It is always a challenge to come up with a topic for each herbalYODA Says! Newsletter. I don't have a system other than I try not to write about a topic I have covered before. I know too that I've asked many times for reader suggestions but this never seemed to supply ideas.
Back in the early years of this century I was motivated to write an article about fats: Nature’s Natural Foods - Fat Facts and Your Health found on my main domain, leaflady.org.
The reason I wrote this article was because of a dietician (RD as educated under USDA guidelines) who often wrote articles for the coop I belonged to at the time. I wrote a retort to the article that and was dissed because I dared challenge the dietician's recommendation to use margarine, and never use butter.
About two weeks ago I was reading morning news on the internet, as I usually do, and came upon an article about a similar topic. The writer had contacted three dieticians (RD or registered dietician) for comments and each one of those suggested using canola oil.
For readers of HYS who aren't in the cognoscenti I am advising that USDA promotes a certain (corporate promoted) agenda via dieticians, so generally they promote this type of food propaganda.
I was so incensed about this that I looked up each one of these RDs and contacted them to try to pass on some facts. One works at supermarket chain in Illinois, one works at a hospital in Indiana, and the third is a nutrition science instructor educating future dieticians at a Tennessee college. Only the person from the grocery chain called me back but I missed her call, then called again with my message, and haven't received a reply.
Genetically modified canola oil is in just about every food you can find if you take time to read the labels. Canola oil is part of the “plant sterol” scam in things like vitamins, aspirin, and other products under the guise of giving you better heart health. You even find canola oil in 'health food products' more and more every day, and you wonder why all the cholesterol cheerleaders are alarmed over rising levels, even for children 9-11 years of age. As if cholesterol testing can make an impact on rising obesity levels that so worries everyone.
This excerpt from my article, Nature’s Natural Foods - Fat Facts and Your Health, explains more -
“Nutrition researchers report that omega-6 oils and trans fatty acids, such as canola oil and all hydrogenated oils can lead to serious health problems. Trans-fats contribute to cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, Crohn’s disease, cirrhosis of the liver, eczema, PMS, breast disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, poor pituitary and thyroid function, heart disease, immune system dysfunction, sterility, learning disabilities, growth problems and osteoporosis.
It is best to avoid all hydrogenated and trans-fats, including canola oil and margarine. Canola oil is unsuited for human consumption because it contains a fatty acid called erucic acid. Erucic acid is associated with fibrotic heart lesions and is toxic to the liver. It goes rancid and becomes moldy easily. A recent study indicates that canola oil creates a deficiency of vitamin E required for heart health.
Nutrient-rich traditional fats such as butter have nourished people for thousands of years. Today butter consumption is down, yet cholesterol intake is up just 1%. Vegetable oil consumption (margarine, shortening and refined oils) is up about 400%. “
Research at the University of Florida – Gainsesville, determined that as much as 4.6% of all the fatty acids in canola are "trans" isomers (plastic) also because of the refining process.
Erucic acid is a very–long–chain fatty acid and this in itself makes canola oil generally unfit for human consumption. This too is a factor in the development of fibrotic heart lesions. Chemists tell us that canola oil breaks down into the following components: 5% saturated fat; 57% oleic acid; 23% omega–6; and 10–15% omega–3.
Omega 6 oils are those that we get too much of in the Western standard diet. These oils are the ones we need to reduce and or avoid for health.
Another concern about canola oil is that it too monounsaturated for health.
If you notice, you'll find canola oil in pet food too.
Canola is deodorized in the oil making process as it has a very nasty odor in the natural state. Refining any canola oil and deodorizing it occurs at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Any health benefit in this oil cannot be present as a result of “cooking” at high temperature.
Most know that oils high in omega 3 lose their nutritional health benefits when heated at even low level temperatures. When you cook with canola oil at high heat (because we are told it has a high smoke point) the oil distorts the fatty acid. High heat turns it into an unnatural form of trans-fatty acid that has been shown to be harmful to health. Fast food companies have turned to canola oil for preparing food under government pressure to help reduce cholesterol levels and fight obesity.
Many know that vitamin E in the correct form can be an effective tool in lowering cholesterol and preventing and reversing heart disease. In 1996, the Japanese announced a study wherein a special canola oil diet killed laboratory animals. Reacting to this information, a duplicate study was conducted by Canadian scientists using piglets and a canola oil based milk replacement diet.
In this second study published in Nutrition Research, 1997, v17, the Canadian researchers verified that canola oil reduced vitamin E to a dangerously low level.
