Is your diet and exercise program working for you?

Health, fitness and well-being are words that are often used interchangeably but more often than not fail to reflect the differences inherent in each person. Exercise, stress and diet are three components of wellbeing that are often grossly misunderstood not only is yourby the general public but by fitness professionals themselves. Companies wanting to sell products that supposedly enhance our well-being have largely driven our concept of health and of what it takes to achieve maximal health. Let’s take diet for example; the current trend is that we should eat foods such as raw green vegetables, drink plenty of water and try to eat less calories than we expend, usually supplemented with a fancy antioxidant that does what no other supplement currently does on the market. Exercise guidelines encourage us to exercise at least every day and in particular cardiovascular exercise is touted as the exercise that will help you lose weight and prevent heart disease.

Why is this unhealthy?

This approach may work with a number of people initially, especially with those who have been liberal with eating and drinking and exposure to limited exercise. The long term effect is an increasing number people who have a cold nose, hands and feet, low body temperature (below 36 degrees when the norm should be 37), poor energy, sleep, libido, digestive function, as well as mood swings usually dominated by poor adrenal regulation; and, ultimately, thyroid regulation. In fact one of the many flaws with the current recommendations with exercise guidelines is that it is most likely poor thyroid function that will contribute to elevated cholesterol levels (which is a protective response) and potential cardiovascular events, not a lack of exercise.

 Too much of a good thing?

Excessive exercise and malnutrition can also play havoc with the adrenal glands. Fatigue can also be linked to hypocortisolemia. Under and over production of the stress/anti-inflammatory hormone cortisol is well documented. Ever felt that fatigue early in the morning and inability to get out of bed? ‘But I eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly’ you say? The adrenals are responsible for getting our butt moving and are synergistic with other key glands, such as the thyroid, and have an impact on digestion, healing, blood sugar regulation and many other functions. The common approach to too much or too little cortisol production is adaptogenic herbs, such as Ashwaganda, Rhodiola and many others. However balancing stress responses with appropriate nutrition and a well-designed exercise and rest program can alleviate these issues without rattling as your walk down the street with your daily dose of supplements.

Food for thought

Nutrition and eating to support your own body function was inherently about consuming enough calories to keep us alive throughout history. Our body is geared towards consuming calories and exercise based upon energy being available. Today’s culture is about working more and eating less but it just isn’t working for everyone. If the so-called Paleo approach was right, do you think we would have been scurrying around for a head of broccoli and calorie-poor foods, or looking for food that would have given us more bang for the buck like a wild boar and liberal use of fruits and calorie dense foods? The human genome hasn’t changed that much, so the way we function as organisms will not change radically for some time either.

The big question

So what is the right approach? Well there really is no ideal approach; it’s what works for you. Exercise and nutrition are stressors and have the potential to be positive or negative but how does it affect you? Ask yourself these questions and you should have the answer to either continuing or cessation with your current methodologies.

  1. Do I feel fatigued?
  2.  Do I sleep well?
  3. Good bowel movement once or twice per day?
  4. What’s my libido like?
  5. Is my skin clear
  6. Do I keep getting injured?
  7. Have I lost weight with my plan if that’s what is needed?

You probably already know the answers to these questions; any program that supports energetic processes doesn’t create injury and improves repair processes, such as sleep, is always what we want and you are bound to be doing that right? Unfortunately we mistake the buzz and excitement, release of stress hormones and pumped up music of the group exercise classes, destructive boot camps, cross fit and other over exercise methodologies as healthy. When clients come to me in a state of injury and fatigue they often say to me ‘but I don’t feel like I am doing anything unless I am wringing with sweat and red in the face.’  The fact that their movement is compromised, posture and energy are poor, and re-training the thought process on what is health and balance is the first part of the rehabilitation program. The problem is that we still don’t know what optimal health is; we just work along patterns that appear to be healthy.

