Fats that Heal

One of my favourite nutrition books is Udo Erasmus‘ ‘Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill’. It’s an entire, fat, book on fats and oils.

For cooking, it’s quite simple. Most oils become harmful when heated, so you need to choose an oil with a high smoke point. Coconut oil is one of the best for this purpose, as it only breaks down at high temperatures. Most other oils aren’t great for cooking. Even extra-virgin olive oil, which is commonly-used, has a relatively low smoke point and shouldn’t be used for cooking unless at very low temperatures.

But oils show their true benefits when fresh and raw. There are two essential nutrients in fats, omega-3’s and omega-6’s. Omega-3’s break down very easily in heat and light, so most people eating a high processed diet are very low in them. Flax is then one of the best oils, as it’s extremely high in omega-3’s. Flax is used in all sorts of therapeutic ways, but it shouldn’t be used over long periods, as its extreme omega-3’s, while good for restoring an imbalance, are not what the human body needs over the long term.

The oil produced by flax’s sister, hemp, has a mix closer to human needs, and is one of the only oils that can be used over a long period without causing an imbalance. Crede’s omega-3-6-9 oil is also a blend of oils aiming at an ideal human balance. If you want to make your own, flax mixed with a small amount of sunflower and sesame make a good combination.

Hemp and flax in particular should be used relatively quickly once exposed to air and light, and are best stored in the fridge.

Sadly, we’ve been given advance warning that the next batch of flax oil will be markedly more expensive, so we’ve filled our fridge with the current batch in case people want to stock up before the increase.

If fats fascinate you as much as me, this week’s video features Udo Erasmus speaking about them.

New and Old
This week there are three varieties of apples available, as well as green beans. It’s also going to be the last week for plums and quinces from Tierhoek, so order while you can. Tierhoek will be back again with apricots in November.

Have a great week,
Ian and the Ethical team

Go to to www.ethical.org.za to place your order before Tuesday 2pm, and remember that you can follow us on Facebook and on Twitter