FATS & OILS
GOOD FATS, BAD FATS
Many of us have been misinformed about fats and oils. This misinformation results in many deaths across our nation due to heart disease as our #1 killer. Overweight and obesity continue to increase, leading to many chronic diseases. These diseases can be prevented if the truth would come forward from the food industry and the medical profession. Learn which are the bad fats that could harm your body. Also learn which are the good fats that nourish your body and create good health.
FATS & OILS
Across North America , nutrition books contain major errors or omissions about fats and oils, while the rest of the information may be accurate. Fats are essential for our health while other fats can truly harm us. We know that what really harms us is excess fats. More than 15% of fats in our daily caloric intake will clog our arteries. But complete elimination of fats from our diet can cause serious health problems. However, the love affair for fat in our society has a strong following. There is a healthy option. Fresh, undamaged oils, containing the “right stuff” will improve and maintain our health.
The main components of fats and oils are called fatty acids, EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids). There are hundreds of different kinds of fatty acids present in the fats and oils found in nature. A healthy body can make some fats from all of the other food substances such as starches and amino acids from proteins. Other “essential” fatty acids cannot be made by the body.
SATURATED & UNSATURATED FATS
There are 2 types of fats: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats that are found in butter, eggs, fish, chicken and red meats are high in cholesterol. These fats are hard at room temperature and referred to “hard fats”. Unsaturated fats found in dark leafy green vegetables, nuts, and oils such as sunflower, sesame, safflower, olive, corn, hemp and flax seed oil are high in essential Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids . They are usually referred to as “soft fats” because they are liquid at room temperature. However, they must be “cold pressed” oils to benefit the health of the body.
Both types of fats are needed in the diet but much less of the saturated fats and more of the unsaturated fats.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS (EFA's)
Essential fatty acids belong to 2 groups which scientists have named the Omega 3 and Omega 6 families of essential fatty acids. There is one fatty acid in each of these groups that are absolutely essential to our health. They must be present in the food we eat because the body cannot manufacture it on its own. Their names are linolenic acid and linoleic acid.
IMPORTANCE OF EFA's
EFA's are essential for the structure and function of the membranes which surround each of our body's several thousand billion cells as well as being required in the extensive network of membranes within each cell, where the vital activities of the cells take place. EFA's are also the substances out of which the body then makes prostaglandins , which are short-lived molecules with hormonal and regulatory functions in cells and tissues throughout our bodies.
DEFICIENCIES OF EFA'S
Complete absence of either EFA's results in death. However, most of us do have deficiencies of EFA's in varying degrees because of our modern day diet.
Check off any symptoms that you have been experiencing lately.
____ skin afflictions
____ excessive water loss through the skin along with thirst
____ abnormal wound healing
____ failure to grow
____ hair loss
____ kidney problems
____ weakened immune function
____ adrenal gland exhaustion
____ susceptibility to infection
____ loss of co-ordination
____ failing vision
____ inflammatory problems
____ water retention
____ high blood pressure
____ low blood pressure
____ high cholesterol
____ abnormal heartbeat
____ liver problems
____ varicose veins
____ poor circulation
____ lack of memory and concentration
We need a certain amount of both saturated and unsaturated fats in our diets. Except for people with serious heart disease from a lifetime of poor eating and little exercise, most of us need a minimal amount of cholesterol in our diets. Cholesterol is an essential building block for skin, hormones, cell membranes and brain tissue. When you eat too many processed oils and animal fats, your body cannot digest them, which can disturb fat metabolism. As these fats come into the bloodstream, cholesterol is produced by the body to try to break down these fats, and to protect your arteries from irritation. But then the body overprotects, by producing too much cholesterol resulting in the beginning of heart disease. If there are high levels of bad cholesterol indicated in your serum blood test, it is wise to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in your diet. Also, cleanse the liver with herbs as there can be too much fatty tissue in the liver.
