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Author Topic: Concentrated oils and cancer/heart disease  (Read 4244 times)

Offline jennifers951

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Concentrated oils and cancer/heart disease
« on: September 27, 2013, 09:47:34 AM »
I am just starting the NC program, and I am very confused about the information that is out there on olive and other concentrated oils.  On one hand, it is said that these oils are good for heart health, brain health, etc.  On the other hand, there is recent research (McDougall, Esselstyn) suggesting that to prevent and reverse heart disease and some cancers (especially hormonal cancers like breast, ovarian), we shouldn't consume these oils at all.  The reasoning behind why the oils aren't healthy is that they are too concentrated and lack other supporting nutrients contained in the whole food that allow the body to use the fat properly.  I've come to the conclusion that our fats should come from nuts, seeds, avocadoes, olives, flax, and fish in whole food form. 
Can someone give some insight on this subject and why we are being taught that olive and other concentrated oils are still good for us? 

Offline Nori

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Re: Concentrated oils and cancer/heart disease
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 02:21:55 PM »
It seems a very good model to obtain nutrients from food so everything is there and in balance.  That said, though, the sad state of our Pacific Ocean with the Fukushima disaster means that ocean fish could be unhealthy.  As we need essential fatty acids from the diet (hence. the name "essential") because we cannot make them from other dietary fats, supplementation may be the next best step.  Some fish oil is distilled and therefore subjected to some heat. I prefer Green Pastures brand for that reason as the oil is made through fermentation.  If one does supplement, taking adequate fat soluble antioxidants can prevent any oxidative stress that might occur. 

Olive oil is a condiment(eaten in small quantities) to enhance flavors, and the absorption of fat soluble vitamins and carotenes.  The best oil is extracted without expellers (these are high velocity and add heat) and not cut with canola oil.  In my food shed is Bariani extra virgin olive oil, produced in the old fashioned method. 

Hope this helps. 
Nori M. Hudson, BA, MS
Instructor, Bauman College, Berkeley
Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition by and Registered with NANP
Certified Diet Counselor, Nutrition Educator,  Nutrition Consultant, and Nutrition Teacher through Bauman College

Offline jodi f.

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Re: Concentrated oils and cancer/heart disease
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2013, 09:01:52 AM »
In addition to the excellent things Nori has had to say, I have some opinions on this topic based on all the reading I do as Curriculum Consultant. First, you need to be aware of bias when you read. McDougall and Esselstyn are on the vegan/low-fat end of the spectrum; they have extremely strong convictions and all of their "findings" support their viewpoints. It's very important to judge a diet by all its components AND its quality. It's also nearly impossible to look at people's diets and isolate foods that individually CAUSE (not contribute to) cancer and other diseases. It's dietary patterns that matter. They also do not allow for differences due to biochemical individuality and simply promote their one-size-fits-all dietary protocol. Good nutrition is never that simple. Vegetable oils can certainly be very damaging, and especially so in a diet that consists of few whole, fresh foods, especially fruits and vegetables, but to say we should never consume oils is, in my opinion, going overboard. It's also a little rigid and unrealistic.


Second, there IS research condemning oils. For good reason. Excess linoleic acid (omega-6) is too inflammatory. It MUST be balanced with omega-3, and whole foods sources, when practical, are certainly preferred. But as Nori pointed out, pollution is a huge issue and we can't always find a good work-around other than the purified oils. Also, the non-organic, highly processed oils used in most studies -- especially in the rodent studies (you won't believe the ingredients in mice and rat chow!) -- are completely foreign to the body and, therefore, are toxic. Canola oil, for example, is genetically modified, highly pesticided, and highly refined. Even when organic, it is somewhat refined and as far as I can tell, is always sold in clear bottles. That makes it damaged from the start, and everything we've learned about these delicate fatty acids supports the dangers to our health from damaged fats.


The latest research into the olive oil component of the Mediterranean diet has demonstrated that it's the polyphenol content of EVOO, not the monounsaturated fat, that is health promoting. (In fact, all the hype about monounsaturated fats being healthful seems to be going the way of the dodo bird.) Nonetheless, in this huge study (I've attached it for you), EVOO is indeed credited with being a vital health-conferring component of the regional eating pattern. You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn't think EVOO's healthful, though it might be DESPITE its oil content, not because of it. It doesn't, however, seem to be doing any harm, quite the contrary.


In general, my opinion, though, is pretty much aligned with yours, where it comes to oils (not fats). Best from food. I do, however, make allowances, because I love EVOO, I like coconut oil, and I like tiny amounts of sesame oil. Coconut oil, BTW, has been around for thousands of years, according to the Tropical Traditions website (http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/what_is_virgin_coconut_oil.htm). I use these simply because I like them; I'm a human being living in the 21st century, and I like to think I'm able to adapt to at least some of our food conventions.


