The book, Toxic Oil is based on the idea that Government Health agencies and nutritional experts have got it all wrong. That vegetable oil – the one touted as the “good one” – will kill you and your family. It’s a tough area to negotiate and I’d say to take it all with a grain of salt. But that’s bad for you too.

Toxic Oil is written by David Gillespie, a father of six who has in recent times become a health crusader. He previously carried around an extra 40 kilos in weight. But he did reach a tipping point and decided to investigate why he – and the rest of the Western world – was so fat. This lead to the books Sweet Poison and Sweet Poison Quit Plan in which he quite rightly encouraged people to rid their lives of sugar and now he’s turned his sights to vegetable and seed oils.

Gillespie admits at the start that he has no formal training in human biochemistry or science. His only skill is that he’s a former corporate lawyer who has the ability to gather, understand and synthesise evidence. The first part of the book gives a brief history of food manufacturing and includes details about some old food studies and experiments conducted in the UK.

This book is a difficult one to read. It relies heavily on scientific language, which can be difficult to understand and follow at times and may even be of questionable validity. He also does tend to veer off into scare-mongering territory at times. If you believe what he says, polyunsaturated fats will cause cancer, macular degeneration and allergies and may also be associated with other lifestyle diseases.

There are chapters designed to enable the reader to identify polyunsaturated fats and read food labels. Gillespie also details the Australian brands of foods which he believes contains an acceptable level of sugar and polyunsaturated fat. The fact is we probably eat too much processed food as it is and vegetable oil is one pervasive beast. It is found in: cooking oil, margarine, sauces, biscuits, pastries, spreads and fast foods.

The final part of the book is devoted to meal plans and recipe options where polyunsaturated fats are swapped for saturated, animal fats. According to health and nutrition experts this will be swapping “good fat” for “bad fat”. So it’s bound to have some nutritionists slap their foreheads (because for one, Gillespie encourages a breakfast of bacon and eggs cooked in animal fat or lard).

Toxic Oil is an informative book but you should read this along with the online rebuttals and make up your own mind. The only fact is there’s a lot of competing information out there and we have to eat but we don’t all possess the scientific nous to understand it all. Plus, food manufacturers are often only concerned with increasing their bottom line. In sum, it’s an interesting read that may have some kernels of truth in it but perhaps we should all stick to the middle ground and err on the side of moderation being best.

Originally published on 28 April 2013 at the following website:

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Luis Quaglia says:

    I started reading “Toxic Oil”. First paragraph of first chapter, i quote: “And it’s why a ‘healthy’ margarine stuffed to the brim with polyunsaturated vegetable oil, can be had for three or four times the price of ordinary butter”. Now there’s a gathered, understood and synthesized piece of evidence, that only a top shelf lawyer could have produced, right there, boys and girls.

    How could anyone who has been in a grocery shop read a clanger like that and still be interested in anything else such an author has to say? (I ventured into the next few pages, and it got worse.)

    I hope that not too many ordinary people get sucked in by this hoax, or his books, even that “Lord” Monckton (climate change denialist and bug-eyed fruit-cake) suddenly looks like Copernicus if you put him next to this gillespie character.

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