Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
25 Jan

Dear Mark: PUFAs

vegetableoilIn last week’s Dear Mark I took up a reader question about trans fats. While we’re on the fat subject, I figured it was a good time to keep the conversation going and cover an email I got last week about polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Thanks to Brent for this one.

I loved your posts on trans fats last week, but now you have me wondering about all the other truths I know but can’t explain. How about polyunsaturated fat? When I was reading the Definitive Guide to Oils, I was having a rough time remembering exactly why PUFAs aren’t recommended. Can you jog my memory, Mark?

Let me take this one apart – separate out the good PUFA from the bad from the downright ugly. We’re talking everything from grains to nuts, corn and canola oil to fish oil. When it comes to PUFAs, it truly is a mixed bag.

What Are They?

Chemically speaking, polyunsaturated fats have more than one (hence the “poly”) double bond in their carbon chain. They’re further determined by the position of these double bonds in relation to the end of the molecule. For example, omega-3s sport a double bond three “links” down from the “methyl” end of the molecule.

These double-bonded carbon links are in essence missing their hydrogen atoms. (As you recall, if all the links have their hydrogen, you’re looking at a fully saturated fat.) Because they’ve got multiple “incomplete” double bonds to their name, polyunsaturated fats are, as a class, chemically unstable and prone to oxidation.

What Do They Do?

PUFAs can be a real Jekyll and Hyde. On the one hand, PUFAs include the essential fatty acids, including our favorite omega-3s. But when oxidation comes into play, we’re looking at a whole different animal. Heating in particular sets a bad course in motion, but simply exposure to air, light and even moisture can incite the process. We’re now looking at lipid peroxides, which initiate a free radical free-for-all. The free radicals make their way through the body pillaging at every turn. Their damage takes a toll on everything from cell membranes, to DNA/RNA strands, to blood vessels (which can then lead to plaque accumulation). The harm adds up over time in the organs and systems of the body and can cause significant impact, including premature aging and skin disease, liver damage, immune dysfunction, and even cancer.

What’s a Good Primal Type To Do?

Grok – and even Grandma – got their fat intake mostly in saturated forms. (Who among us doesn’t love butter, lard, tallow, and the like?) These days, we drown ourselves in PUFAs with all the vegetable oils (typically corn, canola, soybean, sunflower and safflower) we use. It’s a completely unnecessary response to the saturated fat scare that CW has drummed up over the last several decades. Those clowns that think Canola oil, no matter how rancid it’s gotten sitting in a hot warehouse for 10 months, is somehow still preferable to Grandma’s fresh rendered lard.

On the other side of the spectrum, some strict paleo followers, for example, choose to forgo nuts and seeds and their oils. I agree that avoiding PUFAs in general is a good rule of thumb, but I straddle the line – with a little extra time and care – in order to take advantage of what I deem valuable nutrient (PUFA) sources.

I like my nut butter (which I make myself) and occasional seeds for my salads. I buy them raw and as fresh as possible from sources I research. I’m a stickler for proper storage. Opaque containers. Refrigeration. Although I enjoy some nut oils on salads or other dishes now and then, I rarely buy them because I don’t want the remainder going bad in my frig. (Besides, I’d rather eat the whole foods in most cases than bother with a lineup of oils that had to go through at least some processing. I keep a couple good bottles of great quality cold-pressed olive oil (which, as you’ll remember, is mostly monounsaturated anyway) around and use them up quickly. Look for the darkest bottles you can find. Dated products are even better.

As for fish oil, I use and suggest the same basic principles. Buy the freshest products you can find. Buying direct from a reputable manufacturer offers the advantage of minimizing storage and transport time/scenarios. Some research suggests that taking fish oil with vitamin E reduces oxidation within the body. Refrigerate fish oil supplements to prolong freshness, but use them up in a timely manner.

Finally, I make sure my diet is chock-full of antioxidants (including vitamin E) and minerals to counter any oxidative stress from PUFAs or any other source. As careful as I try to be with PUFAs, there’s nothing wrong with a little extra insurance.