Burn baby burn

One of the common misconceptions of health is that you need low levels of body fat and a six-pack to be healthy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Many people who engage in excessive exercise regimes often take vast amounts of antioxidants in an attempt to combat the wear and tear of these programs.  An observation to be made in the future is will these people live longer than people who engage in a more balanced lifestyle? Many people who lived into their hundreds did not engage in excessive exercise routines and some of these never even drank water on its own, simply drinking tea and juices. The advice that comes from many professionals becomes flawed as we try to apply modern blanket nutrition approaches to the masses. Don’t get me wrong, certain foods can bring about changes to certain conditions and we certainly need water on some level, but for many the modern healthy diet isn’t doing everyone the good it should.

 The environmental factor

One other thing not discussed by many leading health and fitness bodies is the concept of environmental issues on the body. Your environment has the capacity to make or break any fitness or nutrition program. Toxins are ubiquitous and there is not one environment in the world that hasn’t been touched by PCBs, dioxins and PETs amongst hundreds of thousands of other chemicals. Food, water and the air we breathe may have a more significant impact on our ability to stay healthy. Your nutrition and exercise plan may become a sideshow to the inflammatory genes that are expressed when exposed to these estrogenic issues to both male and females.  Obesity and diabetes are now being linked to these issues.

Is more exercise and fewer calories a good idea to those that have less capacity to deal with these toxins than others? Probably not.

A balancing act

That’s not to say that you can’t assist your body towards balance, they key point here is to be aware that your environment may be responsible for many areas that you haven’t achieved with exercise and food. Manage your environment by decreasing infamous chemicals, found in perfumes, GM foods and even wireless technology can lead to great success with less exercise and less calorie restriction.

Ultimately life is about balance and finding your balance may not be the same as another person. Breathing correctly, flexibility, stability and strength may be what your body needs the most. Spending countless hours doing repetitive cardiovascular exercises, restricting calories or pushing your body to get down to low levels of body fat is not how your body perceives balance. Finding your own ideal diet may take time but in the end, time is on your side.

Is your functional training making you dysfunctional?

Buzz words of the last decade in the health and fitness industry were terms such as functional, core, ground reaction, Paleo, intermittent fasting etc etc. It is an easy approach for people to throw around these types of phrases, impressing clients without having a true understanding of what they really mean.

Like many it took me some time to realise that to get people strong you need a combination of good therapy, improved movement patterns and ultimately lifting well.  The emphasis on functional training has contributed to increased facilitation patterns which contribute to musculo-skeletal issues, much in the same way that the circuit training phase of the 90’s did. Now there are increased loads and patterns of dysfunction by methodologies such as Boot Camps, Cross Fit, TRX classes, Endurance events and the like and more than ever, I (and my peers) am seeing the incidence of overuse injuries created by inhibition and facilitation from poorly constructed exercise programming.

Let’s take this guy below. His exercise using the TRX must be functional , it must be making him strong right? Well no and here’s why? This gym dude like millions of others makes the mistake of utilising balance with strength as an exercise. The net effect of this type of exercise is facilitation when there is instability without the ability to stabilise.

trxjpg

You can clearly note here a rounding of the upper back   and cranial extension caused by inability to stabilise using the cervical flexors, mid and lower trapezius.

Facilitated                                                                          Inhibited

Upper traps/Scalenes                                                     Cervical flexors

Levator Scapula                                                              Middle and lower trapezius

Pec minor and probably major in this case                    Latissimus dorsi

Sternocleidomastoid                                                      Subscapularis and other structures

The cervical extensors, upper traps and pec minor amongst other structures have the ability to disrupt breathing patterns, gait and decrease strength in patterns such as the squat and dead lift. Those who teach these type of exercises should be skilled in spotting movement dysfunction, inhibition and facilitation and understand strategies of how to correct these issues or at least understand that if you keep exercising in this way you will lead to breakdown of key stabilising structures.

Is it a ‘core’ problem?

