Rectifying mistakes about fats

by Patrick Quanten MD


We have created a society obsessed by fat and ready to blame all ills on fat. From diabetic complications to heart and vascular diseases, to weight problems, we have been persuaded that they are all solely due to our eating fat. The immediate result of this acceptance is the blossoming of a whole new industry: the low-fat food production. We now take all the fat out of the food we produce for you, thereby rectifying the mistake Nature made in the first place and saving lives by the millions - your life, because you are worth it!


Mass media, advertising, medical authorities and uncritical medical reporters have all reinforced our fear for fat. The message is simple so that everyone can understand it: all consumed fat is bad. Get everyone to respond, and then it goes wrong. Our low-fat nations have never been more overweight, and we fall prey to the very diseases that the low-fat liturgy preaches it will prevent. In the search for answers we've looked everywhere except in the most logical place, the place where the message came from in the first place: the scientific community. Here, an enormous amount of evidence has been gathered to further our understanding of the fat-issue. Evidence that has been totally ignored by the media and the markets. Knowledge such as: the cholesterol content of your food bears no relation to the cholesterol in your blood, has not been advocated with the same vigour. Could the reason be that the low-fat market is far more lucrative than the "leave my food alone" market?


How does dietary fat endanger our health?


        Processing fat to reduce the saturated fats, as found in dairy products and red meat, leaves us with trans-fatty acids as seen in margarine. Since 1970 countless studies have shown that margarine is a primary cause of atherosclerosis and heart disease, not a prevention.


        Hydrogenation is another way of processing fats, used especially in margarine. This process is needed to provide a long shelf life for the products as no natural substance will last long enough to give you huge profits. Cereals, breads, pre-packaged mixtures, all heat-and-serve meals, crackers, biscuits and almost all vegetable oils are partially hydrogenated to some degree.


        In refined vegetable oils, which generally are any of the brands at the supermarket, the essential fatty acids have been destroyed or damaged by harsh chemical processes, which not only leave traces of toxic chemicals in the oil but also remove other essentials such as vitamin E and carotenoid.


        Light exposure through the clear glass or plastic bottles further deteriorates the oil, making it go rancid.


        High heat initiates a variety of molecular changes promoting the creation of free radicals and lipid peroxides. Delicate vegetable oils and soy oil are more likely to be damaged than the more robust oils derived from nuts (peanuts, coconut, walnut).


So, the real danger of fat consumption lies in what we do to the oils rather than what the natural product provides us with. Yet, by misinterpreting and vigorously advocating altering the fat-structure of the food product, we have worsened the population's health status without wanting to admit to it. Stubbornly we persevere in the delusion. Under the banner of "science" we continue to bombard people with outdated messages that we know are wrong, thus endangering their lives; all in the name of making money, backed by pseudo-science.


As a direct result of our fat-free society we see a dramatic increase in a number of diseases and ailments which can be collectively looked at as The Disease of Dryness.


Symptoms relating to a lack of oil can be easily identified, if you are willing to look for them. Surely the skin will be dry, maybe cracked and rough, causing eczema, psoriasis, dandruff. But also the inner lining will be dry, causing constipated dry stools, indigestion, intestinal gas formation, as well as asthma. And most importantly, the nervous system, both central and peripheral, will be dry, resulting in muscular irritability and contractions, seen as tremors, twitching, cramp, numbness, paralysis, MS, sclerosed spinal cord; but also, depending on which muscles are affected, high blood pressure due to sclerosis of the arteries, irregular pulse, irritable bladder, PMS, and arthritic conditions in which the joints are not swollen, but dry and stiff (especially after rest), eventually becoming malformed. Tinnitus, loss of sexual power, and poor memory with learning difficulties are other indications of a drying system.


Much of the latest research is finally corroborating what the more perceptive medic and scientist, as well as grannies all over the country, have known for years: fats are essential for health. Evidence based medicine should take on board the evidence that essential fatty acids are essential. They will prevent arrhythmia, lower blood pressure and drastically reduce heart attacks. Long term conditions such as diabetes, cancer, musculo-arthritic diseases, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, pulmonary disorders and skin disorders all benefit greatly from natural oils. Chronic Fatigue syndrome as well as mood disorders and hyperactivity need oil in the system before you stand any change of improving the condition.



What pure oils are good for us?


