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Learn how to buy, use, and store fats and oils. The cause of diabetes is the removal of essential fats and oils from our food, and their replacement with toxic substitutes. Do not believe our food supply is safe. Don't buy toxic oils, and don't destroy them by cooking.

The Difference Between Fat and Oil

The difference between fats and oils is in their melting temperature. At room temperature, fats tend to be solid, while oils tend to be liquid.

If you heat a fat, it will turn to oil; if you heat it further, it will smoke, and toxic byproducts will be produced. When the oil is cooled, the toxin remains in the oil. The temperature at which oil is refined or hydrogenated is high enough to damage it and remove all its nutritional value. This also gives it a long shelf life and is virtually unspoilable.

Saturated animal fats have been a food for thousands of years. They act as a concentrated energy source whenever carbohydrates are not available. They keep well at room temperature and will not go rancid, a necessity in the era prior to refrigeration. Our bodies need certain types of unsaturated oils as building blocks for cells and for cell repair, but in their absence our bodies use these saturated fats instead. This has been identified as a causal factor in diabetes.

To learn more about oils, I suggest the book Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill: The Complete Guide to Fats, Oils, Cholesterol and Human Health, by Udo Erasmus. Read the reviews for this must-read book.

Fat and Oil Chemistry

If you want to understand the meaning of terms that describe your oil, you need to learn some basic chemistry. Otherwise you can skip this section. Fats and oils are similar chemically, but subtle differences have major effects on health. For a more complete discussion of the chemistry of fat and oil, see here.

A fatty acid molecule is composed of two parts: a fatty chain on one end, and an acid group on the other. The fatty chain is insoluble in water (hydrophobic), an important property in its functioning in the body. This chain consists of carbon (C) and hydrogen (H) atoms, with a methyl group (CH3) on one end. The acid group is a carboxyl (COOH) which is soluble in water but not oil. The length of the chain varies.

Structure of a saturated fatty acid, butyric acid in butter

When the carbon atoms have attached to them all the hydrogen atoms they can hold, that is called a "saturated fatty acid" and there are no carbon double bonds. If two adjacent carbon atoms are missing hydrogen atoms and have a double bond, that is called a "monounsaturated fatty acid" ("mono" means one). If there are two or more carbon double bonds, it is called a "polyunsaturated fatty acid". Unsaturated fatty acids are chemically more active and unstable than saturated fatty acids.

There is a numbering system used to identify where chemical bonds occur on the fatty chain. The term "Omega", being the end letter of the Greek alphabet, indicates that the count starts from the end of the chain (the CH3 side). The location of the carbon double bond determines the type of Omega fatty acid. Omega 3 means a double bond occurs at the third carbon from the end carbon of the chain. Omega 9 means a double bond occurs at the 9th carbon from the end carbon.

Unsaturated Fatty Acids

Unsaturated Fatty Acids

Vegetable oils and animal fats consist mainly of triglycerides. A triglyceride is a chemical compound that contains one molecule of glycerol, and three fatty acids; each of the three fatty acids can be of different lengths and saturations. Glycerol is an alcohol that can contain from one to three fatty acids, so monoglycerides and diglycerides can also be formed; these are classified as esters which are compounds formed from the reaction between acids and alcohols. A large diversity of compounds can be formed. Body fat is mainly made of triglycerides. Energy is stored as triglycerides.

A carbon double bond can have two configurations: Cis means "on the same side", while Trans means "across" or "on the other side". "Trans" means the hydrogen atoms of a carbon double bond are on the opposite side of the chain, causing the molecule to have a straight shape, while "Cis" has the hydrogen atoms on the same side, giving the molecule a V shape. Their properties are entirely different. Naturally occurring fatty acids generally have the Cis configuration. Trans fatty acids are said to be toxic, and naturally occurring quantities are too small to pose a hazard.

Cis and Trans Fatty Acid Configurations

A fat is solid because it consists mostly of saturated fatty acids. As more of the spaces are filled with hydrogen (closer to saturated), the chain becomes stiffer, and the more likely it will be a solid (fat) at room temperature. All fats and oils differ from each other by the length of their chain and degree of saturation. The longer chained ones are also more likely to be solid. Oils have mostly polyunsaturated fatty acids. All edible fats and oils contain a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, but they are described by the predominant type.