The core is really the interaction of all the muscles in the body but specific attention has been paid areas such as the ‘inner unit’ which comprises of the Tranversus Abdominus (TrA), multifidus, diaphragm and pelvic floor and the outer unit which comprises of the abdominals and internal and external obliques which interlink with many larger muscles.  In reality these muscles work in tandem with other muscles to create structural balance.  Many people think that to train their core they have to blitz their abdominals, obliques and back muscles with intensity which creates dysfunction.

This is where common misconceptions occur. The core more often than not, needs to be recruited appropriately and that should occur with proper movement development and determining what other structures beyond the core (such as previous injuries) are prevalent. Many of these problems can occur as a result of many factors. Children who don’t develop crawling patterns, who are either rushed into walking or put into baby crawlers can be at risk in later life of poor breathing patterns and core dysfunction. The seated position is not great for the spine and muscles can develop inhibition as other muscles get overworked and the nervous system will always take the least path of resistance when it comes to movement and muscle activation. Additionally the seated position also helps to create inverted breathing patterns, which disrupts the stabilising capacity of core muscles.

Many people make the mistake of activating the TrA in all the time (or drawing the belly in), even when walking. This is a disaster as it creates facilitation of the accessory muscles of breathing, creating a forward head posture, rounded back and weak links in the chain from head to the toe. In fact in some schools of thought letting your belly out and pushing outwards  also increases abdominal pressure and stabilising mechanisms that are just as good if not better for ‘core’ recruitment. Sometimes we are so fixated about our weight that we constantly walk around with our belly drawn in…let it hang out I say.

References:

  1. DNS technique according to Kolar. Training Manual Rehabilitation School of Prague
  2. Hodges, P. W. Is there a role for Transversus Abdominis in Lumbo-Pelvic  Stability? Manual Therapy (1999) 4(2), 74±86
  3. Kolá, P. Importance of Developmental Kinesiology for Manual Medicine.1996
  4. Weinstock, D. Neuro Kinetic Therapy. North Atlantic Books 2010

 

COFFEE KICK ASS GOODNESS

There’s plenty of people who at some time in your life will inform you that a certain food is bad for you. God knows, I have been one of those people (sorry I was wrong)! When you learn from organisations or gurus’s, you are often taking a view of someone else who has had a said experience, combined with a review of anecdotal and scientifically reviewed literature.  Well, I certainly wouldn’t call myself a guru, but here’s my slant on coffee and caffeine and consumption. Take it for what you will!                   

Why people often think caffeine is bad for you.

When people consume caffeine (in particularly without sugar) some, can often experience, shaking, anxiety, euphoria, increased energy followed by decreased energy and a host of other unwanted symptoms. In my experience anecdotally of course, myself and many of clients have experienced these issues when the body was in fact hypoglycaemic. This may have been brought on by intensive exercise programs, eating a high protein paleo type diet which often exposes the liver to low levels of glucose stores and other stressful situations. Coffee causes adrenal fatigue..no! Blood sugar dysregulation can affect cortisol responses!

The caffeine surge releases a large amount of cortisol and if blood sugar levels are not well maintained a release of triglycerides ensues and a subsequent peak in insulin levels. Then comes the crash and the unwanted symptoms that were stated above. The work of Ray Peat compelled me to go back and review my understanding of caffeine, cortisol  and other biochemical and hormone responses, for  which I have to thank him for and suggest, that reading his work a must for all. It’s a great place to start from combined with a solid grasp of physiology, I don’t think it is the be all and end all, but for me it’s been very useful.

So, how to manage those hormonal responses? Well how about a simple spoonful of sugar (no sugar does not cause cancer!), maple syrup or coconut oil or both? The point is that if you manage you blood sugar levels appropriately then avoiding these uneccessary hormonal fluctuations is easy as expresso…. I mean espresso of course!  Especially, when most people (unless you have a genuine sensitivity to caffeine) should be consuming caffeine.