Now it’s your turn. Let me know your take – and intake (or not) – of PUFAs. Thanks as always for the questions and comments, and keep ‘em coming!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. So much to know about the almighty fat,
    Where does it end!

    Biglee wrote on January 25th, 2010
    • It can be easy. Paleo diets foster fresh, nutritiously uncomplicated animal fats- bovine, lamb, pork, chicken (some), wild salmon, sea food, elk etc; it’s all there. Fresh nuts that have been soaked 24+ hours to get rid of enzyme inhibitors, water changed three times getting clearer with each rinse, then dried, adds to variety. Low calorie veg (if you must) some wild berries and Bob’s your uncle, life becomes so simple.
      Worst bugaboo? The idea that eating is supposed to be full of variety, exciting and entertaining. There is so much more to entertainment than a meal with dishes (work) for clean up. There are so many social activities to fill those other hours when eating goes primal.

      mhikl wrote on February 14th, 2014
    • I am fed up with the whole hype concerning good/bad oils!

      I try to keep an open mind. I started using Coconut Oil in place of my usual Virgin Olive Oil, which I have used forever, I am 74.

      The next thing I know. I had to get the plumber in, sink was blocked with …yes …you’ve guessed …coconut oil residue! Olive oil can’t do that!

      How ayone can recommend something, which returns to solid when it cools beats me. I should have listened to my instinct.

      Back to Virgin Olive Oil for me….Best of Luck in your searching.

      Liz Paul wrote on November 7th, 2014
  2. The book The Coconut Oil Miracle does a really great job of explaining fatty acids and why the bad ones are bad and the good ones are good. :)

    jamiebelle wrote on January 25th, 2010
  3. It’s all too complicated, Mark.

    You need to write your own book of food rules. like Michael Pollan’s, with these changes:.

    1. Have food rules
    2. Mostly simple rules
    3. Not too many (like 10)

    “Mark’s 10 Food Commandments,” maybe?

    The 50 Best Health Blogs

    Jim Purdy wrote on January 25th, 2010
  4. I’m not much of a multivitamin person – I just know that they have a TON of ingredients. Do most of the name brands (like Centrum) have enough antioxidants in them to be useful, or we better off taking something more specific?

    Cameron wrote on January 25th, 2010
    • multivitamins are downright harmful, avoid taking them. fish oil, vitamin B12 (1000mg/week and D3 (5000IU/day) are the only ones that can and should be taken.

      einstein wrote on March 26th, 2012
      • Vitamin D is rat poison and without proper Vit K is suspected as causing arterial calcification. Vit D kills rats by mobilizing calcium in the body. This is why people ingest it, but the notion that it magically put it into your bones is bad science.

        Vitamin D is produced by the skin (actually pre-vitamin D) but vitamin D is never ingested orally in large amounts. Most food contains absolutely 0 vitamin D except fish oil and mushrooms.

        Get your vitamin D from the sun.

        Rich wrote on August 17th, 2013
        • Not sure where your sources come from but Vit D DEFICIENCY causes hardening of arteries.

          If you’re eating a cup of kale or spinach a day (and you should be), you’re covered fro Vitamin K.

          Dave wrote on January 20th, 2014
        • But having said that, 5000 UI seems like overkill.

          Dave wrote on January 20th, 2014
  5. Good info Mark! A few things that come to my mind:

    1. Two most important things to buy organic are coffee and butter. These are the two most chemically laden foods you can buy if you don’t choose organic.

    2. There’s more olive oil sold today than is produced, the additive? Seems to be soy oil. To test if your olive oil is pure, leave it in the fridge overnight. There should be sediments at the bottom and a slight cloudy texture in the middle of the bottle (I haven’t tried it yet).