A breakdown of fatty acid % content of omega-3, omega-6, omega-9, and saturated, of some oils is (in order of 3:6:9:saturated). Values may not add up to 100 due to rounding, and some constituents are not listed:

Oil ώ3:ώ6:ώ9:sat
Almond oil 00:17:78:05
Avocado oil 00:10:70:20
Beef Tallow 01:03:43:46
Brazil nut oil 00:24:48:24
Butter (cow) 01:02:29:56
Canola oil (rape) 07:30:54:07
Cashew 00:06:70:18
Cocoa Butter 00:03:32:63
Coconut oil 00:03:06:91
Corn oil 00:59:24:17
Filbert oil 00:16:54:05
Flax oil 58:14:19:09
Grape Seed Oil 00:73:15:12
Hemp oil 20:60:12:08
Lard (pork fat) 00:10:44:42
Macadamia 00:10:71:12
Olive oil 00:08:76:16
Palm 00:10:40:50
Palm Kernel 00:02:15:79
Peanut oil 00:29:47:18
Pecan oil 00:20:63:07
Pistachio 00:19:65:09
Pumpkin seed oil 0-15:42-57:34:9
Rice bran 01:35:48:17
Safflower oil 00:75:13:12
Sesame oil 00:45:42:13
Soybean oil 07:50:26:15
Sunflower 00:65:23:12
Walnut oil 05:51:28:16
Wheat germ oil 05:50:25:18

While virtually all edible fats contain significant quantities of monounsaturated fatty acids (omega-9), animal fats derived from ruminant animals like sheep and cattle are largely saturated. Fats from other animals such as pigs and chickens are less saturated and contain some polyunsaturated fatty acids. Fats from game meat such as deer tend to contain less saturated fatty acids and often contain significant quantities of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Fats from fish are generally highly unsaturated and contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Essential Fatty Acids

Only two types of fatty acids must be consumed in our diet because the human body does not manufacture them, and these are the polyunsaturated fatty acids omega-3 Alpha-Linolenic Acid, and omega-6 Linoleic Acid. Without these, disease will occur.

What is Hydrogenation?

Hydrogenation is the process of combining hydrogen gas at high pressure and temperature with the oil, in the presence of a metal catalyst such as nickel, platinum, or copper, in order to make the liquid oil into a solid. It destroys the essential fatty acids and replaces them with trans fatty acids that the body is not equipped to deal with, and leaves behind traces of metal. They compete with essential fatty acids for absorption in the body and create imbalances and deficiencies. Hydrogenation creates unpredictable new molecules, whose effects are unknown, which profoundly alters the properties of the oil.

Studies are available for trans fatty acids because these are the largest group of modified molecules, but there are a lot of other kinds of modified molecules that occur in small quantities that may turn out to be far more toxic. These include cyclic fatty acid derivatives in which the fatty acid chains react with themselves, cross-linked fatty acid chains, dimers, polymers of fatty acids, cross linked triglycerides, molecular fragments, and bond-shifted molecules.

If the label says "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated", consider it inedible.

For more on this, see here.

What Oils to Buy

Flaxseed oil has the highest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, at 58 per cent. A suggested dose is one to two tablespoons a day; for children, a teaspoon from age one, to a tablespoon from age 3 and up. Most suppliers offer capsules of 1,000 mg; this works out to 5 capsules per teaspoon, or 15 capsules per tablespoon. It is a lot cheaper buying the oil in liquid form, though capsules may be more convenient when on the go. You should never cook with flaxseed oil, but you can use it in drinks or on salads, sauces, dips, or foods. To determine the freshness of flaxseed oil, it should taste slightly sweet. If it is even slightly bitter, it is rancid and should be thrown out. If the oil is manufactured using the "omegaflow" process, consider it a quality oil.

Flaxseed oil is particularly fragile and must be processed under strict conditions, and shipped and displayed in refrigerators.

Do not use cottonseed oil. It has toxic effects.

Do not buy canola oil or products containing it. Said to be toxic to living things, it has been shown to cause lung cancer. Some possible side effects include loss of vision, disruption of the central nervous system, respiratory illness, anemia, constipation, increased incidence of heart disease and cancer, and low birth weights in infants and irritability. It has a tendency to inhibit proper metabolism of foods and prohibits normal enzyme function. It has a cumulative effect, taking almost 10 years before symptoms begin to manifest. This oil is used in a lot of foods.  See here.

Flax, sunflower, and sesame oils are some of the best oils, if you want to make your own blend.

How to Buy Oil

When you buy oil, be sure you buy it from the refrigerated section. Any unsaturated fat or oil that does not need constant refrigeration should be considered inedible. The only exception is olive oil; it need not be refrigerated. Select brands with opaque bottles; light is the greatest enemy of EFAs and destroys their biological properties 1,000 times faster, creating many toxic and non-toxic components. If they are frozen, they will remain unspoiled for a long time.

When you buy coconut oil, there are two types of refining process: traditional, and centrifugal. The traditional method uses a fermentation method which, if not done carefully, may leave toxins in the oil and should be avoided. It would be wise to buy the low-temperature centrifugal oil.

