The Future of Killer Ingredients: Processed Sugars and Degraded Fats. On Challenging the Processed Food Industry

Sara Aguilar Healthy Fats

Fi Europe Presentation December 2019: Sara Aguilar Healthy Fats 

Sugar and Fat: Rethinking the principle ingredients for the baking and confectionery industry and how they relate to global health.

Well, it has been a while since I have written any proper long form content for Keto Supplements and that is not because I have stopped writing—no way! To the contrary I have been building out more extensive keto guides—lots to come–and recently presented at a food conference in Paris—the Food Ingredients Europe show which was humungous! It is where the world’s food manufacturers source new ingredients and explore the latest food trends.

The Latest Food Trends

There were thousands of exhibitors and over 35,000 attendees—suppliers, manufacturers, press and media all seeking to find out about the future of food—namely processed food manufacturing as we all know that real food comes from a farm and either needs washing or cooking before eating and not much else!

It was great to see a number of organic superfood sources, super dark chocolate and an array of healthy natural sweeteners exhibiting—including Stevia and even Monk Fruit which is actually a Novel Food in the EU.

However, the dominating presence was won by Aspartame, Sucralose and Saccharin…the unhealthier, gut disrupting artificial sweeteners. Since there has been such an anti-sugar push in Europe, a gap has been made in the market to allow the sinister artificial sweeteners in—the health impacts unbeknownst to the majority of consumers.

I was incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to speak on the Key Note stage on behalf of Hand Media International and to challenge the processed sugar and artificial sweetener movement and raise awareness about healthy fats and the inflammatory dangers of unhealthy seed oils.

Sara Aguilar Healthy Fats

Not like other conferences

I was literally addressing the Baking and Confectionery Industry; and unlike all the other conferences I have been to, these are typically the least health concerned. I was expecting a lot of criticism and debate following my talk.

However, the audience were attentive and engaged, took photos of the slides and queried the time it would take before Regulations would change—WOW! They took my words seriously and hopefully I have played a small part in making processed food manufacturers think about their ingredients and the consequences for global health. I was pleasantly surprised by how the mainstream food industry positively received me and my argument.

Well received challenge to the status quo!

Okay, that was a long introduction! Here’s an outline of the presentation with the referenced slides. I would like to say a special thank you to Dr. Chris Knobbe, MD and Ophthalmologist, who allowed me to incorporate some of his research and slides into the presentation. He has conducted some incredible research into the correlation between increased vegetable oil consumption with increased incidence of heart disease. He really is conducting and presenting research that will save millions of lives. Thank you Dr Chris Knobbe!

I am going to be talking about the future of 2 killer ingredients in the baking and confectionery industry: these being sugar and fat. Processed sugars and degraded fats need to be reconsidered in light of new research and an increasingly health conscious consumer base. 

The latest science demonstrates a strong correlation between the consumption of processed sugars and vegetable oils with an increase in inflammation and chronic illnesses

The latest science demonstrates a strong correlation between the consumption of processed sugars and vegetable oils with an increase in inflammation and chronic illnesses; including obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

As well as the ‘Diseases of Old Age’: stroke, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Which are the biggest killers of us modern humans. To a degree these are man-made diseases—in the sense that they are diet and lifestyle related. These are diseases did not exist at such a level in our Palaeolithic past, so there are things that we are doing differently, and we need to consider how our industry contributes to global health—or detracts from it as the case may be.

Sara Aguilar Healthy Fats Link between diet and the diseases of old age

We now have increasingly curious, educated and health conscious consumers who are far more invested in their health; researching the foods that they eat, reading packaging labels and scrutinising marketing spiel. They have developed packaging literacy. Because of this, the ingredients most prevalently used in baking and confectionery will demand a serious rethink and we must be willing to reshape our offering according to consumer demand and health.

some rather worrying health statistics

On Heart Health Statistics

  •  Coronary Heart Disease is the number 1 killer in the UK
  • In Europe, it is the single most common cause of death before the age of 65
  • And Cardiovascular Diseases kills up to 40% of people under the age of 75

Obesity Statistics

  • The World Health Organisation reports that 1 in 3 11 year olds in Europe is overweight or obese –this is in the first world!
  • Almost 30% of adults are in the UK are obese and
  • Obesity is one of the biggest health challenges faced today.

Food has so much to do with this Over consumption of processed sugars, degraded vegetable oils and not enough movement in our sedentary lifestyles.

Not All Fats are Equal

We know that sugar concerns are of critical priority on the global health agenda BUT there is a lack of information on degraded fats in vegetable and seed oils (one of my favourite subjects). They are highly inflammatory and oxidative for the human body and brain. And are contributing to a global health crisis.

We need to distinguish between the healthy fats and the unhealthy fats and to do so we will examine the science behind processed fats and degraded seed oils.

I am by no means anti-fat—I actually follow a ketogenic diet: very low carbohydrate, high fat intake but with healthy fats.