    4. Do not eat Peanut Butter, even the natural kind; it contains a mould that has phyto-estrogens in it.

    Kishore wrote on January 25th, 2010
    • and remember the peanut is a legume :)

      Gina wrote on January 26th, 2010
  6. I just decanted my fish oil from a large bottle to smaller one for ease of use since it was getting low. Thing is, it still smelled fishy but a little bit rancid too??? I spent a lot of money on this fish oil (!) and have kept it 100% propely stored. Is it possible it went bad? OR, should I just use it b/c its not a concern???

    Tara tootie wrote on January 25th, 2010
    • What fish oil product did you buy?

      Kishore wrote on January 25th, 2010
    • This is why I package my fish oils in gel capsules.

      Mark Sisson wrote on January 25th, 2010
      • Mark, have you thought about a Krill Oil supplement in your product line?

        On a side note, your product ‘Responsibly Slim’ has ingredients like soy protein isolate, sunflower oil creamer and mineral blends in oxide form that is probably not the most bio-available. Would you agree that some of these are not very healthy?

        Kishore wrote on January 25th, 2010
        • Kishore, krill is no better (or worse) than fish oil. It all comes down to which resource you feel you’d rather not deplete first. Other than the fact that krill is more expensive, they are both excellent sources of EPA and DHA.

          As for the Responsibly Slim, it was designed initially for weight loss and as a great-tasting source of protein. I never intended for it to replace real food. The soy isolate is present as a raw source of amino acids in minute amounts (a few grams) to enhance the PER of the Whey protein. It is not the same as soy oil or soy bean (no lectins, phytoestrogens, etc). The oxide forms of minerals are not unhealthy – some might be less bioavailable.

          This could have been made as the most natural protein-powder meal replacement possible…but it would have tasted terrible – inedible, actually – and have rancidified on the shelf fairly rapidly. I chose to make it taste great, last long on the shelf and serve as a legitimate meal substitute now and then. I made it for me, and I use it regualarly.

          Mark Sisson wrote on January 25th, 2010
  7. I’m just going to comment with a quote from another comment I made on a similar post about vegeteble oils:

    “I do think people forget animal fat is NOT 100% saturated – not even close. Even if you ate only animal fats you’d still be getting in a good deal of monounsaturated and some polyunsaturated fats. There’s really no need to go out of your way to eat any other kind of oil, besides a little omega-3 supplementation if you think you need it.”

    In fact, animal fats from grass-fed/pastured have an excellent omega 6:3 ratio.

    I don’t think eating some polyunsaturated oil is bad (if you follow the recommendations Mark suggests above), but if it doesn’t come natural to you to include them in your diet, you’re probably not missing out on much.

    Elizabeth wrote on January 25th, 2010
    • Grass fed beef only has 25mg of omega-3 per ounce while corn-fed has about 10-12mg. Either way, beef is not a great source of omega-3, you need a solid fish oil supplement. Good reasons to eat organic grass-fed beef? CLA content,low pesticide load, humanely finished (lower levels of adrenaline in the cow while slaughtered) and no hormones (eventhough there is some debate that animal hormones degrade as low as 135-150F, so if you cook your meat enough, no worries).

      Kishore wrote on January 25th, 2010
  8. So what would the Udo’s 3-6-9 be? I started using that on my salad when I started reading the Primal Blueprint- instead of just normal Olive Oil.
    Thoughts?

    Jimmy Hays Nelson wrote on January 25th, 2010
  9. Dear Mark,
    great post, as always.
    I was reading this article recently, on antioxydant, which indicates that they could in fact be detrimental to metabolic changes after exercice – I was wondering was is your take on this?
    Luc
    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/21/8665.long

    Luc wrote on January 25th, 2010
    • Luc, that’s a very unconvincing study, in my opinion. There are twenty years of study results favoring antioxidants and exercise. They need to do a whole lot more in this area to even begin to convince me to change my regimen.

      Mark Sisson wrote on January 25th, 2010
  10. “Grok – and even Grandma – got their fat intake mostly in saturated forms.”

    Don’t forget the fat from nuts, almonds, seeds, wild olives, fish and shellfish!

