Udo Erasmus, pioneer of essential fatty acids, EFA's, omega-3, omega fats, Udo's Choice, Udo's Oil, cold-pressed flax-seed oil, trans-fats, Trans Fatty acids

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ INDEX  |   1 Fats Intro  |   2 Udo's Oil  |   3 Oil Processing  |   4 Good Fats  |   5 Misc  |   6 Questions
The information provided is meant for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

PART 3. Oil Processing

How did we lose the good fats and other vital nutrients?

Good fats were lost in the diet because of their sensitivity to destruction by light, air, and heat. Low fat foods are becoming more and more popular. They cannot keep us healthy, but they serve the manufacturers' need for long shelf life. Since the good fats can spoil rapidly, long shelf life requires their absence from foods. But health requires their presence.

The omega-3 EFA is destroyed by light, air, and heat 5 times more rapidly than is the omega-6 EFA. Since 1850, average intake of omega-3 has decreased to 16% of what it was then. Omega-6 intake has doubled in the past 100 years, mainly due to strong promotion of omega-6 rich oils such as safflower and corn oils.

Most of the population does not get enough omega-3.

People on low fat diets are likely to get insufficient omega-3 as well as insufficient omega-6. As a result, research shows that more than twice as many health problems respond to omega-3s as respond to omega-6 supplementation. However, both are essential and so both must be present in the right ratio. Too much omega-3 EFA will crowd out the omega-6 (this can happen from exclusive use of flax oil) and will lead to omega-6 deficiency, while too much omega-6 EFA will crowd out the omega-3 and lead to omega-3 deficiency.

Besides losses of EFAs due to processing, minerals, vitamins, fiber, enzymes, and probiotics are also lost for the same reason. These components of health must be replaced either by returning to a diet more in line with nature—fresh, whole, raw, organic—or by taking supplements of the components of health missing from our diets.


How can typical processing methods alter fats and endanger health?


Hydrogenation, which is used to turn oils into margarine, shortening, or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, produces trans- fatty acids, which are twisted molecules. Twisted, their shape changes, and they lose their health benefits and acquire toxicity instead.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, trans- fatty acids double risk of heart attack, kill at least 30,000 Americans every year, and increase diabetes. Other research shows that they interfere with vision in children, interfere with cerebral cortex function (lower intelligence), interfere with liver detoxification, make platelets more sticky, correlate with increased prostate and breast cancers, interfere with insulin function, and in animals (no human studies done) interfere with reproduction. They also interfere with EFA functions, and make EFA deficiency worse.

Frying has been known for 40 years to increase cancer and heart disease. During frying, oils are exposed to the destructive effects of light, air, and heat, all at the same time. Cooking is best done with water (steam, poach, boil, pressure cook). Hard (saturated) fats (ghee, lard, coconut, palm) are damaged less when used in frying than are the liquid oils.


The richer an oil is in EFAs (especially omega-3),
the more it is damaged when fried,
and the more toxic it becomes.

  • When fried food turns brown, the brown part is toxic. That's because when it is fried, the food loses water and dries out, then overheats and burns. If the food remains wet, it cannot burn. Only the outside of fried food burns: the inside is steamed, even in a frying pan.

  • The same premise applies to baking. The outside (crust) dries out, overheats, and burns. The inside of the bread remains moist, and is steamed.

  • To prevent overheating and burning, use water in a pot or pan, and use a lid so the food remains wet. Then it cannot burn. Take care that when you protect the top of the food from burning, you don't forget the bottom of the food. Stir or add water to keep the bottom of the food from burning.

  • Cooking oils are made by treating oils pressed from seeds with corrosive base, corrosive acid, and bleaching clays. This is done to remove 'minor' ingredients, which have major health benefits, but shorten the shelf stability of the oil.

  • Bleaching turns oils rancid, and they acquire a bad odor of rancidity. They must then be deodorized to remove the rancid odor, and this process is carried out at frying temperature.
  • Oils treated this way have lost most of their minor ingredients, are unbalanced, and contain about 0.5 to 1% molecules that have been changed by the processing from natural to toxic.

  • All of the cooking oils normally found on store shelves have been treated this way (these are the refined, bleached, deodorized or RBD oils), except for extra virgin olive oil, which has not undergone RBD processing and retains its minor ingredients intact.

  • Extra virgin olive oil should not be used for frying. Italians traditionally used butter and lard for frying, fried seldom, and added extra virgin olive oil to foods after these have been cooked with water.

  • Saturated (hard) fats like butter, dairy fats, pork, beef, and lamb fats, and tropical fats are natural. All foods contain some. The body uses them for energy and in cells and tissues. These fats cause problems only if we do not get enough EFAs in our diet.

  • EFAs and saturated fats have opposite effects in the body. EFAs (especially omega-3) increase insulin sensitivity and make platelets less sticky, making a clot in an artery (stroke, heart attack, embolism) less likely. Saturated fats, on the other hand, increase insulin resistance and make platelets more sticky.
  • To prevent the negative effects of saturated fats, we need to make sure that we optimize our intake of EFAs before we start using saturated fats in our diet. And we need to make sure that EFAs always win the competition with saturated fats.

The information provided is meant for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
FAQ INDEX  |   1 Fats Intro  |   2 Udo's Oil  |   3 Oil Processing  |   4 Good Fats  |   5 Misc  |   6 Questions

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