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.
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 naturefresh, whole, raw, organicor
by taking supplements of the components of health missing from our
(BACK TO TOP)
Foremost among destructive processing methods are hydrogenation
(or hardening), frying, and the processes used to make cooking (refined,
bleached, deodorized [RBD]) oils.
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
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.