Fats That Heal, Fats That Killby Published 01 Dec 1998
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Udo Erasmus presents research on common and lesser-known oils with therapeutic potential: flax, olive, fish, evening primrose, borage, blackcurrent, and snake oil. He exposes the manufacturing processes that turn these healing fats into killing fats, explaining the effects these damaged fats have on human health.
Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill Reviews
Unfortunately, I had to read this voluminous book in translation, which somewhat slowed down the process of reading it. It could be said to be almost the definitve work on fats and oils - the only thing is the book's a bit old (from 1993), so it presumably won't contain the newest information in this field.
It is not only a comprehensive work but an extremely ambitious one, in that Erasmus doesn't restrict himself to discussing fats and oils but includes healthy eating as a whole. I found it to contain valuable information. The author is a wise and knowledgeable man.
He goes into absolute detail about the structure of the various oils, and these sections don't make for easy reading for those like myself who are scientifically illiterate.
Some basic details I retrieved from the book are as follows:
1) The essential fatty acids are lineolic acid (LA - omega 6 - and alpha linolenic acid (LNA) - omega 3.
2) Flax oil is the one containing most LNA (omega 3), and supplements of this oil can thus quickly resolve a lack of omega 3, but if one solely consumes flax oil then in the long run symptoms of lack of omega 6 will occur, since flax oil contains 4 times as much omega 3 than omega 6. The ideal ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is 1:3, and hemp oil has this ratio between the two omega types. However, hemp oil is quite expensive.
3) It is of the utmost importance that we use only the very best oils that have been pressed and packed in darkness in an oxygen-free environment. They should be packed in dark containers and marked with sell-by date.
4) He points out the dangers of reducing one's cholesterol level too much (suicide, cancer), and in fact devotes a whole chapter to questioning the accepted cholesterol theory. (See also "Fat and cholesterol are good for you" by Uffe Ravnskov and "The great cholesterol con" by Malcolm Kendrick.)
5) All margarine and fried food should be avoided. If you absolutely must fry something, use, for example, a little butter. Oils containing essential fatty acids must never be used for frying. When frying in oil, water added to the pan keeps the temperature down to 100 degrees, which temperature is not destructive. Trans fatty acids are dangerous and should be avoided.
6) Erasmus subscribes to Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling's views that coronary disease is first and foremost due to a lack of C-vitamin.
He devotes a few final chapters to discussing the nature of health, and suggests that doctors should be focusing on this and not on disease.
This book contains an absolute wealth of essential health information, and I have only given a very few pointers.
I would highly recommend this book to those at all interested in their health.There could however be more recently written books available that are equally good or even better. Also my attention has recently been drawn to the fact that Erasmus fails to mention the excellent qualities of coconut oil.
I've been on a marathon of fat themed books lately, all of the point of view that we need a variety of clean, organic fats, including saturated fats from coconut and animal sources, and that trans and oxydized fats are the only real bad guys. I'm reading this one primarily to check out the opposition. Boy is this a contract from Know Your Fats, which focuses exclusively on documented studies and explanations of the biochemistry of every fat in existence, and includes numerous charts. I'm certain Dr. Mary Enig wrote this book in response to this "oil salesman". and so it's entertaining to watch him throw statements around without any references, and remember what Mary stated in her book. For example:
Udo: Oxydized saturated fats and cholesterol clog arteries.
Mary in my head: Biopsies of arterial plaques show that they contain 60% polyunsaturated fats (Udo's darlings) and, oh yeah, saturated fats don't be oxydize. All those single electron bonds don't let oxygen in, (dummy).
Udo: Saturated fats have long carbon chains, up to 28, which are bad and hard to digest. And everyone knows saturated fats are primarily found in animal fat i.e. they are BAD.
I looked up the chart in Mary's book which lists the length of carbon chains and their food sources, and saturated fats from dairy or meat vary from 4 to 20 carbons. The longer ones only exist in plant sources. The shortest polyunsaturated fats are 18 carbons long, and the coveted omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are 22! So maybe long chains are entirely bad after all? Never mind that no polyunsaturateded fats make it into the medium chain category.
This goes on and on, he includes valid information from time to time, but only to push his theory, and the way he words it, it's sometimes difficult to recognize. Saturated fats aren't stable, they are "lethargic and uninteresting" as opposed to the unstable polyunsaturates which need to be refrigerated to prevent rancidity. I wonder what kind of people he hangs out with? Does he prefer addicts and people with mood disorders because healthy, balanced people are boring, tell the truth and show up on time? Gotta wonder.
As entertaining as it is illuminating. Some truly eye-opening and crucial information contained in here from one of the pioneers of lipids and EFA research. If only he'd referenced it properly, it could be an immensely useful text. As it stands, best for getting a thorough overview but you still have to conduct your own research of the peer-reviewed literature.
A MUST Have!!! Udo is a Genius!
I Think the Title is a bit off...(as I seem to remember the previous version of this book was as well), but the Book and it's content IS BRILLIANT!
"I" have beliefs that lead me to my own sayings or what I believe to be truisms, one for example is "There are no short answers"...another is; "Rumination is Required", and as a result, the answers rarely come immediately...we all have our own Personal Velocity. But we must Start and we must Try to become More Aware and become MORE!
I bought this book when I began searching for the answers in a Wellness/Orthomolecular direction while still being strongly plugged into the generally accepted Allopathic Syptomatic Treatment Paradigm. This was my starting point.
Since reading this book, I have read maybe 30 or 50 health books, researched 100's of papers, both hard copy and Internet based steming from the Orthomolecular and Allopathic Perspectives and I continue to utilize Udos work as a reference volume.
Incidently, I also use another listed book in a similar way...
Mathias Raths' "Why Animals dont' get Heart Attacks but people Do!
p.s., Udo, gets into the really nitty gritty of Carbon Bonds and the CHEMISTRY and the WHY and HOW the body works. Don't let yourself feel too intimidated. You DO NOT need to get bogged down in the Chemistry, he writes to the novice reader as well, so that knowone is left behind. Enjoy!
MUST OWN and USE.
Author doesn't shy away from quoting real research.
very convenient basic info on terminology and great tables to organize all the information in the book.
He is not trying to sell some ideology or convince us of any philosophy of life or something...just giving facts on the biochemistry of fats and [when research hasn't yet provided enough] gives his humble opinion when required.