I have had several questions about what a hydrogenated oil is. So, I thought I would try and explain it further today. Something to keep in mind is this, when we are talking about nutrition and fitness, it can become very complicated very quickly. Just say cholesterol and you can already be in over your head! My goal for this blog and my business, is to help bring nutrition and fitness to a level more people can understand, simplify. At the end of the day, it is not complicated, we lived for thousands of years without so called experts and people telling us what to eat, we knew what to eat, ate it and were very healthy. In fact, it could be argued even healthier than we are today. Not every one is as crazy as I am with nutrition and fitness, I am a self professed junky! Trying to navigate through everything can become daunting and overwhelming, I truly hope I can help bring some simplicity and understanding to such a complicated subject.
There are many different types of fat. By giving them names, we can delineate between the different types and know somethings about a fat just by it's name. Some fats have been given really bad raps, such as saturated fat and cholesterol. When in fact, these fats are healthy, they are heart healthy and help us to lose weight, gain needed weight, in general keep us healthy. Here is another reason health can be very complicated, one group says one thing and another says something else. Science is altered, studies are conducted to prove what someone wants, or if they do not like what the results are, they simply throw out those results or change them. We are talking about multi-billion dollar industries that want to make their money. There is not money in you being healthy, but if you are sick, then there is big bucks. They need things to be complicated so you need them.
Back to the fat. When we talk about omega 3-6-9, these are different types of fat that we all need in our diet to maintain health. When we eat a cow, elk, fish, chicken, whatever the animal is, we are in taking all of these different types of fat, as well as many many more. When the animal is eating what God intended it to eat, the ratios of all these fats are in the correct order for ideal health, the animal is healthy and so we are healthy then. When they are eating a diet they were not intended too eat, corn, soy, grains, who knows what else, the ratio of fats is in disorder. They have far more of the omega 6 instead of the correct ratio to the 3's. When this happens, we gain weight, have increased risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, inflammation which is at the root of most if it not all diseases. The animal is no longer as healthy as it should be, so you are not either. At the same time, if you are consuming these foods as well, soy, corn, grains, vegetable oils, you will be in taking far too many omega 6's and not enough of the other fats, creating all the same problems plus more. It is all about balance.
These omega 6's can be made even worse for our health by the processing they go through to pull out the oils, this is where they become hydrogenated, or trans fats. What this is simply, is a change in the chemical structure of the fat. When we change the structure of the fat, our bodies have a hard time using the fat, it causes many health problems or might not be able to use the fat at all. This chart shows the many steps involved in making different "vegetable" oils from a crude oil to product:
The Great Con-ola. This is a wonderful visual of the many steps they take to make the oil eatable.
The natural balance of omega 3 to omega 6 is 1:1 and no more than 1:4, one 3 to four 6's. In today's world of processed foods and animals not eating what they are suppose too, this ratio looks more like 1:20 or 1:200 even. Unfortunately, most of this omega 6 is hydrogenated, the chemical structure of the fat has been changed. This is where the big problems come from, heart disease, cancer, inflammation, weight gain, reproductive problems, cell structure issues, further reduces the amount of omega 3's in the tissues of the body, inhibits hormonal function and production, lowers the immune system, to name a few more things.
The take home point of all this is simple: J.E.R.F. Just Eat Real Food. Sean, I love this and wish I had come up with it! It does not have to be complicated at all, if you eat the food God intended our bodies to eat, we do not have to think about all of this stuff and we are healthy. God has given us everything we need in the food He provided for us. Do yourself a favor and take out the complicated from nutrition and eat the food God gave us, animals and animal products from pastured raised animals, vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds. The base of your diet should be healthy animal fats and the rest a combination of protein and in season vegetables and fruit.
To find pasture raised animals, look online for a farmer near you and buy local. If you cannot find one close or what you are looking for, there are several online farmers you can buy from and they ship.
A list of oils you want to avoid:
- Canola oil
- Corn oil
- Soybean oil
- "Vegetable" oils
- Peanut oil
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Any substitutes like I Can't Believe Its Not Butter, Smart Balance
Oils to use for cooking:
- Coconut oil
- Bacon grease
- Fat from bone broths
Other oils that can be good to eat, but you should NOT cook with because they will become hydrogenated and no longer be good for you
- Olive oil
- Flax seed oil
- Walnut oil
- Almond oil
- Other nut oils
I hope this clarifies things a little further.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's abundant blessings be showered upon you,