    Per wrote on January 25th, 2010
  11. I like to keep it simple…

    -Coconut oil or ghee (homemade) for high heat cooking. Perfect oils for cooking a steak on the stove or making a stir-fry.

    -Olive oil to dress my salads and give them flavor. I will only eat olive oil raw, no heating.

    -I take fish oil daily.

    I don’t have access to local, grass-fed lard or tallow, but the research makes me believe they are very good to use for cooking.

    bfaber87 wrote on January 25th, 2010
  12. Most vitamin E oil [capsules] is made from soy oil.

    I take fermented cod liver oil daily. Because of oxidation, I take it with red palm oil, which is naturally high in full-spectrum vitamin E oil and saturated fat.

    A few years ago The New Yorker magazine did a story on [imported] olive oil (perhaps the article is on-line). Because demand is greater than supply, many of the producers/companies add soy bean oil to it. So, you have to be really, really careful that the olive oil you purchased (particularly, from Spain) is 100% olive oil. I’m lucky, in that I am able to get olive oil directly from the producer here in northern California.

    redcatbicycliste wrote on January 25th, 2010
    • Yup, that’s why I’ve switched to using olive oil only from California sources. I can even get it at the local farmer’s market.

      I also use fermented high-vitamin CLO. I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that the fermentation process actually preserved and protected the oil from oxidation. I still consume it within about two months of opening the bottle, but I store it at room temp to make it easier to poor into the spoon. If kept in the fridge it gets very cloudy and viscous.

      Aaron Blaisdell wrote on January 25th, 2010
  13. Great article Mark! Awesome info! There are just so many kinds of fats: good fats and bad fats! I take my fish oil. Antioxidants are so good for us. I liked what you said about getting the freshest products. That will help! Enjoyed the article, thanks!

    Jen

    Jen wrote on January 25th, 2010
    • If oxygen radicals are so bad, why is exercise so good? Think about it. We need occasional intense oxidative stress to keep our endogenous production of antioxidants in top shape.

      Laura wrote on February 24th, 2011
      • Late to the party, I know, but since this is highly read I thought I’d answer:

        Laura, the most oxidative forms of exercise (marathon running, heavy lifting, etc.) are actually NOT good for you. That is to say, regular practitioners of extreme exercise do not live longer than the general population and it is precisely because of oxidative stress. Those who exercise moderately (brisk walk, casual cycling, etc.) show the greatest life extension benefits as well as quality of life). Regular, but not frequent, moderate lifting (or push/pull ups) and even less frequent exertion (sprinting, hard cycling) for very short periods have their place but there is no doubt that there is a trade off.

        Scotti wrote on April 15th, 2013
  14. There is enough minimal PUFA in meat (beef, pork, etc.) to give you all that is required. I would not touch vegetable oils or nuts.

    Katelyn wrote on January 25th, 2010
  15. An interesting article you may want to check out if youre taking fish oil http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/fishoil.shtml

    Jack wrote on January 25th, 2010
  16. So which side of the fence do you come down on for Sunbutter?

    Marie wrote on January 25th, 2010
    • I researched this online, and found that there’s about three times as much PUFA as MUFA or saturated fat in sunflower seeds. And of the PUFA, it is almost all omega-6; there’s only trace omega-3. So sunflower seed butter wouldn’t rank too highly. Most commercially produced sunbutter has a ton of sugar in it anyway.

      Pikaia wrote on January 26th, 2010
  17. No natural fat is exclusively made up of saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids but some permutation of all three.

    You could just eat animal sources of fat (no nuts or seeds) and get plenty of polyunsaturated fats – including the omega-3s from fatty/oily fish like salmon.

    This is the direction I take.

    Alex wrote on January 26th, 2010
    • As do I. I don’t even think eating fish is strictly necessary as long as your sources for mammal/poultry meat are pastured, since pastured meat typically has a good ratio of omega-6 fats to omega-3s in the first place. It’s also arguable that the genus Homo evolved in the grasslands of central, eastern, and southern Africa, as did our predecessors, the Australopithecines, and so would not have had much access to fish anyway. They were, however, evidently big ruminant eaters, which is one reason why I like to base my diet on beef and lamb (nothing to do with those being delicious foods, of course. Nothing at all.)