ANIMAL & DAIRY FATS
Animal fats and dairy foods are very difficult for the body to digest. Red meats, milk and cheese should be greatly reduced in your diet, contrary to the statements of the meat and dairy marketing boards. These foods contain no fiber and are high in fat. They can contribute to constipation, diarrhea, clogged arteries, and the retention of fat. Try to eat a diet of plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, legumes and healthy oils. Eat smaller amounts of chicken, fish and eggs. Occasionally eat red meat. Make wise food choices as you do sensible eating. It is better to obtain most of your EFA's from clean fish and plant sources, and less from animal meat.
BUTTER & MARGARINE
Contrary to media misinformation, butter is a fair food. Butter is a different fat from the fat in animal tissue. It is high in butyric acid which is an excellent source of energy, and is a good source of cholesterol. Most people with dairy sensitivities cannot tolerate dairy well because they are usually allergic to lactose and milk protein. But usually they do fine with some butter in their diet. It is best to eat small amounts of butter and maybe every other day. Margarine is NOT recommended because it is a man-made food and not natural. Many margarines are hydrogenated and made with high heat etc. Margarine clogs the arteries contrary to what marketing has promoted in the past.
HEMP SEED & FLAX SEED OIL
Hemp seed oil and flax seed oil are the best reliable sources of Omega 6 essential fatty acids. They are richest in Omega 6 and have small amounts of Omega 3. Omega 3 is most deficient though in our diets. It can best be obtained from clean fish. Hemp oil also contains Omega 9, another EFA. Flax oil is similar to Hemp oil, but not quite as nutritional as Hemp. Only about 15% of the Omega 3 in these two plant oils can be converted to Omega 3 by the body. We need twice the amount of Omega 3 to Omega 6 in the diet. Therefore is important to include fish oil for Omega 3.
It is not recommended to fry with hemp or flax oil. They will deteriorate with high temperatures. Use a non-stick fry pan for cooking and then add the oil to the food when it is done as you give it a quick stir.
Both Omega 3, 6 and 9 oils can assist the body to metabolize fats that are trapped in fat cells found in overweightness and obesity. Researchers recommend a tablespoon of plant oil daily for everyone. They also recommend a teaspoon of pure fish oil daily as a protection to prevent heart attack, stroke and cancer. Evening primrose is high in Omega 9, but more expensive.
Make your own fresh salad dressing with cold-pressed oil and apple cider vinegar. Be creative and find a recipe you and your family likes. If you don't like the taste of flax, try the nutty taste of hemp. Lesser quality, cold-pressed, unrefined oil such as sunflower, canola, safflower and sesame is available. Cold-pressed, unrefined, virgin olive oil is very good too.
SENSITIVITY OF EFA'S
EFA's are chemically very reactive in most food products, and therefore extremely easy to destroy. These factors destroy their nutritional value: light, oxygen in the air, and heat above 160 degrees F, reached in frying and hydrogenation.
PROCESSING OF EFA'S
Due to EFA's easy spoilage, manufacturers prefer to market oils that contain the more stale non-essential fatty acids. At present, the most nutritious oils are not marketed by the major oil manufacturers at all. They refine the oil by several processing methods – deordorizing, winterizing, bleaching, and alkali refining. Hydrogen is added to preserve oil creating dangerous hydrogenated oils found in most snack foods. Read your labels.
Processing removes virtually all the vitamin E, lecithin and beta carotene. Even worse, refining destroys the essential Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, converting them into poisonous transfatty acids. These oils also develop a certain amount of rancidity because they are processed in the presence of light and oxygen. They are bottled in clear glass containers which allow light to penetrate and further their rancid deterioration. Light causes serious free radical damage to these oils. They can be carcinogen as well as damage the arteries.
The deordorizing phase of the refining process is the worst. The oil is heated to a temperature of 470 degress F. This removes the strong taste of the seed from which it is extracted. Why are we North Americans so obsessed with blandness that we insist on having oils like these in our diets. Remember that any foods that are deep-fried are heated to high temperatures. They can cause damage to the arteries and cause cancer. They heated fats are known carcinogens. Good oils cannot take the heat. They change in molecular structure that is harmful to the body.
