Healthy Fats & Oils
Before we explore healthy fats and oils, it’s important to state that ‘application is everything’!
A fat or oil, for topical application, is very different to the fat or oil we would benefit from consuming as food.
However, some fats and oils are ideal for both internal consumption and topical application. This category is, however, not as well populated as you might expect. Food Grade, Organic Nigella Sativa Oil is the most beneficial oil for both internal and external use, but by contrast, all of the seed oils are detrimental to our health, when taken internally.
Nevertheless, seed oils can be extremely beneficial for topical application. This is particularly true of fruit seed and nut oils.
However, despite the common use of seed oils in our diet, with the assumption that they are healthy, nothing could be further from the truth. The alarming reality is that many of the oils, which are beneficial when applied topically on our skin, are potentially deeply dangerous when consumed as food.
This article outlines which fats and oils are beneficial for use on our skin, and which fats and oils are safe to be used as foods.
It is also important to establish the difference between cold-pressed and conventionally produced oils.
Cold-pressed oils preserve the nutrient value of the oils being expressed from seeds, nuts and fruit and vegetable pulp. The opposite is true of conventionally produced oils.
With conventional methods of oil extraction, the machines run very hot. This means that the expressed oil is heated to temperatures that destroy the nutrient value of the oil, and often renders them toxic.
Our skin needs nutrients just as much as our body does, so if an oil is conventionally produced, it is neither beneficial for topical application or for ingestion.
It is also equally important to establish the difference between organic and conventionally sourced fats and oils.
Organic oils are are produced to a much higher standard than conventionally produced fats and oils. This is because organic farmers are bound by a rigorous set of standards for soil health and production methods.
These standards ensure that the nutrient content of the soil is a lot more bountiful, resulting in more nutrient-rich produce, that in turn, will be converted into a much more nutrient-rich oil.
The only exception is the oils and fats produced by small producers. The cost of organic certification can often be prohibitively expensive for small producers. This may mean that the oils and fats produced by these small producers would easily comply with organic standards, and may exceed them, but will remain uncertified.
*Wild As The Wind carries a number of ethically sourced non-organic carrier oils, from small producers, which are the exception that prove the rule.
Storage Of Oils
Storage of fats and oils, and ‘use by’ dates, are also very important. Rancid oils are equally bad for our skin as they are when we ingest them.
Rancid fats and oils are toxic. Some are carcinogenic.
It is very important to avoid using rancid oils under all circumstances.
Fats tend to be more resiliant to rancidity than nut and seed oils, but both should be stored in a cool, dark place, free from damp, with the container lids firmly closed.
Animal fats are beneficial for topical application, as well as for ingestion. This is because animal fats are very similar to the natural moisturising oils within the skin.
Wild As The Wind also carry organic alternatives to the ethically sourced essential oils listed above.
- Organic Lavender Essential Oil
- Organic German Chamomile Essential Oil
- Wildcrafted Organic German Chamomile Essential Oil
- Organic Yarrow Essential Oil
- Wildcrafted Organic Yarrow Essential Oil
Whilst essential oils, blended with carrier oils, may trump the use of animal fats for topical application, the very real benefits of animal fats come into their own when ingested.
Health Benefits Of Healthy Fats
Saturated fats contain other nutrients that are critical for the healthy functioning of our hormones and for keeping inflammation to a minimum. They also contain metabolic-boosting constituents, which lead to healthy weight loss.
By contrast, refined carbohydrates, like sugar, white bread and alcohol, will very quickly lead to inflammation in the body, disrupt hormonal health, and lead to weight-gain. Seed oils, when ingested, often have the same disastrous effects.
Animal fats are necessary for healthy levels of dopamine.
*Sugar also promotes dopamine, but at a very heavy cost. Thankfully, eating animal fats will ensure good levels of dopamine, and reduce the urge to eat sugar. Many people report that when they increase the dietary intake of animal fats, their sugar cravings reduce.
Fat Soluable Vitamins
Animal fats contain many nutrients that are essential to our health. An important example of this is is fat soluable vitamins.
Fat soluable vitamins are largely found in animal products, particularly the fat, and are profoundly important for systemic health. It is difficult to obtain these fat soluable vitamins from any other sources, so those on a vegetarian and vegan diet can often be chronically deficient in fat soluable vitamins.