      That is not to say that fish should be avoided – quite the opposite, really. I personally love the taste of fatty fish and eat smoked salmon or sardines once or twice a week. I try to source my meat, dairy, and eggs properly, so I don’t worry too much about the omega-3/omega-6 issue.

      Of course all that comes with the caveat that I avoid industrial vegetable oils like the dickens and cook most of my food in pastured butter or beef tallow anyway. ;-) I think all the nutritionist types who are jumping on the fish oil train would do much better to recommend people stop eating vegetable oils, but that’s just me…

      Icarus wrote on January 30th, 2010
  18. nothign!

    frank wrote on January 26th, 2010
  19. QUITTING fish oil was one of the best health decisions I took lately. Heavy metals, lowered immunity, disturbed glycemia were my primary reasons for trying it.

    To ensure a proper supply of intact PUFA in my diet, I get a tablespoon of freshly grinded flaxseed and a teaspoon of a sunflower/evening primrose oil mix in my cottage cheese every morning (all organic and cold press). The list of benefits over a few weeks are spectacular — especially in terms of weight and appetite control, mood stabilization, stamina, stopped gum bleeding, and relief of all sort of aches.

    This convinced me that overdosing on fish oil may be as bad an idea, if not worse, as overdosing on omega 6. We keep reading that we have plenty of omega 6 in our diet, but what part of it is actually intact, considering the heating, the poor storage (I’m very much with Mark on that one), not to mention all sorts of processing? Just because we get too many damaged omega 6 doesn’t necessarily mean we get enough omega 6 in general.

    To boost my EPA, I still take fish oil instead of flaxseed… on fridays only!

    Julot wrote on January 26th, 2010
    • I agree – just because omega-3’s were the ‘darling’ of the moment in health & fitness circles, everyone seemed to think the more the better! We only need them in very small amounts daily – the same with omega-6.

      Another thing that annoys me is this striving for a 2:1 or 1:1 ratio between omega-3 and omega-6. If you look at which EFA is required for (and contained within) which tissues and cells in the entire body, you will find we have a requirement for around four times the omega-6 to omega-3! So a ratio of 4:1 is more realistic.

      Alex wrote on January 26th, 2010
  20. HI MARK, IT’S THE INDIVIDUAL’S GENETICS AND THE FOOD ENVIRONMENT THE GENETICS EVOLVED IN, THAT IS THE KEY TO OPTIMUM HEALTH. DR. JARVIS COMMENTED ABOUT THIS IN HIS 1958 BOOK (STILL IN PRINT) CALLED “FOLK MEDICINE”. HE EXAMPLE WAS, THAT AS YOU MOVE FROM THE MEDITERRANEAN AREA NORTH THROUGH EUROPE UP TO THE NORDIC AREA, THE GOWING SEASONS BECOME SHORTER, AND THUS THERE IS LESS VARIETY AND DIFFERENT FOODS THAT GROW IN EACH AREA.

    I CALL IT “LATITUDINAL NUTRITIONAL GENETICS”. GENES DON’T CHANGE FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, BUT YOU CAN MOVE A BODY’S (GENES) ALL OVER THE WORLD, BUT YOU WON’T CHANGE IT’S OPTIMUM NUTRITION INGREDIENTS WHICH GREW WHERE THEIR GENES EVOLVED. I HAVE RARELY SEEN THIS TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN MOST NUTRITIONAL ADVICE, STUDIES, DIETS AND DOCTOR’S TREATEMENTS. YET, IN MY OPINION, LOGICALLY IT SHOULD BE REQUIRED, SINCE WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT. MARC

    Marc Simonson wrote on January 26th, 2010
    • Marc, that would help explain why what works for one person may not work for another. I had thought of how we might genetically be predisposed to a certain diet as ideal, but I hadn’t thought of how we humans can now so readily move wherever we want. Our jeans can arrive anywhere, but our genes might be slow to catch up, haha…

      Jennifer Cote wrote on May 2nd, 2013
  21. Marc, no need to shout…The reason you don’t see this taken into account is because most of my readers live in parts of the world where DNA has mixed so thoroughly that we/they have become one giant international DNA mosaic retaining little, if any, of the possible localized genetic adaptions to a region in which ALL prior 300 generations lived and ate. That’s an example (one of many, actually) of why blood-type diets fail.