Caffeine is awesome, fact! Here’s why!  (ps there are many compounds with scientific names that are not discussed as part of this article, buts lets just agree that coffee has a number of substances as well as caffeine that are beneficial!)

Caffeine has scientifically been proven to lower the risks of:

  • Alzheimers
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Oxidation of fats or lipids
  • Diabetes and improves blood glucose levels

It also improves exercise performance, focus, increases body temperature, acts as an antioxidant yet many health experts state that can caffeine is detrimental to the thyroid gland. So how can a compound that raises metabolic rate and improve performance be the same compound that surpresses the thyroid gland and slows down metabolism. Me thinks that people to look closer at the mechanisms of caffeine as there are plenty of studies that show that caffeine decreases TSH levels, if that’s the marker that you determine thyroid function by?

Let’s be clear, I am not stating that large amounts of caffeine daily should be ingested but it is clear that 1-2 cups of coffee per day are beneficial.  Unless your a Costa Rican and carry the gene rs762551(C) which is suggestive of slow caffeine metabolism. This gene has been shown to increase the risk of heart attack, which is a bit of a bummer as Costa Rica produces some really good coffee!

Want some references?  (there are thousands!)

In vitro antioxidant activity of coffee compounds and their metabolites.

  1. Choi HK; Willett W; Curhan G. Coffee consumption and risk of incident gout in men: a prospective study. Arthritis Rheum.  2007; 56(6):2049-55 (ISSN: 0004-3591)
  2. Gómez-Ruiz JA; Leake DS; Ames J Agric Food Chem.  2007; 55(17):6962-9 (ISSN: 0021-8561)
  3. Modi AA; Feld JJ; Park Y; Kleiner DE; Everhart JE; Liang TJ; Hoofnagle JHIncreased caffeine consumption is associated with reduced hepatic fibrosis. Hepatology.  2010; 51(1):201-9 (ISSN: 1527-3350)
  4. Turati F; Galeone C; La Vecchia C; Garavello W; Tavani A. Coffee and cancers of the upper digestive and respiratory tracts: meta-analyses of observational studies. Ann Oncol.  2011; 22(3):536-44 (ISSN: 1569-8041)

Is your mobile phone making you fat, tired, depressed and many more symptoms?

Environmental factors play a large part in health and wellness and yet it is often overlooked as part of a health and lifestyle strategy. Environmental perturbations can create subtle long term impacts on health, without being detected by medical staff as the impact is often subclinical and not screened, as the impact on life is negligible in the short term. 

It is well documented that environmental toxins or xenoestrogens have a significant effecton the body, driving estrogen levels higher and playing havoc with other hormones.One of the latest technologies that  should be subject to long term scrutiny is mobile telephone and wireless technology. Some studies although small and short term show clear significant changes to markers in thyroid function. Mortavazi et al showed that TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone in humans was increased, whilst T4 and T3 levels decreased, suggesting thyroid dysfunction.

This leads us to an interesting question regarding health and wellness advice that is given out by many organisations. The thyroid is a key regulator of metabolism and dysfunction of that gland can cause weight gain, increased cholesterol levels, decreased energy, sleep, libido and behavioural changes. The advice given to those with excessive weight and increased cholesterol levels is to do more exercise and to eat less fat. However increased exercise, especially long bouts of cardiovascular exercise can supress metabolism further and if the thyroid remains suboptimal then weight loss is difficult to achieve and elevated cholesterol levels fail to lower.

I often see many clients who despite exercise and eating a ‘clean and healthy’ diet fail to lose weight. If cholesterol fails to come down it often prompts the clinician to suggest statin medication which may often just be the need to improve thyroid function. Therefore is more exercise and dietary changes a helpful strategy if it does not affect weight, energy or change in cholesterol ?