Vitamin A, which can only be obtained from animal sources, is vital for hormone balance, stress management, cell differentiation, eyesight, hearing and healthy bones. (We also need sulight to assimilate vitamin A.)
Organ meats, especially liver, is the best source of dietary vitamin A. Cod liver oil, eggs and butter, are also excellent sources of vitamin A.
*Liver must be organic. An overwhelmed liver will store toxins. Conventionally produced animals will have very toxic livers due to the reliance on the routine use of pharmaceuticals.
Sadly, cod liver oil has also gone out of favour due to the mercury and other toxins found in fish, these days.
Two more vitally important fat soluable vitamins contained in animal fat are vitamin K2, and to some extent vitamin D3.
Both vitamin K2, and vitamin D3 are vital for our sytemic health. These two fat soluable vitamins are also co-dependent. A deficit in one will lead to serious health implications. To learn more, please click on the link provided.
However, it is unlikely we are going to get enough vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 from food sources, so it’s best to supplement to be certain we’re getting enough, instead of relying on food and other sources. (Vitamin D is largely made by the body when it is exposed to sufficient sunlight. This presents an issue to UK residents in the winter months. Supplementation during this period is advised, as vitamin D is vital for immune health.)
Fats & Oils For Internal Consumption
Sadly, we consume a lot of fats and oils that are profoundly bad for us. And, to make matters worse, many of these oils and fats are touted as being healthy, when they are anything but.
Seed oils or vegetable oils, are ubiquitous. We can buy them by the bottle for home prepared foods, and they are in almost all processed foods, also.
But sadly, seed oils and vegetable oils, are highly processed, and very toxic. These oils are polyunsaturated, which means that they break down into toxic aldehydes in the body.
Human ingestion of cytotoxic and genotoxic aldehydes potentially induces deleterious health effects, and high concentrations of these secondary lipid oxidation products (LOPs) are generated in polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA)-rich culinary oils during high temperature frying practices.1
In short, aldehydes cause premature ageing, DNA damage, (genotoxic), cancers, (cytotoxic), and heart disease. They are deeply harmful to the development of children.
90% of all processed food contains soybean oil.
For example, soybean oil is a staple of processed food manufacturing. It’s cheap, readily available, and seemingly very versatile.
However, according to Sally Fallon Morell, there is as much oestrogen in one tablespoon of soybean oil as there is in a birth control pill! Perhaps there’s a direct correlation between our reliance on soybean oil for the production of convenience foods, and the exponential rise in oestrogenic cancers?
And, the consequences for developing children, who are eating highly processed soybean oil on a daily basis, are likely catastrophic.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Seed oils and vegetable oils are mainly made up of linoleic acid, (omega-6 fatty acids), which, when eaten as part of the Western diet, is considered to be more deleterious to health than smoking!
This is especially true, as we have so little omega-3 fatty acids in our diets to counter the dangerous effects of the high levels of omega-6 we are consuming.
Omega-6, when topically applied to our skin, has beneficial effects.
When eaten, however, omega-6 Fatty Acids are known to cause the following:
- Heart disease
- Autoimmune disorders
- Systemic inflammation
- Immune dysfunction
- Neurodegenerative disorders
- Organ dysfunction
Poultry fats used to be a lot more beneficial than they are today. However, conventionally reared chickens, ducks and geese etc, in this day and age, means that they should be avoided.
Much of the conventionally produced poultry available today has been reared in entirely unnatural circumstances. The birds lead sedentary lifestyles, are often fed unnatural foods, and have usually been subjected to a lot of conventional drugs, in their short lifetimes.
Chickens, for example, when reared naturally, will spend their days grubbing in the dirt, from daybreak until sunset, developing good amounts of vitamin D, and consuming a natural diet, ensuring natural development.
However, mass-produced chickens are kept indoors, in very close confines, requiring the ubiquitous use of antibiotics to quell wildfire infections, and are fed GMO corn and grain.
As a consequence, conventionally reared chickens develop high concentrations of linoleic acid, (omega-6 fatty acids), which, when eaten, is considered to be more deleterious to health than smoking.
Natural Animal Fats
Earting meat is broadly associated with longevity. This is, in part, due to the healthy fats they contain.
Natural animal fats are beneficial for health in a multitude of ways.
Animal fats contain fat soluble vitamins. They also have a better distribution of essential fatty acids omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9, than plant oils.
