Oil Basics – Everything You Need To Know About Oils And Omegas
I get thousands of questions every year through social media and my customer service inbox from people looking for clarity on oils and omegas. If you are new to oils and omegas, you most likely can find the answer to your questions here – if you have questions left over after you read this article, you can send me a message here.
What are some of the common signs of omega deficiencies? Omega 3 is the single, most widespread essential nutrient deficiency of our time. Every cell in your body requires them for health and for life, so there’s a wide range of symptoms associated with not getting enough of these essential nutrients that come only from fats/oils and that life cannot make in your body from anything else. A partial list of them is found in Chapter 8 my book: Fats That Heal, Fats that Kill. But some very common signs are brittle nails and hair, dry skin, difficulty sleeping, joint pain, and difficult menstrual cycles.
What are the benefits of supplementing omega 3 and 6? If you increase your intake of omega 3, provided they are not damaged by processing – which includes heating, and they don’t contain toxins that diminish their value, you can improve virtually every major degenerative condition of our time. Why? Because
1) Every cell needs them. 2) There are only a few sources. 3) 90+% of the population gets less than they need for optimum health. 4) They are highly perishable and a nightmare to work with, because of their sensitivity, and they are therefore extensively damaged by processing or avoided by manufacturers who want shelf-stable products.
Section 7 of Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, goes over the benefits that omega 3 can have in the major degenerative conditions, as well as its benefits to pets.
I developed Udo’s Oil to be made with health in mind: plant-based, unrefined, certified organic, stored in a brown glass bottle to protect it from damage by light. Udo’s oil must be refrigerated.
Is Udo’s oil a supplement or a food? Food. I call it your food oil foundation made with health in mind.
Is Udo's oil vegan? Yes.
Where can I buy it? Health food stores, Amazon and other online sellers in Canada and the US. In some countries, it is also sold in pharmacies and by health care practitioners. To find out where to purchase Udo’s Oil in your country, go to udoschoice.com
How much Udo’s Oil should I take every day? You can measure optimum intake by how your skin feels. Skin gets it last and loses it first. Soft velvety skin results from optimum intake. Both essential fatty acids together form a barrier in the skin against the loss of moisture.
The best way to oil your skin is from within. In dry climates, dry skin is more obvious than in humid climates. In winter, you need more than in summer to get the nice skin effect.
One tablespoon (15ml) per 50 pounds (25kg) of body weight per day, mixed in foods and intake spread out over the course of the day is what optimum skin requires. A little more than that for some people and a bit less for some people. This is about 25% of daily calories. For most adults, that’s about 2-4 tablespoons per day, which is 28-56 daily grams.
Is it better for health to take Udo's Oil with food instead of by the spoonful?
Oils in nature always come in foods, accompanied by all the other nutrients: protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins. Oils in food enhance flavors and improve the absorption of oil-soluble nutrients thereby enhancing the health benefits of both oils and oil-soluble nutrients. Those with weak liver function can become nauseous or feel tired or heavy when they take oils by themselves.
Udo's oil is also beneficial for our furry friends. For dogs and cats: 1 tablespoon (15ml) per 100 pounds of body weight per day, mixed in foods. For horses, 1 tablespoon (15ml) per 500 pounds of body weight per day, mixed in foods.
Can you take too much Udo's Oil in a day? How will I know? If you take too much, the body will burn it off as heat. You might feel warmer (in winter) or sweat a bit more (in summer). If you take more at any one time than your liver can handle, it lets you know by making you feel tired, heavy or nauseous. If that happens to you, lower your intake and take 1-6 months to gradually increase your liver capacity to dealing with oils.
Which Udo’s oil blend should I take? For most people, the basic blend of Udo’s Oil is fine. The DHA blend is best for those over the age of 50. The high-lignan blend contains seed material, but it is my opinion that the best source of lignans is freshly ground flax seed. Research on lignans has linked them to anti-cancer, anti-cholesterol, anti-diabetic and anti-lupus benefits.
What balance of Omega 3 and 6 should I take? If you are healthy, any omega 3 to omega 6 ratio between 2:1 and 1:4 will work. If you are not healthy, the most effective ratio in my experience is 2:1.
I‘ve read that Omega 6 is pro inflammatory and omega 3 is anti inflammatory. Is this true? Not true. Life converts omega 6 in the body into both inflammatory and anti inflammatory derivatives. It turns omega 3 into anti inflammatory derivatives.
If omega 6 is damaged by industrial processing and high heat food preparation such as frying, omega 6 has inflammatory effects from the damaged molecules.
Will Udo’s Oil make me gain weight? Yes, if you add the oil to a carb-rich diet. It won’t if you reduce your carbohydrate intake and make oils your main fuel. Make a fuel shift from carbs as your main fuel to good oils as your main fuel.
Will getting a proper amount of omega 3s help me lose weight? Yes, if you also lower carbs. Omega 3s turn on the genes necessary for fat burning and turn off the gene for fat production. That’s good for weight management. Carbs turn on fat production and turn off fat burning. If you eat more carbs than you burn, the unburned carbs turn into fat in your cells and then you gain weight.