Trans fatty acids are the inevitable result of chemically altered saturated fatty acids and are the cause of premature aging and disease. Actually, it's the trans fatty acids from vegetable sources of dietary fat that are the real culprits, not animal fat.
Good quality oils need to be expeller pressed out of the seeds at temperatures below 118 degrees F. This means that no heat is applied so therefore is called “cold-Pressed”. They must be packaged in dark colored containers that keep virtually all light out. The government has not as yet, set any standards for oil labelling. A “cold-pressed” label may be true if it states to refrigerate after opening. Select an oil in a dark colored bottle with “refrigerate after opening” on the label.
It must be a non-processed and unrefined.
Oils must be genuinely cold-pressed, stored in dark bottles and used unheated. Unsaturated fatty acids should never be heated. Drip on food or stir into food after cooking for that nice fatty flavour. Saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids on the other hand, are safely heated at low temperatures. The fats that are the least damaging by frying include coconut, palm, palm kernel, cocoa butter, macadamia, and dairy butter – but use them in small quantities. If the
Traditional Chinese cooks put water in their woks first, not oil. Water keeps the temperature down. European gourmet cooks put their vegetables in the hot pan before the oil. This also keeps the temperature down. Choose your method. Canadian and American cooks use just enough water so the vegetables do not burn and add the oil (for nutrition & flavour) when the food is on the plate.
IMPORTANT SOURCES OF EFA'S – FISH OILS
EFA's are found in their natural state in plant or fish oils. Both Omega 3 and Omega 6 are present in the oils of flax, hemp, pumpkin, walnut and soybean. Small quantities of both are found in dark leafy green vegetables. Omega 6 is also present in large quantities in sunflower and sesame oils. Oily fish like cod, salmon, mackerel, and sardines contain large amounts of Omega # and its derivatives. Canned fish is usually packed in bad oils that are added, so choose a fish packed in water or broth.
Fish oils are a major source of anti-inflammatory agents called prostaglandins. Fish oils are actually the very best anti-inflammatory foods in a persons diet. They cleanse the arteries with the EPA fatty acid to prevent heart disease. They nourish the brain with DHA fatty acid to prevent stroke and dementia. Actually fish oils are more important than plant oils. We need twice the amount of Omega 3 in fish oil compared to the Omega 6 in plant oil.
So… 1 teaspoon of pure cod liver oil and 1 tablespoon of pure hemp oil daily in the diet is considered the BEST ! The government knew this many years ago when cod liver oil was recommended and given out by families and schools. It would be great if the government cared about our health as much today, to make the same recommendation. Make sure you fish oil is clean and fresh from a reputable company. The company should have third party laboratory letters that confirm that the oil is free of heavy metals, dioxins, and other chemicals. It must also be guaranteed fresh with no hidden rancidity.
BENEFITS OF EFA'S
lowers high triglyceride levels up to 65%
lowers high cholesterol levels up to 25%
required for normal brain function
enhances immune function
increases metabolic rate
increases energy levels
softens the skin and nourishes collagen
brings about a feeling of calmness
protects the cell membranes from toxic invaders
makes prostaglandins to prevent platelets from sticking
lowers high blood pressure
decreases inflammation response
decreases sodium and water retention
There is 60% less the amount of EFA's in our present day diet compared to the diet of the 1820's when cancer and heart disease were less prevalent, according to relative population. The fact is that Canadians and Americans once put butter on their bread. They baked and fried with butter or rendered lard (not the hydrogenated lard in the supermarket today). In tropical countries cooks used coconut oil and palm oil, both natural saturated fats. Others, mostly Europeans, preferred freshly pressed olive, seed and nut oils. These oils were pressed without chemicals and stored in dark bottles.
The challenge for the years to come is for the oil industry to improve human health. The dairy industry needs to leave butter closest to its natural state. To prevent the seriously threatening assault on the health of the general population, a serious commitment is needed by the food industry to do new research, improve technology and properly educate the marketplace.