In late January 1998, Omega Nutrition, a major producer of organic, cold pressed oils for the health food industry published a statement in a press release that says -
“If you are cooking with canola oil of any quality, you might as well be using margarine. In the case of refined canola oil, the important health benefits have been processed away — leaving the consumer with the nutrition of ..., white flour — and, dangerous trans–fatty acids have replaced the beneficial omega 3 essential fatty acids.”
In the abstract of the Canadian study, the researchers made the following statement:
“It is known that ingestion of oils containing polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) of the n–3 and n–6 series results in a high degree of unsaturation in membrane phospholipids, which in turn may increase lipid peroxidation, cholesterol oxidation, free radical accumulation and membrane damage.”
Vitamin E is absolutely essential to human health. When so much PUFA is available in today's diet, the demand evidently becomes more imperative because tocopherols control lipid peroxidation that result in dangerous free radical activity. This contributes to the formation of lesions in arteries and other problems.
Now that you know a little of the history about canola oil – thanks to Jim Lynn, here's a little more for thought -
Canola Oil is the suspected causative agent for Scrapie, a viral disease transmitted to cattle that were fed rendered sheep infected with Scrapie. Both Scrapie and Mad Cow Disease destroy the brain's ability to function. In the 1980's rape oil was widely used in animal feeds in England and throughout Europe. It was banned in 1991, and Scrapie in sheep has totally disappeared.
“Studies of Canola oil done on rats indicate many problems. Rats developed fatty degeneration of heart, kidney, adrenals and thyroid gland. When the Canola oil was withdrawn from their diet, the deposits dissolved, but scar tissue remained on the organs. Why were no studies done on humans before the FDA placed it on the GRAS (Generally Accepted as Safe) list?
Consumed in food, Canola oil depresses the immune system, causing it to "go to sleep." Canola oil is high in glycosides which cause health problems by blocking (inhibiting) enzyme function. its effects are accumulative, taking years to show up. One possible effect of long term use is the destruction of the protective coating surrounding nerves called the myelin sheath. When this protective sheath is gone, our nerves short-circuit causing erratic, uncontrollable movements.”
Reading over the text, one identifies these words and terms -
· Canola oil is in everything
· Canola is a trans fat
· Trans-fats can lead to health problems such as high cholesterol, vitamin E depletion, immune suppression, Crohn’s disease, cirrhosis of the liver, eczema, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, irritable bowel syndrome, poor pituitary and thyroid function.
I limited this list to issues involving integrity of the gastrointestinal system -
· Liver function is important to healthy digestion. Canola disrupts healthy liver function and may lead to cirrhosis and keep your cholesterol level artificially elevated.
· Fat soluble vitamins like E are needed for health and if they are not properly absorbed or depleted then all health is compromised. Vitamin E can help lower cholesterol without drugs.
· About 70% of your immune system is in your GI tract and if it is not working then your immune system works poorly too. The same is in regard to thyroid function that has much to do with metabolism and is connected with pituitary function. Eczema is often considered a symptom of poor immune status.
· IBS, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease do have a major impact on digestion and absorption of nutrients.
And now you say how does this concern digestion?
One new study shows that it is very important to eat vegetables, especially green ones. “The researchers subjected mice to a diet stripped of vegetables and found that after just three weeks, the mice lost 70 to 80 percent of a kind of white blood cell called intraepithelial lymphocytes, which, the press release states, "play a critical role in monitoring the large number of micro-organisms present in the intestine, keeping infections at bay and maintaining a healthy gut."
This is important because about 70% of your immune system functions in the GI tract. It is also important because about the same percentage of serotonin function involves your gut as well. You can see now that food and mood are directly related just as is immune strength. (About 70% of food intolerance issues involve decreased levels of serotonin. Hopefully you can see the link to all the drugs that alter serotonin function when nutrition might just be a better answer).
The original study as published in Cell http://www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674%2811%2901136-6
pinpoints much of the importance of this issue, the need for a healthy gut mucosa (lining and coating), especially for the villi in your small intestine, and the importance of healthy bacteria.
In a continuing education seminar I attended focus on this subject and the importance of a health digestive system made some much directed points in support of my claim that you are what you assimilate. If you cannot assimilate nutrients because of gut health issues or poor liver function, and even poor gall bladder function, everything just gets worse.
I'm just going to include highlights here. Hopefully there is enough to help you have a very clear picture of the importance of these issues because gut health concerns are rising much too rapidly.
· Critical that you have good assimilation.
· Critical that you stay adequately hydrated because if this is an issue you cannot properly absorb nutrients.