There are many nutrition strategies that can be used to improve thyroid function such as increased sugar, protein, zinc and decreasing polyunsaturated fats. The effect of managing environmental toxins and issues such as wireless technology will remain a constant problem and people wishing to make significant changes to their health may need to remove themselves to limited mobile technology spaces.The film full signal is useful for more information on the risks from this technology http://www.facebook.com/FullSignal?ref=ts&fref=ts

A simple strategy is to ensure that all Wi-Fi is turned off at night and all mobile phones are removed from the bedroom.

If you have been to see many people with mystery ailments that such as fatigue and those discussed above then thyroid assessment is warranted. Request blood markers such as T3, T4 as well as TSH and most importantly take your body temperature.

References:

  1. http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/thyroid-insanities.shtml
  2. Seyed Mortavazi,1 Asadollah Habib,2 Amir Ganj-Karami,3Razieh Samimi-Doost, 3Atefe Pour-Abedi,3 Ali Babaie3 Mortavazi S, et al. Alterations in TSH and Thyroid Hormones following Mobile Phone Use. OMJ. 24, 274-278 (2009); doi:10.5001/omj.2009.56
  3. Rajkovic V, Matavulj,  M.  Gledic D.  Lazetic, B. Evaluation of rat thyroid gland morphophysiological status after threemonths exposure to 50 Hz electromagnetic field. Tissue & Cell 35 (2003) 223–23

Lowering cholesterol

Many people become concerned when they are told that they need to lower their cholesterol levels and if lucky, are often advised to address via their diet. Or if not so lucky, they are recommended to start taking statins. Statin medication is big business and worth approximately 29 billion dollars a year. The problem with statins is that they don’t offer the answer to solving high cholesterol  issues. A peer reviewed Journal called, The Cochrane Summaries, questioned the validity of using statins within primary care and also stated the study that validated the use of statins, The Jupiter study, as flawed.

One of the main problems of lowering cholesterol via medication is that it fails to take into account one key question, Why is the cholesterol level high? Understanding why your cholesterol level is high is key to lowering cholesterol, should it indeed need lowering in the first place.

In my opinion there are three main reasons why cholesterol in the form of total and LDL (termed the so called bad cholesterol but is really just cholesterol leaving the liver, HDL or the so called good cholesterol levels can also be problematic) can be elevated.

  1. Hypothyroidism
  2. Inflammation
  3. Genetically high cholesterol (but is it?)

The thyroid: It has been shown clinically for many years that when the thyroid gland does not function correctly and is indeed hypothyroid, cholesterol levels will increase. Hypothyroidism is usually confirmed by the readings of TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone and its effect on T4 and subsequent T3 levels. Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies are other blood tests that are useful in determining thyroid function. Perhaps the most useful of tests that clinicians fail to use is the basal metabolic temperature tests and Achilles reflex test . In summary those with a body temperature close to 37 degrees will have a better metabolism than those with lower body temperature. I have seen this clinically in hundreds of clients.

Inflammation: The body is exposed on a daily basis to toxological insult. Our air, water and food supply is tainted with chemicals such as DDT, PCBs and xenoestrogens that have calamitous effects on the biology of our body. Foods such as vegetable oils that are often genetically modified also contain high levels of PUFA’s or polyunsaturated vegetable oils that when oxidised cause inflammation and damage to our DNA. Perfumes, creams, cleaning products, car fumes, solvents, varnishes all add to the load that increase the chronic inflammatory process on our body elevating cholesterol levels. This is where the perception of cholesterol needs to shift. Imagine if you cut yourself, what would you do? Apply a plaster perhaps? Cholesterol is like a plaster  and is the building block for new tissues and structure to cells and necessary to build new tissue. You will also see from the diagram below that cholesterol is the precursor to the major hormones which include cortisol, DHEA, progesterone etc. If we clarify the source of inflammation, we may just be able to  lower cholesterol levels by removing the source of inflammation.

Genetic Cholesterol levels: It is true that people often do have genetically high cholesterol levels but what if someone’s parents were hypothyroid? The years of taking damaging cholesterol medication could have been avoided by simply addressing poor thyroid function.