    Mark Sisson wrote on January 26th, 2010
    • I agree – humans are the most homogeneous species on the planet. There is very little genetic difference between races, so little in fact that on a genetic level we are all one race – the human race.

      What people mistake for genetic differences are actually epigenetic (how our environment influences which genes are expressed or not depending on where we live and what we eat). This can be passed down from generation to generation but can be altered relatively quickly, unlike actual genetic changes.

      Alex wrote on January 27th, 2010
    • Oh, yeah… that makes sense, Mark!

      Jennifer Cote wrote on May 2nd, 2013
  22. Here are the oils and fats I use:

    Extra virgin coconut oil and olive oil
    a small amount of cold-pressed Grapeseed oil
    Real butter from pasture-raised cattle
    Tallow – from pastured cattle
    Lard – from pastured hogs
    Green Pastures Blue Ice Royal Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil mixture – it’s fabulous and completely digestible, even for people who have compromised immune/digestion (which applies to many people in developed countries and those who eat the Standard American Diet).

    Here’s a link to this wonderful product – best I know of on the market: http://www.greenpasture.org/retail/?t=products&a=line&i=royal

    Here’s an article I wrote about oils served in restaurants – most people who visit this site understand how unhealthy those are, but it’s important, I think, to learn why:

    http://www.agriculturesociety.com/?p=1318

    Raine wrote on January 27th, 2010
  23. How about pinenut oil? Is it healthy?

    Jon Rigney wrote on August 4th, 2010
  24. “4. Do not eat Peanut Butter, even the natural kind; it contains a mould that has phyto-estrogens in it.”

    Then you should also drop a lot of other food deemed healthy…
    Table 1. Foods high in phytoestrogen content.
    Phytoestrogen food sources Phytoestrogen content (?g/100g)
    Flax seed
    379380
    Soy beans
    103920
    Tofu
    27150.1
    Soy yogurt
    10275
    Sesame seed
    8008.1
    Flax bread
    7540
    Multigrain bread
    4798.7
    Soy milk
    2957.2
    Hummus
    993
    Garlic
    603.6
    Mung bean sprouts
    495.1
    Dried apricots
    444.5
    Alfalfa sprouts
    441.4
    Dried dates
    329.5
    Sunflower seed
    216
    Chestnuts
    210.2
    Olive oil
    180.7
    Almonds
    131.1
    Green bean
    105.8
    Peanuts
    34.5
    Onion
    32
    Blueberry
    17.5
    Corn
    9
    Coffee, regular
    6.3
    Watermelon
    2.9
    Milk, cow
    1.2

    “Some studies indicate that phytoestrogens have health benefits including potential reduction in breast cancer, prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease risks, possible protection against osteoporosis (bone loss) and menopausal symptoms. Besides, both flavonoid and lignan phytoestrogens have antioxidant activity.”

    So I’m a bit confused by your comment.

    “On the other side of the spectrum, some strict paleo followers, for example, choose to forgo nuts and seeds and their oils.”

    For me, this strains the credibility of the Paleo diet. From everything I’ve read, nuts, including peanuts, are probably the healthiest food humans can eat. I find it a shame that the year is 2011 and fairly soon we will be curing diseases with genetic manipulation and nano-technology but there is no real concensus on what we, as humans, should put in our mouths to lead a healthy life.

