, but his background is made clear in his opening dialogue, it is law, not science.

    The explanations are simple and appeal to the layman, the problem is that many people will treat it as gospel simply because it’s in a book and it costs $29.95 to get it.

    To me it is very brave to take on the worldwide scientific community, including the Heart Foundation and Australian Oilseed Federation to name just two, using from what I see as hobby research as a base.

    Word is out it’s controversial, and his book is selling. His conclusions are really his opinions. If you don’t like it, don’t accept the advice, or, take from it what you choose.

  4. Links for the week ending 1 March 2013 on May 20th, 2013 4:46 pm

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