Unsaturated Fatty Acids—Part II
Unsaturated Fatty Acids—Part II
There are two major concerns in regard to UFA’s:
• Getting enough from the correct sources in order to maintain good health.
• Avoiding refined oils, or foods containing them, that will deplete us of UFA’s and lead to various illnesses.
If we are diligent with our diets (see UFA’s Part I) we can easily get plenty of UFA’s/EFA’s. The second point is the main concern. Let’s look at why some foods and oils are a problem.
• Oils such as safflower, corn, soy or canola are heated and refined. The nutrients—vitamins A and E and minerals—have been removed. If we eat these oils we become deficient in these vitamins as well as minerals.
• Refined oils also contain pesticide residues and chemical solvents that are very toxic and can cause many severe problems in our bodies.
• Refined oils contain 20% or more trans-fatty acids.
• Partially hydrogenated oils have 10-60% trans fats.
• In the refining process, oils are deodorized. This step produces trans fats in very high amounts. Canola and soybean oils are particularly susceptible to developing high levels of trans fats during this process.
It is important to understand why trans fats are so unhealthy. The explanation is as follows:
In their unrefined state fatty acids are in the natural cis form (it is all about chemistry). In refined oils some of these fatty acids are converted to the unnatural trans form. The problem with this is that fatty acids, in their cis form, are designed to be a part of the covering (membrane) around cells. The purpose of the membrane is to protect the insides of the cell and to allow for proper movement of nutrients and water into the cell and for waste and water to move out.
Trans fats also enter the cell membranes. These fatty acids clog the pores (openings) of the membrane leading to reduced movement of nutrients and water into the cell and waste and water out. Once they become lodged in the cell membrane, they take up permanent residence. Over time almost any problem could occur as a result of this situation. Most frequently we see high blood pressure and increased toxicity.
What is the answer? There is a tremendous opportunity here! Every hour we make approximately a billion new cells. In that same hour we break down a billion old cells. This is the key to good health—making healthy new cells. The following are some tips:
• Eliminate refined oils from your diet (i.e. canola, corn, soy, sesame and safflower).
• Use organic extra virgin olive oil for salad dressing.
• Use organic butter or organic unrefined coconut oil for cooking (Reminder, no oil should be heated too high or too long. Frying food is not healthy.)
• Use butter, coconut oil, or raw seed butters as spreads on bread and crackers. (Almond butter is sold raw and other nut and seed butters can be made in a food processor from raw, organic nuts and seeds.)
• Homemade mayonnaise is easy to make from organic extra virgin olive oil. Follow this
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
Slightly less than 2 cups of organic extra virgin olive oil
Blend the eggs, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic and salt in a food processor or blender. With the machine still running, SLOWLY add the oil in a thin stream. Continue mixing till mixture thickens. Place in glass container with tight fitting lid and refrigerate immediately. Mayonnaise will thicken further when cooled. Must be kept refrigerated and used within one week.
In conclusion, I encourage you to choose your fats carefully using the recommendations listed above. In addition strive to follow the dietary guidelines suggested in the first article on fatty acids.