Why are polyunsaturated fats and oils so dangerous?

Polyunsaturated fats/ fatty acids or PUFAs 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.

From a skin health perspective, unstable fats such as PUFA in the skin may be problematic when exposed to excess amounts of ultraviolet light. This recent blog explains the mechanisms.

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 polyunsaturated fats/fatty acids- 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)