These days we hear an awful lot about omega-3 and omega-6 oils, and people are frantically trying to find out which foods they should eat to get a high level. At the same time the industry is telling us that if you do have a problem you probably need massive supplementation to rectify it and taking the essential fatty acids in supplement form not only delivers the right quantity but also allows you to alter your health status without altering your diet. In effect, it means that you can carry on consuming the low-fat products - still in the mistaken belief that it stops you getting fat - and top it up with another artificial product, the omega-supplement.

If, however, you are really concerned about your health, you could start with taking note of the evidence and based upon this knowledge you could make dietary changing decisions. You could decide to reintroduce natural dry-pressed, unprocessed, oils into your life.


Which ones? - Fish oils are the easy and simple ones. These oils are a very powerful nutrient, equally from sea and fresh water fish. You can obtain the benefits from the fish oils by eating the fish itself or using the oil separately. When you use the oil, you will have to carefully consider how it has been obtained as it is the processing that alters essential properties. - The heavier of the vegetable oils such as flaxseed, rapeseed, sesame seed, walnut, but also wild game are very good dietary sources of essential fatty acids. Here we have to consider the fact that most of these are rarely consumed, improperly prepared or ridiculously branded as unhealthy. - Lighter oils such as safflower, sunflower, corn oils and evening primrose are also a good supply but these are already widely consumed. Poor quality, overconsumption and heating leads to health problems relating to these oils.


Always look for the quality. The fact that the oil comes from the right fish, plant or nut and the label tells you it contains the right kind of "ingredients", does not necessarily mean that it will be the most beneficial to you. The process of obtaining and storing the oil will ultimately determine whether or not it is going to contribute to your health. The more "whole" an oil is (a list of ingredients means someone has messed with the product in order to find out) the better quality it is. Very often it is the so called "impurities" which give the oil its specific action and quality. Isolating the active ingredient almost always diminishes the value and power of the product. The whole combination of all ingredients, even when in minute quantities, is what makes the oil what it is.


And then there is one other besides the already mentioned oils, that needs a bit more attention. Remember the goose fat people use to use for it's healing purposes? Property wise this comes under the wild game fats. Nowadays, this would obviously be classified as extremely bad for your health. But is it? - We now have the opportunity to answer this question because we have scientific studies about oil obtained from the emu, which is similar to the old fashioned goose fat used in these regions.



Emu Oil


The fat is obtained from a thick pad of fat on the back of the bird, which is bred in Australia for its meat. The birds are kept on large ranches and raised in a free-range manner. The oil consists of almost 50% of monounsaturated and 20% polyunsaturated fats, as well 30% saturated fats. It is a magnificent source of the omega fatty acids 3, 6 and 9; the combination of which is rarely found in these quantities. This heavy, very nutritional oil will be especially useful in tonification and convalescent therapy to strengthen and nourish a system that has been weakened by illness, child birth, malnutrition and old age.


But who is going to eat emu oil by the bucket full?


Do not worry, you don't have to. As we are primarily an energy system, rather than a body functioning on a chemical level we only need to be able to use the energy from the oil. An easy way to achieve this is through our skin. Not only does the emu oil penetrate extremely well through the skin, but the properties of anything that our skin comes in contact with are taken up directly by the whole system. This is why hormone patches work, why homoeopathic medication works even if it is only carried close to the skin, this is why aromatherapy massage works. So, no surprise there then. We can use the emu oil as a plain massage oil and as a vehicle for other substances we want to use the properties of. Essential oils can be mixed in before application, but the oil can also be used to draw out properties from herbs and spices. This will add specific properties to the already highly nutritious emu oil.


In a world where quality is hard to come by, hope is raised by the discovery that there are still almost entirely untouched areas for us to gain health from. As long as the emu can roam free and be allowed to feed naturally, as long as we can obtain the oil in a natural unprocessed way, we have a potential source of pure heavy nutrients which our society has forcibly removed from our food. Combined with a better understanding of food and nutrition based upon the quality and the properties of food rather than its "ingredients" we can be well on the way to eradicating ill-health. For every weakness there is a natural tonic; for every ill-feeling there is a natural balancer. Achieving a long prosperous live depends entirely on keeping the natural balance intact; no unnatural, drug or processing, intervention is going to achieve any long term benefit, as our society is demonstrating so aptly.


Use naturally obtained oils and reintroduce them into your diet, especially if you are suffering from The Disease of Dryness. Similar symptoms are not necessarily caused by the same imbalance. So, make sure that it is dryness you are suffering from (consult someone who knows), but if most of the symptoms above mentioned are yours the likelihood is that dryness is at least part of your problem and for most of you regular massages with emu oil will be of great benefit.


April 2002