Oils ain’t Oils

Oils were once rare and precious foods that naturally made were prone to spoiling after exposure to air, light, and heat. Today oils are highly processed using such extreme processes that their chemical bonds are changed and the way they affect DNA and our body are dramatically and dangerously altered.

Oils and fats are vital for the functioning of a healthy body.  We need them in our diet to have good immune function, provide us with energy, good cardiovascular health, and brain function.

There are fats that nourish, energize, and protect the body against disease.  There are also fats that cause degenerative disease and can contribute, when eaten in excess over a long period of time, to death.  The appear superficially to be two teams playing the same game only on closer inspection you will find that in their natural state they will heal the body and in the denatured processed state they will harm the body.

As soon as you cook or chemically refine oil, the nutritional benefits soon disappear and the more harmful they become.  Exposure to air and light cause any fat to become rancid and toxic.  Most of the oils on the supermarket shelves are oils without nutritional benefits.  They have been highly processed, removing any protective properties.

Check out the extreme processing your cooking oils go through before they reach you:

 7 Steps to Create Common Cooking Oil

 Step 1:  Cooking – the seeds or nuts are cooked, mashed and then formed into a cake.

Step 2: Solvent extraction that uses hexane or heptane (gasoline) combined with the cooked mashed seed cake to remove the oil.

Step 3: Degumming, which remove phospholipids (some of the most nourishing and protective properties within the oil) and many other nutrients by using water and phosphoric acid.

Step 4: Refining, which involves mixing oil with sodium hydroxide (which is caustic soda) and sometimes mixed with sodium carbonate.

Step 5: Bleaching, where filters, and acid treated activated clays are used to remove any colours and aromas.

Step 6: Deodorizing – through this process the oil becomes distasteful and takes on pungent smells, which is not surprising, so it goes through another degenerating process of heating the oil to 240 to 270 degrees C to render it tasteless, odourless, nutritionally useless and most likely harmful.

Step 7: Final preservation – most oils on the shelves of the supermarket are further treated to extend their shelf life.  This can include the addition of synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxytoluene, butylated hydorxyanisole, propyl gallate, teriary butyhydoquinone, citric acid and methylsilicone.  A defoamer is then added before the final stage of bottling in a clear plastic bottle.

It doesn’t take a team of scientists and dieticians to figure out that doing all this to a seed can render it harmful to consume and at the very least nutritionally useless.

Hundreds of years ago, before the scientific papers verified it, it did not require peer reviewed studies to decide that a piece of rotting flesh was most likely not suitable to eat and possibly toxic.  We have collection of tools; intuition, instinct and intelligence to use to make wise decisions about what we eat. Consider the many examples of the power of primal instinct in animals that helps them discern what is good and harmful for them. Remember that you too are an animal, only our disconnection from nature has impaired or in some cases severed our protective instinctual traits.

When choosing an oil you want to make sure that it is free from chemicals in the growing stage, that includes drugs and highly processed animal feed if you are eating animal fats as these cannot be extracted from the fat. Simply you want the oil or fat to be as close to its wild state if possible and failing that you want it not only to be organic but free from chemicals at any stage of the processing.  You also want oils and fat extraction without the use of heat, so cold process extraction is imperative so as not to destroy nutrients. You also want to buy that oil in a dark glass bottle as both air and light denature the oil, so once it is opened you want to consume it within 6 to 8 weeks which is why smaller bottles are a wise purchase.

Fats and oils this pristine cost more than their highly processed versions which seems ironic that you would pay more for something simply extracted than complex extractions requiring dozens of processes, elaborate machinery and heaps of chemicals. Increased shelf life, scale of production and the sale of the extracted oil by products make for cheaper oils.

I remember selling a 250ml bottle of oil at a home show 7 years ago and a woman complained that it was too expensive and told me if it was $10 she would buy it from me, I told her that I could not buy it wholesale from the farm it was produced on for that. Her perspective was based on the supermarket conditioning of paying based on price for volume. Denatured oils have little health benefits and are now with a growing body of research are being proven to be harmful to the body. I often ask people if they would find it equally confronting to pay $20 for a bottle of wine and ask them how long that bottle would last once opening (in my last presentation a women shouted out 5 minutes followed by a knowing ripple of laughter) compared to a 250ml bottle of a beautiful nutrient rich oil. Nutrient for nutrient you get what you pay for.

If you require significant body of research to verify the information on fats & oils check out a fascinating and considerable body of work in the book by Udo Erasmus called “Fats that Heal Fats that Kill”.  I have only interpreted a miniscule extract of the book and the information will enlighten you beyond expectations.


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