Statins block the conversion of HMG CoA to mevalonate, via HMG CoA reductase an enzyme responsible for converting cholesterol that also synthesizes a powerful heart antioxidant called CO Q10. What happens when you reduce anti-oxidant levels particularly in the heart? You get oxidation and inflammation potentially damaging the heart.  Muscle aches and pains are often reported as a side effect of statins.

An interesting point is that magnesium often acts on the same pathways as a statin and it’s no surprise that in heart related disease including hypertension and heart attacks, magnesium is often low.

So how do you lower cholesterol without medication?

  1. Determine if you have a thyroid issue with blood and temperature test
  2. Clarify the source of any chronic inflammatory process. Diet, chemicals stress?
  3. Use diet or supplements such as magnesium, Vitamin C, E and B6 and other antioxidants if necessary.

Davis. R. Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Course. 2008

Peat R. Nutrition for Women. 1993.

Rosanoff A, Seelig MS.  Comparison Of Mechanism And Functional Effects Of Magnesium And Statin: J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Oct;23(5):501S-505S

Taylor F, Ward K, Moore THM, Burke M, Davey Smith G, Casas JP, Ebrahim S. Statins for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD004816. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004816.pub4

Aspirin- Another mis-understood anti-oxidant?

Conventional nutrition teaches us that our diet should be abundant with antioxidants or the re-classified redox molecules such Vitamin B, C, E glutathione and the like. And it’s not a bad idea too, especially as the body is bombarded with insults on a daily basis in the form of xenoestrogens, toxins, soot in the air, dirty water and all sorts of complex chemicals hidden in our foods. A healthy diet and high nutrient consumption is essential in preventing damage to our DNA through reactive oxygen species or ROS which can contribute to oxidation of fats and other compounds, which contributes to the aging process and exposure to disease development.

Aspirin is one such compound that is often overlooked in the fight against cancer and aging and was a target of the pharmaceutical companies marketing campaign to discredit its benefits, when they decided to bring out a COX 2inhibitor. COX 2 inhibitors help to supress the production of prostaglandins that can be responsible for inflammation, cell degradation, pain and the like. It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that Aspirin which is salicylic and ascetic acid is a natural product that cannot be patented. Therefore it has often been the goal of business lead institutions to discredit many natural substances that cannot be lucratively pursued.

One of the many benefits of Aspirin is its ability to supress lipid peroxidation which is usually mediated by consumption and storage of polyunsaturated fatty acids. When these are stored as body fat in the form of triglycerides and then released in an attempt to stabilise blood sugar levels large amounts of oxidative stress can occur and the use of Asprin, vitamin C and vitamin E can help suppress this form of stress that is heavily linked to heart disease and cancers.  Some of the many unwanted effects of Aspirin such as gastrointestinal stress have been recorded when exceptionally high doses of aspirin have been used in laboratory experiments.

The use of Aspirin shouldn’t be discounted in the fight against disease prevention, however supplementing with Vitamin K would also prove to be beneficial.  To find out more about aging and disease prevention get in touch.

1. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0891584900004251

2. Ascorbic acid enhances the inhibitory effect of aspirin on neuronal cyclooxygenase-2-mediated prostaglandin E2 production.

Candelario-Jalil, Eduardo and Akundi, Ravi S. and Bhatia, Harsharan S. and Lieb, Klaus and Appel, Kurt and Munoz, Eduardo and Hull, Michael and Fiebich, Bernd L. (2006) Ascorbic acid enhances the inhibitory effect of aspirin on neuronal cyclooxygenase-2-mediated prostaglandin E2 production. [Journal (Paginated)]

Peat, R. Nutrition For Women. 1993.

http://raypeat.com/articles/aging/aspirin-brain-cancer.shtml

Why are polyunsaturated oils so dangerous?