I believe that this more ancestral approach to macronutrient consumption is healthier for humankind as our bodies are more adapted to healthy fats and proteins in comparison with processed and grain-based carbohydrates that have only been in our diet for a few thousand years

How long does it take humans to physiologically evolve?

Did you know it takes the human body 40,000—100,000 years to physiologically evolve and adapt to new foods. So, we should be consuming foods with more traditionally ancestral ingredients.

Traditional Fats

However, unlike traditional fats which our great grandmothers’ would have used: such as olive oil, saturated coconut oil, butter, ghee, and lard, industrial seed oils are a very recent addition to the human diet and they are playing havoc with our health.

Sara Aguilar Healthy Fats Vegetable Oils

Since the introduction of vegetable oils we can see a very clear correlation between the incidents of Heart Disease Deaths.

Dr Chris Knobbe

Polyunsaturated fats, vegetable seed oils became prevalent in the 1960s with Krisco and margarine—that are basically franken foods—their molecular structure being so corrupted from nature they’re pretty much plastic.

You can see that there is no correlation between heart disease deaths and the consumption of saturated fats. When we consider this in light of heart disease being one of the biggest killers in Europe, we really need to take this data seriously.

Dr Chris Knobbe Sara Aguilar

This data by Dr Chris Knobbe shows that average Americans are eating up to 80g of fat from vegetable oils a day compared with zero grams in the 1900s. Not only are vegetable oils highly oxidative they are high in inflammatory linoleic acid and unfavourably high in Omega 6. There was virtually no incidence of heart diseases in the 1900s—literally food for thought.

Dr Chris Knobbe Interview with LIV NRG

I run a business, LIV NRG, in which I interview doctors and experts on health around the world. In August I interviewed Dr Chris Knobbe, MD and Opthamologist at the Ancestral Health Symposium in San Diego where he condemned:

Sara Aguilar Dr Chris Knobbe Healthy Fats

‘Highly polyunsaturated vegetable oils are nothing short of biological poisons’ – ‘they are the drivers of virtually all of the diseases of civilization—we are consuming these highly pro- oxidative, pro-inflammatory, toxic seed oils, in massive quantities and the whole world is getting sick’.

You can watch these interviews at

Health Impacts of Degraded Fats

But what makes these fats so dangerous and oxidative to the human body? It’s not the plant or seed in itself that is the issue, but it is the chemical and heat processing of polyunsaturated fats that changes the fatty acid structure—when the fats oxidise.

What Makes Fats go Bad?

Sara Aguilar Healthy Fats

Saturated fats are the most stable as they have zero double bonds and their structure will not change unless they are heated beyond their smoking point.

Monounsaturated have one double bond which makes them susceptible to restructuring under heat and polyunsaturated have more than one which makes them the most susceptible to structural degradation and oxidation—which can create trans and hydrogenated fats which are the most oxidative and toxic of all.

When polyunsaturated fatty acids oxidize they form unhealthy molecules called advanced lipid oxidation end products (ALEs).

These ALEs cause an inflammatory reaction in the circulatory system—which is how they are linked to heart disease—as well as harming the liver, kidney, lungs, and gut, and are having negative impacts on human health. In simplistic terms, they literally make you rust from the inside out, releasing free radicals into your system. This is why a Paleo ancestral diet excludes dietary fats with high percentages of polyunsaturated fats.

What does this have to do with baking and confectionery?

Many baked goods use vegetable oils as the mains source of fats—for example muffins use seed oils.

Sara Aguilar FI Europe Healthy Fats

What are the healthy fat alternatives?

What are the healthier fat alternatives that can be used in the baking and confectionery industry?

  • Saturated Fats for baking because their molecular structure will not degrade.
  • Animal Fats
  • Cold pressed seed oils—as long as they are not heated or exposed to light
  • Cold pressed olive oil
  • Avocado Oil

Safe Fats for Baking

  • Butter
  • Ghee
  • Tallow
  • Coconut Oil

At present there are increasing research projects on health implications of degraded seed oils and this information will be shaping consumer knowledge and their food preferences, in particular where and how they choose to spend their money—which will affect our industry.

Now, let’s examine the changing face of sugar and sweeteners in the food industry and how they are linked to chronic illnesses.

What’s next for sugar in Europe?

We know that people are consuming far too much sugar, processed sugar and carbohydrates, especially considering a predominantly sedentary lifestyle in the Western World in which people consume over three times the daily recommendation of sugar.

The UK government has tried to address this by introducing a sugar levy on fizzy sugary drinks—it could be just a matter of time before baking and confectionery products are targeted.

An article in the International Confectionery Magazine states that: ‘Increased global attention on sugar reduction has resulted in many multi-nationals expanding their portfolio of sugar-reduced or sugar-free options for those health-conscious consumers.’

The market is evolving according to consumer demand.

However, despite the growing awareness, a further reduction in sugary ingredients needs to be implemented in order to effectively address the dangers of sugar.

There are strong correlations with sugar consumption and chronic illnesses—as well as the ‘Diseases of Old Age’. Let’s have a look at some of the research.