I'm very big, however, on animal fats -- the fat on meat as well as rendered tallow and lard, and butter and ghee. If we think about what was available to our pre-agricultural ancestors, it would be animal fats. We have evidence from our own native American culture that fat and fatty meats were coveted as both calorie and nutrient sources. Fat was also rendered into tallow (a simple process) to be used in pemmican. Fats like this, from animals eating their intended diets, are rich in many different fatty acids and are more stable than the vegetable oils.


Epigenetics (a change in gene expression without actual gene mutations) suggests that humans are able to adapt to a wide range of dietary factors, as long as they're nutritious. But what's nutritious for some will not be so for all. Getting back to concentrated oils, I think the plant oils can be very problematic. Eons ago, getting oil from plants was far more difficult than obtaining animal fats, so people used very little. It's only been since industrial times that we've been able to consume them in large quantities, and yes, that's a problem. That's not to say, though, that small quantities of very well-prepared and stored oils are not just fine, in the presence of an overall nutrient-dense diet. But I also think we each must develop the self-awareness to know what works for us individually.





Offline lesleyh239

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Re: Concentrated oils and cancer/heart disease
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2013, 07:19:43 PM »
Wow, this is great information!  Thank you.  I am also learning a lot about fats this week as I dive into my readings and homework for the NC course (this is my very first week at Bauman).  Here is another site i found with good information on cooking with oils.

http://www.kumc.edu/school-of-medicine/integrative-medicine/health-topics/healthy-cooking-oils.html

One interesting thing I learned was that it is important to choose cooking oils that are lowest in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), as these fats are easily oxidized by heat and oxygen. Examples include coconut oil (2-3% PUFAs), ghee (4%), butter (4%), and olive oil (8%).

Offline jodi f.

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Re: Concentrated oils and cancer/heart disease
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2013, 07:35:18 AM »
Coconut and olive oils, unless they're of the refined variety, cannot be used at high heat, no higher than about 325 - 350. Tallow, lard, and ghee are your high-heat fats. Grapeseed oil is often touted as a high-heat oil because of its high smoke point, but it still gets damaged at high temps.

Offline Nori

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Re: Concentrated oils and cancer/heart disease
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2013, 02:46:58 PM »
Mary Enig alerts us to avoid grape seed oil, despite its high "smoke" point, because it is a PUFA and easily damaged when heated, if it were not already by the extraction process.
Nori M. Hudson, BA, MS
Instructor, Bauman College, Berkeley
Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition by and Registered with NANP
Certified Diet Counselor, Nutrition Educator,  Nutrition Consultant, and Nutrition Teacher through Bauman College

Offline jennifers951

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Re: Concentrated oils and cancer/heart disease
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2013, 03:28:39 PM »
Thanks for all of the insight.  There is a lot of conflicting information out there, so I love to hear your researched opinions!  I'm sure I'll learn a lot more going through the NC program.  I have to say that animal fat is pretty foreign to me as I've always heard it is unhealthy.  Thanks!


Offline jodi f.

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Re: Concentrated oils and cancer/heart disease
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2013, 10:47:40 AM »
Jennifer,


Most animal fat IS very bad for us, because it comes from animals consuming "foods" they were never intended to eat. Then, the fats, like so many vegetable oils, are tortured and depleted of nutrients and other health-conferring factors. However, what we hear about animal fats through the usual channels -- internet, news shows, newspapers, and magazines -- comes from very outdated misinformation that's been circulating since the 1950s. Misinformation dies hard, I tell you. The works of the Weston A. Price Foundation might be helpful for you to start seeing the other side of the argument -- westonaprice.org




Offline jennifers951

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Re: Concentrated oils and cancer/heart disease
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2013, 05:58:05 PM »
Thanks, Jodi.  We have just been talking about Weston A. Price in class. 

Offline lucas82

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Re: Concentrated oils and cancer/heart disease
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2014, 07:42:46 AM »
Olive oil seems to have the ability to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
According to studies, the Mediterranean diet reduces mortality rate of 50% compared to coronary heart disease.
The main benefits that are found in our bodies are:
a lower risk of cardiovascular disease;
a lower chance of developing cancers of various kinds;
an increase in the survival rate and, according to recent research, a less severe course of autoimmune diseases and rheumatoid arthritis.
Organic olive oil is seen as the apex of oils when it comes to nutritional benefits, and for a number of good reasons. Olive oil has been used for cooking in Mediterranean area for centuries, and over time its popularity has spread across the globe. The oil itself can offer a number of health benefits in a lot of areas, and choosing organic will ensure that you are getting the best out of the oil without the addition of artificial additives.

Offline jodi f.

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Re: Concentrated oils and cancer/heart disease
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2014, 05:50:54 PM »
Lucas, as I mentioned in a previous post on this thread, it's currently believed that it's the polyphenol content of extra virgin olive oil, not the oil itself, that confers the health benefits. The monounsaturated fatty acids, assuming they're not damaged in processing, are now considered to be neutral for health, neither damaging nor beneficial. See the study that I attached, above.