    Vince N. wrote on January 17th, 2011
  25. I’ve recently found rendered duck fat and have been cooking with it. I’ve used it as a cooking oil in place of coconut oil for the time being as I’ve never had it before and am experimenting with it. Is this fat similar in benefits of beef tallow and lard??

    Shrek-Unit wrote on March 3rd, 2012
  26. As much as possible I always try to use olive oil nowadays. I feel safest with that.

    Adam Acne wrote on June 24th, 2012
  27. I just ordered Green Pasture Blue Ice Royal Butter Oil/Cod Liver Oil Blend non-gelatin capsules. I live in the deep south and it is mighty warm, as you know, right now. It was delivered by carrier and brought inside within a few minutes. My question: the bottle was warm, is this a problem as far as compromising the contents? Also, I tried to contact the company to ask this question, and, to ask if their products are manufactured in the U.S. I was put on hold for between 5 and 10 minutes, then was disconnected. :(
    Anyone have any information that would enlighten me? Thanks!

    Penn wrote on July 6th, 2012
  28. It is worth remembering that the meat and dairy industry is simply an extension of the pharmaceutical and petrochemical industry. I.e a way to turn chemicals and chemical waste into profit through fertilizers, FDA enforced vaccines and long distance transport of feed, animals, carcasses and packaged meat.

    A study in Argentina found a high consumption of pasture grazed cattle did not lead to increased risk of colon cancer, unlike the results of other regions where cattle were grain fed.

    Personally I don’t eat meat, fish or dairy but regularly use hemp oil (n-6 3:1 n-3) and rapeseed oil (n-6 2:1 n-3) as well as coconut oil.

    I would not recommend heating any oil other than coconut oil for cooking purposes as this seriously affects the body’s ability to process the oil due to a chemical change once heated.

    Meat, fish, dairy and eggs are highly acidizing to the body following consumption so should equate to no more than 20-30% of each meal with the remainder being green vegetables, salads, etc.

    bert wrote on July 10th, 2012
    • I’m just curious, isn’t rapeseed oil another name for canola oil?

      AuntieG wrote on August 1st, 2012
      • It used to be rapeseed (from the mustard family), but it had elements that were bothering the livestock they fed it to. So some Canadians genetically modified it, re-marketing it as “Canola”. It’s not really rapeseed anymore- it’s “genetically-modified-rapeseed”. Canola sounds better, haha… (Not that it IS better!)

        Jennifer Cote wrote on May 2nd, 2013
  29. Do you keep your olive oil in the fridge? Does room temperature (and in summer a few degrees higher) already count as “heat” that would accelerate breakdown?

    Now…I’ve always kept it simply in a closed and dark cupboard and it never went bad or rancid on me, even if it took me several months to finish a (2L) bottle. I also use it pretty much exclusively for cooking and frying.

    The only oil I keep in the fridge is flaxseed oil. I always put at tablespoon of it over my morning cereal…sometimes even a bit over pasta etc..

    Harka wrote on August 1st, 2012
    • PASTA??? CEREAL???

      I’m Italian, so one of the hardest things for me to do when going Paleo is to drop the pasta.

      Pasta = wheat = not Paleo

      And I was formerly a BIG cereal-eater. Of course, cereal is made from whole-grain wheat, oats, or corn, which is also not quite so Paleo.

      To be fair though, it really hasn’t been all that difficult switching my morning cereal for morning eggs.

      CJ wrote on August 23rd, 2012
  30. Good editorial (with extecpion of the Ethanol part). Transportation fuel is a difficult puzzle to solve it requires changing lifestyles that we have become accustomed to. As an aside, while taxes may be 1/2 the price of fuel in some countries, the US federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon, and states add anywhere from 8 to 32 cents per gallon. At most, state and federal tax would be about 50 cents a gallon 1/7 of 3.50/gallon fuel in the US.I suppose they could reduce the federal tax by the amount they are subsidizing the oil industries but the price of gas would just go up to keep oil company profit the same. If the federal government just cut the tax, where would they cut spending to make up the difference? Or would they raise taxes elsewhere?Oil is just like any other product any company will make as much profit as they can the nature of any business hamburgers, jeans, gasoline. Basic supply and demand. If demand drops, the price will go down. If taxes are reduced (artificially lowering the price) consumption will go up, and oil companies will raise prices to make more money. Unfortunately, since demand is increasing world wide, expect the price to keep going up.