But I take fish oil! Fish oil is a supplement, not the necessary food oil foundation. The foundation is more important than the supplement. You cannot fix a poor food oil foundation with a supplement. Supplement intake is only 1-3 grams per day (less than one teaspoon), and that is not enough oil for human requirement.
Fish oils are also damaged by the processing, and contain some toxic molecules that drifted from industry onto the land, went downhill into the ocean, and concentrated in the fats in creatures up the food chain. I have never recommended fish oils for this reason.
What about krill? Krill oil is also a supplement. It can be used in addition to getting your food oil foundation, but not instead of it. Krill, in my view, is preferable to fish oil as a supplement. 1) It is lower on the food chain so it contains less toxins. 2) It is made by a process that does not damage the very sensitive molecules. 3) Catch limits were set for sustainable krill harvest before the first net went into the water. 4) The oil is in a form (phospholipids make up 40% of the oil) that is better absorbed so less is needed for results. It is better conserved (not just burned for energy) than fish oils, which are mostly triglycerides. 5) It contains a very powerful antioxidant, called astaxanthin, naturally.
Is it possible to get enough healthy fats by just eating nuts and seeds? Some people may be able to, but most people cannot get the optimum amount that way. I’ve tried and was not able to get enough, even in summer.
Unsalted, unroasted, organically grown whole seeds and nuts are good foods and highly recommended for health. If you cannot get soft velvety smooth skin eating seeds and nuts, add good oils made with health in mind to your foods until your skin is optimally supplied. Again, the best way to oil your skin is from within.
Is Udo’s Oil good for pregnancy? Omega 3 and 6 are both important for brain development. When a woman is pregnant, she has to maintain her own brain and develop the brain of her developing child. Most women do not get enough omega 3s in their food supply. If they do, everything goes better than if they don’t. For instance, research shows that most women are depleted of omega 3 during pregnancy. As a result, each child gets less than the previous child, and each child depletes the mother further. On average, IQ goes down with birth order.
Depletion of omega 3 during pregnancy predisposes women to depression, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, inflammatory conditions, collagen diseases and auto-immune problems. Women get these conditions 2-15 times more frequently than men, probably because of omega 3 depletion. Research suggests that women make sure that they get a reliable source of both essential fatty acids, both for their children’s and their own health.
Does too much omega 3 cause low testosterone? No. Omega 3s balance hormones and make hormones function more effectively at the cell receptor level. The testosterone story came from the theoretical notion that the weak phytoestrogens found in flax seeds, the richest source of the omega 3 essential fatty acid easily available to us, might work against the manliness hormones. In practice, that has not been borne out.
We have worked with strength and endurance athletes over the years and measured their performance to exhaustion in their sport. Within 30 days of beginning to take Udo’s Oil at 15ml per 50 pounds (25kg) of body weight per day, mixed in foods and intake spread out over the course of the day, their performance to exhaustion increased on average by 40-60%.
Do I need more omega 3 because I live in a cold climate? Omega 3 is very helpful for keeping warm, because it increases metabolic rate, energy production and heat. Cold sensitive people report remarkable reductions in cold sensitivity in winters spent in cold climates.
Does olive oil have omega 3? No. Olive oil has less than 1% omega 3 and only 10 % omega 6. It also has 80% omega 9, which is not essential and life can make it from sugars and starches.
What about canola oil? Canola oil that you can buy in the store is highly processed. In addition, it contains about 10% omega 3, which is damaged 5 times as fast as omega 6. It is therefore likely to be even more damaged than the oils that contain omega 6 but not omega 3.
But I’ve been told that coconut oil is really good for you! Coconut contains virtually no omega 3 and less than 10% omega 6. A lot of unsubstantiated claims have been made for it. Its most useful property is that you can oil your skin with it. If you are a high metabolizer, you may not be able to make your skin soft with edible oils rich in omega 3 and 6. You can put coconut oil (unrefined and unprocessed) on your skin to deal with skin dryness.
Coconut oil (really, coconut fat) is stable. That is a main reason why people like to work with it. Unlike omega 3 and 6 rich oils, coconut fat does not need to be protected from light, oxygen, and heat. It is mostly saturated fat, it tastes nice, and is easy for the liver to use. But almost nothing in it that you can’t get elsewhere, so it is therefore not essential to health.
Can I cook with coconut oil? Can I cook with olive oil? You can, but for better health, give up frying completely. Oils are super-sensitive to damage done by light, oxygen and heat. They are also vindictive. They do to you what you do to them. Treat them with care and they will take care of you. Damage them and they will damage your health. Fry them and they will fry your health. Never cook with Udo’s Oil.
Is fried food healthy? Fried foods fry your health. Frying is the single most damaging process to be used on foods that we have ever come up with in all our time on Earth. To improve health, throw out your frying pan, and cook foods, if you are not eating them raw the way nature made them, in water.
For more information on the dangers of frying, check out my article Throw Away Your Frying Pan.