Category Archives: Essential Fats and Oils


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Excerpt from Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill by Udo Erasmus.

Cholesterol plays both vital and detrimental roles in our health. There is no nutritional substance as controversial as cholesterol, and no substance about which there is more confusion. There is no other substance as widely publicized by the medical profession – and no bigger health scandal. Cholesterol can strike terror into the minds of misinformed people. The cholesterol scare is big business for the doctors, laboratories, and drug companies. It is also a powerful marketing gimmick for vegetable oil and margarine manufacturers who can advertise their products to be ‘cholesterol-free’.

The fact is that 999 out of every 1000 people can control their cholesterol level and, more importantly, their cardiovascular health, by nutritional means alone. The remaining 1 in 1000 people can also benefit from nutritional improvement. Medical professionals that are untrained in nutrition cannot help us reach this objective.

A hard, waxy lipid substance that melts at 149ºC (300ºF), cholesterol is essential to our health, but we do not need to obtain it from foods. Our body can manufacture it from simpler substances (2-carbon acetates) which it derives from the breakdown of sugars, fats, and even proteins, especially when our total intake of these foods supplies us with calories in excess of our body’s requirement.

The more excess calories we consume – especially from sugars and saturated and other non-essential fatty acids – the more pressure there is on our body to make cholesterol. In addition, the more stress we are under, the more cholesterol our body makes, because cholesterol is the precursor of stress hormones.


Essential Fatty Acids and What They Do For You

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Both plants and animals can make fats, using building blocks known as fatty acids. The fatty acids we human can make are call nonessential fatty acids because we don’t have to get them from the food we eat. However, there are certain fatty acids that we cannot make ourselves. These are the fats we cannot live without. By eating foods rich in essential fatty acids and supplementing our diet with them, we give ourselves the advantage of improved physical and mental health.

Every cell in the body requires (and thrives on) essential fatty acids for optimal function. Much like the way a factory operates, the cell takes in raw materials from its surrounding fluids and integrates these materials within itself. The outer membrane of the cell is composed almost entirely of fat (with embedded proteins), and this fatty layer outside the cell, called the lipid membrane, helps keep the cell fluid, flexible, and able to function and communicate with neighbouring cells.

Laboratory animals subjected to a diet poor in essential fatty acids develop skin problems, fatty liver,  blood lipid and blood sugar irregularities, poor reproductive health, and poorly developed brains and nervous systems. The fear of ingesting fat, caused largely by the medical industry’s misunderstanding of the way fats heal and harm, caused Western societies to consume low fat diets that contribute to growing health concerns: high cholesterol, high triglycerides, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and reduced cognitive function.