Seed oils bad.
You probably understand that. Yet many still fall into another unhealthy oil trap, which is the utterly false belief that omega-3s are good.
To understand why they’re even worse than the omega-6 in seed oils, it helps to look at why seed oils themselves are bad.
Why PUFAs are the problem
There are many issues with seed oils, but the primary reason they are bad is because of the poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that make up the bulk of the fat content.
(the chemistry here is explained very simply, but just skip to the end if you want the tl;dr)
When a fat is saturated, it means all the carbons (C) in the chain have two hyrdogens (H) attached, like this:
This results in fat which is waxy and solid at room temperature (like butter). These molecules are very stable and don’t easily oxidize or decay.
But when a fat is unsaturated, like the omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) found in most seed oils, it means there are carbons without a hyrdogen attached:
Notice there are two gaps. The circled molecules with the lonely hydrogen are called a methylene bridge, “which possess especially reactive hydrogen atoms.”
“Reactive hyrdogens” means that the methylene bridge is where the fatty acid starts to decay into the nasty chemicals that destroy your body.
tl;dr: omega-6 PUFAs are bad because they are unsaturated, since the unsaturation produces methylene bridges which are unstable.
Omega 3’s are even more unsaturated
Now that we know why the PUFAs in seed oils are bad, let’s take a look at another fatty acid, which happens to be an omega-3.
Does this one look good or bad for you?
Remember those lonely hydrogens in the bridges are the unstable parts. And now there are two of them.
If you thought this would be even more unstable, you’d be right.
It’s so unstable that it is known as a drying oil, which means that it “hardens to a tough, solid film after a period of exposure to air, at room temperature.”
And it comes from flax seed oil (aka linseed oil), which used to be used in oil based paints because it dries into essentially a hard plastic material.
Guess what happens when it enters your body, full of oxygen and heat?
Yes, it oxidizes, hardens, and turns into a plasticy material.
Many seeds contain these, but flax and chia seeds have them in higher concentrations. Canola oil is a health food compared to these.
tl;dr: omega-3s from flax, chia, etc. are even worse than omega-6s found in standard seed oils because they are more unsaturated
And fish oils are even worse
Now that you can identify dangerous PUFAs on sight, take a look at this one:
Not one, not two, but five methylene bridges! That’s 5 times the number of places where oxidation can happen compared to the omega-6 linoleic acid (seed oils)!
This fatty acid is also called DHA, which might be familiar to you from the fish oil supplement you may have taken. EPA, the other omega-3 in fish oil, has four bridges.
These fats are in all fish oil and related supplements, including krill oil, algae oil, and cod liver oil.
No wonder why they all taste and smell horrific. Your body tried to warn you— listen to it!
tl;dr: the omega-3s DHA and EPA are the most unsaturated, and therefore the most dangerous
What to do about it
Toss out your flax seeds and oil, chia seeds, fish oil, cod liver oil, krill oil, and algae oil immediately and don’t look back.
I don’t care if CLO has vitamin A and D. Drink some raw milk and go outside.
I understand that this conclusion may contradict many things you’ve been told about supplements and health:
Aren’t these fats necessary?
Maybe. But beef has non-negligible quantities of PUFA anyway. Better to stick with a traditional food, instead of more industrially concentrated extracts.
Isn’t fish healthy?
Sure, there are great components to fish. But the extracted oils are artificially concentrated, similar to seed oils. Corn won’t kill you, but corn oil will.
Doesn’t X say omega-3 good?
Sure, many people say it’s good. But Harvard is still telling people to eat canola oil, and 20 years ago people in the “alternative health” space thought it a good idea to eat soy. You can’t believe everything you hear from a company with a conflict of interest.
Controversial as it may be, the conclusions follow from the same logic that brought you “seed oil bad”.
If you are a seed oil disrespecter, then the only conclusion is to toss the fish oil too.
Let me know if you’d like to read about more specific effects of these oils in the future.
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