Dr Udo Erasmus On Fats that Heal and Fats that Kill
We met up with Dr Udo Erasmus (Phd. Nutrition), founder of the famed Udo’s Oil® 3·6·9 Blend, who was in Malaysia recently. Born in Poland in 1942 and migrated to Canada after WWII., the sprightly 75-year-old was glowing in health and said that he felt like 30 years old! He is a firm believer that the body can heal itself if it is given the proper fuel i.e., good fats. “Like our cars, we all need an oil change,” he said. By oil, he means good edible fats and oils that contain essential fatty acids (EFAs).
This belief came to him in the 1980s when he suffered from pesticide poisoning and when he had Omega 6 deficiency at the age of 38. “I had dry eyes, papery dry skin and arthritis-like joint pain,” he recalled. That went away when he included sunflower seeds, which are rich in Omega 6, into his diet. Wowed by the healing properties of fats and oils, he devoted his life into researching them. His best-selling book ‘Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill’ is a culmination of his many years of research and became a major influence on the world’s understanding of EFAs.
When Good Fats Go Bad
He is especially concerned with the common perception that consumption of saturated fats lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. “Most of our confusion about the effects of fats and oils on health is a result of knowing only half the story. We need to know why some fats kill and some fats heal,” Dr. Udo said.
Here are some of the highlights of the interview:
100Comments: What makes fat a killer?
Dr. Udo: Fats and oils turn rancid and bad when exposed to heat, light and oxygen. Nature never contained fried foods. Our bodies did not have the means to properly metabolise scorched molecules, which leads to cancer and hardened arteries. The oils best for our health, those richest in EFAs, become extremely toxic when fried. High frying temperatures above 150 Celsius also damage hard, stable, saturated tropical fats and butter.
With the exception of extra virgin olive oil and extra virgin coconut oil, which remain unrefined and undeodorised, all oils on supermarket shelves have gone through several harsh processes that may include hydrogenisation and deodorisation. Hydrogenating, frying (overheating) and deodorising are the three main processes that turn healing fats into killing fats.
100Comments: Why do we need Essential Fatty Acids?
Dr. Udo: The EFAs consist of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) from the omega-3 family, and Linoleic Acid (LA) from the omega-6 family. Every living cell in the body needs these EFAs. They are so important they are known as “Foundational Fats”. However, the body can’t make these fats on its own, so they must be consumed directly from a food source.
It is essential to find the best possible source of EFAs and make it a part of your daily diet. Udo’s 3•6•9 Oil Blend® is such a food source, delivering a balanced 2:1:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 and omega-9 EFAs. For vegetarians and vegans, I would recommend that you take it with a good B12 supplement, as it is only sourced from animal protein.
100Comments: What makes one fat?
Dr. Udo: Fats don’t make you fat, carbohydrates do. Carbs raises blood sugar levels, release insulin and converts the unused energy into body fat, which then leads to low blood sugar levels and results in cravings.
The good fats i.e., essential fatty acids Omega 3 and 6 contained within Udo’s Oil Blend help break the carb addiction cycle. Good fats help:
– manage your cravings as you feel fuller for a longer time
– keeps your energy, blood sugar and insulin levels stable as opposed to the blood sugar rise and crashes caused by carbohydrates
– keeps mood swings away helping you stick to a healthy diet plan
– burns body fat efficiently by increasing oxygen metabolism
– keeps body temperature normal by helping burn body fat
If you have an active lifestyle, eating lots of carbs is fine as you would get the exercise you need to burn it all off. But most of us have a predominantly sedentary lifestyle, so excess carbs will lead to excess weight.
100Comments: Can you share what you eat on a daily basis?
Dr. Udo: I eat foods that are closest to their natural state and get my carbs from plants and leafy greens. I abstain from other types of carbs, sugar and most animal products. I don’t use oil in my cooking and if cooking is required, then I would eat boiled and steamed foods. And of course, my Udo’s Oil Blend is an essential part of my daily diet. It’s best taken mixed with your food after they are cooked e.g., soups, stews, and boiled foods, and also drizzled on salads. I recommend 1 tablespoon to start off and eventually get to 0.6ml to every 1 kg of your body weight.
100Comments: And what about your daily habits?
Dr. Udo: As much as possible, I try to wake up without an alarm clock. That way I know that I have adequate sleep for the night. It’s also a more gentle way of waking up rather than being jarred away by a beeping alarm clock! I also make time to sit in a quiet place and do breathing exercises. It helps centres the heart, mind and soul and keeps me grounded. As for exercise, I go for walks, runs, jump on a trampoline or run in place. I grew up in a farm and as such, I don’t fancy going to the gym.