PUFA’ s or poly-unsaturated fatty acids have been suggested as being a safe food source for many years and many have even touted as being protective for the heart. Saturated fats have been outcast as the villain as the marketing purse of seed manufacturers often outweighed the gain that could be had by the protective more stable fats of coconut and palm oils.

Because the molecular structure of PUFA’s are less stable than saturated fats when heated they become carcinogenic.  Many studies favoured by the seed industry have favoured the analysis of so called good and bad cholesterol or LDL’s and HDL’s as a marker for the so called healthy effect of vegetable and seed oils.  A factor overlooked as part of this education is that high HDL levels can be interpreted as an auto immune process in action and cancerous states can be correlated with high HDL levels.  Heat alone will not cause PUFA’s to become unstable, overtime these oils can become rancid and when consumed cause lipid peroxidation . Think of all those warehouses of nuts that have been sitting around for months or years before being consumed, which are then often roasted and the PUFA’s within them oxidised.

The problem is that when all of these oils are consumed they cause the production of Reactive Oxygen Species or ROS and lipid peroxidation which causes large amounts of stress to cellular DNA which can be responsible for genetic mutations which can lead to aging, cell destruction and cancers. Ray Peats work on the damage caused by PUFA’s is very well documented.

Many commercially consumed foods such as tortilla chips (which mostly are derived from genetically engineered crops that have been covered in harmful pesticides) have been fried in these oils causing a dabble whammy of oxidative stress and insult to the human organism. People often think that by eating healthily they are able to not worry about small details such as fats and have often been falsely convinced that butter/ghee/ coconut and palm oils and that, high fat diets are the causative link in heart disease and heart attacks.

Dealing with ridding the body of dangerous PUFA’s stored in body fat stores can be achieved with the right diet plan and ameliorating the dangerous effects of lipid peroxidation can be achieved with supplementation such as Vitamin E, B’s,  Asprin  and others.   Below I have highlighted a list of oils  that are ideal for cooking with and the others should be avoided.  To find out more about restoring your body to optimal health please get in touch. Balanced Body Mind

Approximate PUFA content of various oils and fats:  (taken fromIntegrative/med)

Evening Primrose oil (81% PUFA)
Hemp oil (80% PUFA)
Flax oil (72% PUFA)
Grapeseed oil (71% PUFA)
Chia oil (70% PUFA)
Safflower oil (75% PUFA)
Sunflower oil (65% PUFA)
Perilla oil (63% PUFA)
Corn oil (59% PUFA)
Soybean oil (58% PUFA)
Pumpkin oil (57% PUFA)
Walnut oil (55-63% PUFA)
Cottonseed oil (50% PUFA)
Sesame oil (41-45% PUFA)
Canola oil (30-37% PUFA)
Rice bran oil (36% PUFA)
Beech nut oil (32% PUFA)
Peanut oil (29-32% PUFA)
Pecan oil (29% PUFA)
Brazil nut oil (24-36% PUFA, 24% SAFA)
Pistachio oil (19% PUFA)
Cashew oil (17% PUFA, 20% SAFA)
Almond oil (17% PUFA, 8% SAFA)
Duck fat (13% PUFA, 1% cholesterol)                 Use but try to go for safer oils below
Lard (12% PUFA, 41% SAFA, 1% cholesterol)  Use but try to go for safer oils below
Filbert oil (10-16% PUFA)
Avocado oil (10% PUFA)
Macadamia oil (10% PUFA, 15% SAFA)

Safe cooking oils
Goose fat (10% PUFA, 1% cholesterol)
Palm oil (8% PUFA, 50% SAFA)
Olive oil (8% PUFA, 14% SAFA)
Butter (4% PUFA, 50% SAFA)
Ghee (4% PUFA, 48% SAFA, 2% cholesterol)
Cocoa Butter (3% PUFA, 60% SAFA)
Coconut oil (2-3% PUFA, 92% SAFA, 0% cholesterol)
Palm kernel oil (2% PUFA, 82% SAFA)