They also contain B vitamins, including B12, which are vital for mental health, and overall health.
Examples of animal fats:
- Butter / Ghee
- Poultry fats
- Fish oil
Plant oils tend to be very high in omega-6 fatty acids, which as you will learn, are very deleterious for our health if we ingest them. However, when used topically, plant oils are very beneficial.
Plants oils also end to be very high in lectins, which are produced to deter people and animals from eating them. Lectins are very inflammatory and cause digestive discomfort, along with other undesirable side-effects, such as brain fog and fatigue.
However, the lectin content of vegatable and seed oils are only a problem if we eat them. If plant oils are applied topically, the lectin content is not a concern.
Plant oils include:
- Vegetable seed oils
- Flower seed oils – sunflower, borage etc
- Fruit seed oils – raspberry, blackcurrant etc
- Fruit pulp oils – corn, olive, avocado, coconut
- Legume oils – soybean, cashew & peanut etc.
- Vegetable pulp oils
Eating The Best Fats & Oils
Whilst incredibly prevalent in today’s society, there is a strong case to argue that vegan and vegetarian diets are less healthy than more conventional eating habits. The research of Sally Fallon Morell indicates that the longest human life expectancy of people around the world, is enjoyed by those living in Hong Kong, where they eat, on average, a pound of meat a day!
This means they are consuming more animal fats that anyone else on earth, and that they are living longer!
Marinading pork, which is consumed in large amounts in China, makes the meat a lot more nutritious.
In the West, we are more inclined to cure pork, which again, makes it a lot more nutritious. However, those with histamine issues do not tolerate cured meats very well.
Marinading is a better option for the histamine-intollerant, as long as no fermented foods, such as vinegar, are used. This is because fermented foods are high in histamine.
Allergies have seemed to explode in 2023. So, there are a lot more people who need to avoid high histamine foods.
Processed meats also tend to be high in histamine. In addition, they often contain sodium nitrate, which isn’t good for anyone. It is, thus, important to only buy naturally cured hams and bacon etc.
Sodium nitrate is implicated in cancer and diabetes, as are processed meats.
Naturally cured meats are made with salt, and sometimes a little sugar, both of which are preservatives. Artisan foods are usually the most heathy and beneficial.
Cholesterol Containing Staurated Fats
We believe vegetable fats are healthy because they don’t contain cholesterol, and because they are not staurated fats.
The opposite is actually the truth of the matter.
Cholesterol is essential for life.
Studies have proven that the higher our cholesterol throughout our lives, the longer we live!
Women particularly thrive on higer cholesterol levels, but men also benefit. Testosterone is made out of cholesterol, so insufficient cholesterol in the diet for men will result in lowered testosterone.
Cholesterol provides the following benefits:
- Protects against cancer
- Lipoproteins carry the fat soluable vitamins to our cells, and the waste products away
- Slows down the ageing process
- Supports good brain function
- Required for testosterone production in men
- Prevents birth defects
It could be argued that there’s a profit incentive for food manufacturers to convince us that seed oils are better for us than animal fats, as it’s much cheaper to produce seed oils, and profit margins are better.
Fats & Oils For The Skin
Almost all fats and oils, that are healthy for internal consumption, will also be healthy for topical application. However, the condition of your skin will determine which oil or fat can be optimally used for the best results possible.
Also, using dairy fats for topical application, in their raw form, would be ill-advised. This is because components in dairy fats will oxidise very quickly, when exposed to heat, sun and air. Oxidation results in rancidity, which is often accompanied by unpleasant odours.
However, there are some fat-based products, which utilise certain elements of dairy fats, that are known to be beneficial for skin conditions such as Eczema.
Nevertheless, there is no need to highly process products which are unsuitable for topical application, unless they are significantly modified. There are many natural fats and oils which achieve the same outcomes, without the need for such energy intensive processes.
The best oils and fats for topical application are the ones which contain good amounts of antioxidants.
Storing Fats & Oils
Storing fats and oils is simple. The lid of the container must always be kept tightly shut, when not in use, and a cool, dark, dry environment is necessary to avoid oxidation.
Us By Dates Of Fats & Oils
- Toxic aldehyde generation in and food uptake from culinary oils during frying practices: peroxidative resistance of a monounsaturate-rich algae oil: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6412032/