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#OptimalU: Which Oils Does Your Body Need (And Which Should You Avoid)?

When you hear the word “oil,” what comes to mind? A car? A spill in the ocean? Onion rings? I used to associate the word “oil” with negative connotations, but as my knowledge and professional expertise grew in natural health, the more I began to embrace the fact that there are oils we need to consume for our health every day. At the same time, there are oils produced that we should not eat.

How do you know which oils you should and should not consume? To begin, there are two essential fatty acids that must be included in your daily diet for optimal health. These oils can then be metabolized by your body to create other fatty acid chains (one is linoleic acid, which is a precursor to the omega-6 family, and the other is a precursor to the omega-3 group, or alpha-linolenic acid).

 

Related: Healthy Fatty Foods You Need to Include in Your Diet  

 

Dr. Bob’s Top 5 “Approved” Oils:

1) Flax Oil

Flax Oil Softgels

Flax oil is an excellent plant-based oil that is in the omega-3 family. It can be metabolized into two long chain fats: EPA for cardiovascular health, and DHA, which is needed for nervous system function. Flax oil, walnuts and greens (kale and collard greens, for example) are food sources that require cofactors including vitamin B and minerals to be processed into alpha linolenic acid (omega-3 fat). Trans fat and insulin will sabotage the development of these precursor foods. One tablespoon of flax oil is needed per 100 pounds of body weight.

2) Sardine & Anchovy Oil

Oils sourced from the sea are a direct source of omega-3 fats and do not require cofactors as do their plant-based associates. I have found marine oils sourced from smaller fish tend to have reduced potential for toxins, which is why I encourage using anchovy or sardine-based fish products. I typically recommend our patients have an EFA Bloodspot exam to determine the exact oils needed by their system.  I have some practice members require up to 6 grams of marine oil per day.

3) Black Currant Seed Oil

Black currant seed oil has a combination of omega-3, 6 and 9 oils. I encourage our patients to use a blend of optimal oils like this. Black currant seed oil can be used by all age groups, and is exceptional for young children with skin health concerns.

4) Primrose Oil (a.k.a. Evening Primrose Oil, or EPO)

Primrose oil historically assists women who are experiencing hormonal issues, and is useful for balancing oils required for optimal glandular function.

5) Safflower and/or Sunflower Oil

Safflower and sunflower oils are in the omega-6 family. They are commonly used in the healthy snack food industry. Consuming a consistent amount of omega-6 oils can imbalance your delicate omega-3 and 6 ratio, resulting in pain. I would prefer using these over canola or soy-based oils.

 

Related: Dr. Oz: 3 Reasons to Pick Krill Oil Over Fish Oil

 

Dr. Bob’s Five Oils To Avoid

1) Canola Oil

Canola oil happens to be one of the most controversial oils in the media right now. I have read that canola can be sourced from genetically altered or hybridized seeds.  It is extracted with hexane and there are no long-term studies on their safety.

2) Soybean Oil

Seventy percent of all oils used in the U.S. are soy-based, with billions of pounds produced annually. However, soybean oil is commonly sourced from genetically created seeds, has no nutritional value and does not promote optimal health.

3) Trans Fat or Partially Hydrogenated Oils

Trans fats are sourced from a vegetable, which is the reason it was promoted as a “heart-healthy” oil since plants do not have cholesterol. However, trans fat literally sabotages your body’s ability to create fat tissue, like hormones or prostaglandins, which reduce pain and inflammation. Trans fat is one of the leading factors of heart diseases, and the scientific community has been duped for more than 30 years, promoting trans fat or partially hydrogenated oils as a heart-healthy alternative to lard and beef tallow.

4) Corn Oil

Corn oil, as other modern oils, tends to be extracted from genetically engineered seeds, which is one of many reasons to avoid them.

5) Olestra

Olestra is a commercially created oil used in the fast food industry to prepare foods. We have noticed with bio-communication galvanic skin testing that olestra is still being used. Historically, olestra can create lower digestive distress and even loose stools. 

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