    Nomvelo wrote on December 7th, 2012
  31. Think happiness,open your soul to receive the ample grace of the divine.Do not fret on poly,mono,saturated,unsaturated too much.
    Eat a diet of excess omega-3 to omega-6(Polyunsaturated ).Avoid Monounsaturated as body converts sugar into monounsaturated fat.
    Eat heartily & make merry.A light heart lives long.
    Avoid Stress & Stressful situations & people.
    Eat varied food.Let your food be your first line of defense against illness .

    Roshan wrote on December 24th, 2012
  32. In the interest of due diligence I would like to share a well thought out approach from Matthew Bowen who researches for an endocrinologist with a focus on inflammatory and endocrine progression through the states of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and Type II diabetes.

    http://dyenutrition.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/9/

    Scott wrote on March 14th, 2013
  33. What about Hemp Oil and Grapeseed Oil? Both are PUSFA. I don’t use any industrial oils…corn, sunflower, canola (yuck!)

    HR wrote on February 11th, 2014
    • My question is regarding organic expeller pressed grapeseed oil. Is this a safe oil to use?

      Nance wrote on March 14th, 2014
  34. Mark, every meta-analysis that I could find indicates that PUFAs decrease the risk of coronary heart disease. See here for one of them. Don’t you think this is worth mentioning?

    Also, I followed your links about the free radical dangers – No one heats their oil to190 degrees Celsius for twenty minutes before cooking unless they are frying, and I think everyone believes that fried foods are unhealthy anyway (whether or not they believe this for the right reason). Moreover, the other links don’t support your claim that dietary free radicals in oils are 1) in high enough concentrations to matter and 2) result in the adverse effects you cite. The free radicals in one of the sources that you cited are from respiratory oxidation, not diet. I couldn’t tell what the source of free radicals in the other source was, but it didn’t look like diet.

    Alexander Stanislaw wrote on February 28th, 2014
  35. Dear Mark,
    When I did a little research on lard, I was surprised to find that it is pretty high in PUFAs. Granted, I can’t say how reputable the online sources of this information were that I found when I googled the nutritional content of lard. I always thought that there were mainly saturated fats in lard! I was wondering if you could ‘enlighten’ me about this (since I trust that you know where to get your facts!) ?
    Thank you!
    Warmly,
    Sunny

    Sunny wrote on March 13th, 2014
  36. I was wondering what you thought of organic expeller pressed grapeseed oil (in a dark bottle) … Is this a oil that you would recommend using as long as you balance it with your Omega 3 intake?

    Nance wrote on March 14th, 2014
  37. Hi – I’m curious how you would interpret this study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24550191

    Liz wrote on March 15th, 2014
  38. Lulz! I love all the superstition and pseudo-science happening on these sorts of websites. You know what your paleo diet gets you? Nutrient deficient, being 4 foot tall and dying before you’re 30.

    It’s only when we start become agrarian and getting our grains, pulses, etc. did our health, height and longevity take off. Something all you yo-yos always seem to miss. You people desperately need to read more history and more actual science because you’re only doing yourselves more harm than good. Which would be fine if it was just about you, but passing along this misinformation as actual fact harms other people as well. I look forward to the day where you clowns can and will be sued successfully.

    Lulz wrote on July 22nd, 2014
  39. I’m leaning to the whole free radical theory developed in the 50’s is officially dead. If so then much of the discussion on this topic and many others might have to be re-thought. Food industry is dependent on all buying into this theory. if not they can’t survive

    x-man wrote on November 2nd, 2014
  40. Why? What is wrong with other animal-sourced fat?

    Pikaia wrote on January 26th, 2010

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