Food and Nutrition

Oils (and Antioxidants)

The only oil that does not become rancid is olive oil. It is the only oil that benefits the heart, liver, and gallbladder (as well as cholesterol levels). It can also be heated and used for cooking at low temperatures without
diminishing its character and life force. Used raw, it is excellent with salads. It is 80 percent monounsaturated and, as such, does not present the health hazards of saturated or polyunsaturated fats. For occasional
variance, there are other oils that can be safely used such as walnut oil, safflower oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, hempseed oil, and flaxseed oil.

Oils are attacked by oxygen almost within moments of harvesting and become rancid; more rancid, in fact, the older they become. This effect of oxygen exposure causes a chain reaction in our bodies producing free radicals, and it is these free radicals that attack, kill, or damage our cellular structure. Many, many plants help stop this destruction because they contain chemical components that act as antioxidants. The liver is particularly susceptible to free-radical damage because this is where fats accumulate and are processed. Foods containing high amounts of fats and
oils should only be a minor part of the diet.
When you stir-fry with olive oil, keep the heat low and be sure to add water at any sign of drying out or overheating. Remember, fried foods are basically too rich and indigestible for our systems and cause fermentation
and stagnation. There is some recent data linking free-radical damage to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Scientists are also linking diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to free-radical damage.

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