Sugar Health Statistics

400 million people worldwide have diabetes—Why? Because eating carbohydrates (which converts to glucose) then increases our blood sugar, increases insulin, leads to weight gain and eventually heart disease and diabetes.’ Combined with oxidised fats, we have a nutritional recipe for disaster.

Sugar & Heart Health

Here we have a piece that shows how saturated fat is protective against heart disease and how refined carbohydrates elevate the risk of Coronary Heart Disease, elevates glucose, insulin, leptin resistance, can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease’ –which some 6 years olds are suffering from.

Health Impact of Excess Processed Sugars

Furthermore, diets high in sugar can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases up to threefold and can even affect children’s heart health.

Sugar Substitutes

However, It’s not all depressing news! There are some healthy alternatives to sugar that from natural sources and unlike artificial sweeteners, these are not linked to cancer, nor do they excessively disrupt the gut microbiome.

Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame. have gotten bad press in the past few years as they have been found to be carcinogenic and consumers have become weary about what they put in their bodies.

Soluble Fibres and Natural Sweetners

Here we have an artile from our International Confectionery Magazine in which we examine the rise of Xylitol, one of the soluble fibre sweeteners.

Sara Aguilar Sweeteners International Confectionery Magazine

Stevia, Erythritol, Xylitol and Monk Fruit. are the sweeteners of the future for our industry. These soluble fibres are plant-based or sugar alcohols that have a negligible impact on blood sugar levels and they taste very similar to sugar, particularly stevia and monk fruit.

Good verse Bad Sweeteners

Contrast between sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners on health. As you can see, many of these Artificial Sweeteners and Natural Sweeteners have a presence at the show. However, artificial sweeteners have side effects that range of GI distress to drowsiness and from disrupting the gut microbiome to causing cancer.

Artificial compared with Natural Sweeteners Health Effects

As consumer awareness and discernment increases there will be a marked shift from the right column of BAD artificial sweeteners to the GOOD natural sweeteners.

Artificial sweeteners should not even be used in food—and consumer are identifying and avoiding foods with these ingredients.

Evolving Consumer Behaviour

How is consumer behaviour changing?

  • Scrutinising food ingredients
  • Beginning to read packaging labels—paying more attention to the backs
  • Thinking about their health and their family’s health. Health is a Mega trend amongst consumers and must shape your ingredient agenda.

Consumer Search Trends

  • Every year more consumers are searching for low carbohydrate diets, as well as plant based, high protein, high fibre and gluten free
  • Since 2018 ,30% of consumers trying to eat lower carbohydrate foods
  • Even more stats demonstrating the popularity of a low carbohydrate diet and that demand for gluten free options is continually increasing with 12% of shoppers avoiding gluten—this is having a direct impact on demand for baked goods.

Sara aguilar Keto Diet TRends on google

Google Diet Search Trends

Can be the most telling on consumer behaviour – the past 5 years sees steady searches for paleo and gluten free with an exponential increase on the ketogenic diet since early 2017.

Explain Keto – What is the ketogenic diet? Promote the consumption of healthy fats and natural sweetener alternatives.

What is the Paleo Diet? Eat like our ancestors- avoiding grain, dairy and seed oils.

Trends in the USA

  • Keto
  • Low Carb
  • Carnivore
  • Vegan
  • Wholefoods, plant-based paleo

As is happening in the USA, the shift towards low carb and ketogenic diets will imminently take Europe by storm and we need to be ready for this.

How are these consumer trends shaping the market in Europe?

Growing number of Free From companies producing foods that are free of processed sugars and vegetable oils.

hunter and gather mayonnaise Cru8 Vegn Keto Bread Xylitol chocolate good good stevia jam

We have a clear shift towards plant based low carb foods that are dairy and grain free. Vegan, Paleo & Keto

The Future of Food

So, what does the future of Food look like?

Well, ingredients of the future look very much like the foods of the past—AKA real foods!

Sara Aguilar Healthy Fats of the future

And what does this look like for the baking and confectionery industry?

As diet trends change and consumer awareness increases, traditional processed sugars and degraded vegetable oils will be shunned, and consumers will demand healthier options, including

  • Non-processed saturated fats for baking
  • Low GI sugar alternatives – sugar alcohols and plant based sweeteners
  • Grain and gluten free nut flours
  • Vegan, plant based ‘mylks’, protein powders and confectionery. Sara Aguilar Healthy Fats

Interntional Confectionery Magazine Hand Media International Sara Aguilar Editor


These are the ingredients of the future.

The baking and confectionery industry must take note of the newly educated and empowered consumer’s behaviour and buying trends.

To fail to anticipate and prepare for the shift to high healthy fats and low carb alternatives would be to plan to fail in the industry.



So, what was the point of my presentation?

Transform the industry to positively impact people’s health and longevity, reduce chronic illnesses and eliminate the ‘Diseases of Old Age’.

I would love to know what you think. Please post your comments below.

In Health & Vitality,

Sara Aguilar x

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