· Critical to make sure your liver is in top filtering condition.
· Critical to have proper iodine intake because the integrity of the mucosa needs this. This too is where you connect with thyroid health from your gut. Iodine deficiency is linked to gastric iodine and with atrophic gastritis (atrophic gastritis is one side effect of the new serotonin type anti-depressants which contain fluoride that will deplete iodine). Acid blockers contribute here too.
· Critical to avoid acid blocker type meds or OTC products.
· Critical to support the Liver-Gut-Heart “Circle of Life”.
While the gut health problems I listed above are an issue with canola they are the same - that for the most part - are the major gut health issues today. As this is rather complex I am not going to add more except that I want to specifically note the nutrient deficiencies that are connected with the current raft of these problems.
· B vitamins, and especially B1, B2, B3,B9, B12
· Vitamins A-D-E- K (these are the FAT soluble vitamins)
· Sodium Chloride
· Amino acids, especially glutamine, arginine, and citriline
· Hormone imbalance
· Fiber – only 11% of the population gets enough fiber!
· Flora *** a critical supplement
· Low hydrochloric (HCl) and enzyme levels available for good digestions
Please consider the impact of other nutritional deficiencies caused by any prescription medications. This is vitally important if your health care provider has prescribed an acid blocker because of the impact prescription drugs (especially many heart and psychiatric ones) have on your GI tract (stomach pain).
I'd like to add a note about vitamin A. The integrity of the intestinal mucosa is highly dependent on this fat soluble vitamin. Non-fat diets limit absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Beta-carotene is not adequately converted to vitamin A by many people so you are best to choose fish oil based products or combination ones. The negative vitamin A studies you have heard so much about used only beta carotene.
Recently Dr. OZ told listeners to be very careful of this vitamin and limit your intake to 3500 units daily. Years ago the standard vitamin A product contained at least 10000 IU Vitamin A. It is safe in the proper form at 25,000 units daily. It is also effective to prevent and reverse pneumonia but at very short treatment with a high dose. SO please check your facts before you buy into what celebrity docs spout in various venues.
Most studies are just recycled these days and not very valid as they are not based on any real science. Peer review means just that all your cronies have read the article and made a comment. Most of what you hear on the news or read on what you think are good websites are just reiterating the mis (dis)-information.
I am very sure there is much more that can occur, especially as time passes. I’ll put cell phones in this category for now.
What you can do -
· First of all, be proactive. Read food labels and support the efforts to bring meaningful food labeling to all food.
· Don't buy canola oil for any purpose and don't buy food products that contain canola oil. Call manufacturers and tell them you won't buy their products made with canola.
· Avoid using margarine, including the so called “healthy“ products such as Promise or Smart Balance as these are both made with GMO soy and canola oils.
· Make your own spread with one stick of softened, unsalted, hormone free butter and one half cup olive oil sold in glass bottles (plastic bottles leech toxic chemicals into the oil).
· Use grape seed oil for high heat cooking, or health promoting coconut oil (Yikes! another 'saturated' fat). These oils have high smoke points and do not get as damaged when exposed to heat.
· Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly.
· Eat smaller portions.
· Avoid drinking liquids with your food so needed digestive enzymes are not blocked or diluted. Make sure you stay well hydrated. If your tongue feels ‘sandy’ you are too dry.
· Avoid or eat much less food from fast food outlets.
· Clean your food thoroughly to remove pesticide residue and do the same even if it is organic. Remember the government wants to allow sludge in organic fertilizer.
· If you are 35+ always use high quality digestive enzymes with at least your largest meal of the day, but at each meal is best. You may also need Betaine HCl.
· Use the best quality plain yoghurt your money can buy (or make your own) and add plain fruit, vanilla extract or other natural flavoring. Avoid the products sold in the tiny packages as they are replete with additives and very overpriced. They also may be manufactured with non-fat milk and have artificial sweeteners.
· Avoid using anti-acid pills. Unless you have been properly tested and know you have low stomach acid these pills can suppress your immune system, interfere with liver function, and block protein digestion. Using acidophilus pills, digestive enzymes, Betaine HCl, EFAs, or other natural approaches will correct this problem without drugs.
· Never give anti-acid pills to an infant or small child even if prescribed by a doctor.
· Eat real food. And remember, it actually doesn't take that much more time to cook from scratch.
· Buy organic and buy local whenever you can.
Udo Erasmus, PhD, a highly regarded international expert on fats and oils, has said that the only safe oil to use for frying or baking is water!
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