Buy organic oils. Many oils come from plants sprayed with pesticides which are usually fat-soluble and concentrate in the oil portion of the plant.

Don't be misled by the "no cholesterol" label on the bottle. Oils derived from plants don't contain cholesterol.

Only buy unrefined mechanically extracted cold pressed oil. If it doesn't say unrefined on the label, and mechanically (or expeller) pressed, assume that it is chemically extracted, hydrogenated, degummed, bleached, and/or deodorized, with toxic chemical residues. (Olive oil that is virgin or extra virgin is unrefined).

Most oils come from the seeds of plants which are crushed and pressed to remove the oil. Heat can damage oils and make them toxic, so the best oils are produced with minimal heat. The terms "cold pressed" and "expeller pressed" are not legally defined, and a manufacturer may state that it is cold pressed if no heat is added. Expeller pressing can approach, but rarely exceeds 100C (212F) (presses take a lot of energy). This temperature will not damage the oils. Internal changes take place in the oils at high temperatures and begin to measurably occur at 160C (320F), and become serious above 200C (392F).

Cold pressing is not a real measure of quality; cold pressed oil can be damaged if it is not protected from light and air during the pressing, bottling, storage, and delivery phases.

Margarine, artificial shortenings, refined oils, and all hydrogenated products are long term toxic.

Be wary of claims like "certified organic", as some companies have been caught lying about the source of their seeds and using regular commercial seeds instead of organic ones. There have even been cases of companies simply rebottling regular oil or mayonnaise with a 'health food' label and charging higher prices.

A study done by Proof! Magazine tested eight of the highest quality flaxseed oils on the market for rancidity. They looked at the amount of free fatty acids (FFAs) which ordinarily occur together as a triglyceride, but will come apart as oils deteriorate. The more FFAs, the more rancid. And they looked at the level of oxidation by measuring the amount of peroxide; the lower the number the better. Surprisingly, more than half of the oils bordered on rancid.

Two companies that produce reputable oils are Omega Nutrition, and Flora, Inc..  Solgar has licensed the omagaflow process developed by Omega, and their oils were rated very good by Proof! Magazine as well. The "omegaflow process" protects the oil from high temperatures and light, and oxygen is removed from the bottle and replaced with an inert gas.

EFA containing oils should have a pressing date on the label, and should be good from 3 to 12 months in an unopened container, and 3 to 12 weeks after opening.

Two reputable certifying agencies are: FVO (Farm Verified Organic), and OCIA (Organic Crop Improvement Association).

Olive Oil

Olive oil has a short life span, and many are oxidized or rancid before they are consumed or even purchased.

Olive oil is classified by the level of acidity:

Extra Virgin: This is the first cold pressing of the olives, pressed the first day after harvest, with less than 1% free fatty acids. The standard is set by the IOCC (International Olive Oil Council). This is the best kind; avoid the rest.

Virgin: Also from the first pressing, can be pressed the second day after harvest, the oil contains a maximum of 2% of free fatty acids.

Fine: Is a blend of extra virgin, and virgin oils.

Semi Fine: The oil contains a maximum of 3% of free fatty acids.

Pure: Is extracted with heat and chemicals (most commonly a solution of hexane , acetone, and water) from the pulps, skin, and/or pits left behind after the first pressing. Usually a combination of virgin oil mixed with refined.

Olive oil: Same as Pure.

Refined Olive Oil: A colorless, odorless, tasteless oil made from spoiled olives.

Also stay away from Pomace Oil, Extra Light Olive Oil, and Light Olive Oil.

How to Cook With Fat and Oil

Frying of food is never recommended for good health, and if you are healing from diabetes it is prohibited. Cooking at high temperature can damage oils and convert them into toxins. It exposes the oil to oxygen, light, and heat at the same time, all which modify the structure of the oil and make it toxic. When foods turn brown, they have been burned and the nutrients destroyed. Proteins turn into acrolein, a toxin. Starches and sugars molecules are destroyed. Why not bake or steam food instead, and don't use oil?

If you must cook with oil, the more omega 3 fatty acids in the oil, the less suitable it is for cooking. The oils that are higher in saturated or monounsaturated fats are the most stable when heated. If you must fry, only use these, in this order of preference:

  • ghee (clarified butter; the fat has been removed so it won't spoil)
  • butter
  • tropical fats (e.g. palm kernal oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, palm oil)
  • high oleic (not regular) sunflower oil
  • high oleic (not regular) safflower oil
  • peanut oil
  • sesame oil
  • olive oil

These contain a higher proportion of saturated fat and are not as easily damaged by heat. If used sparingly, fried butter and tropical fats cause fewer health problems than fried oils, but they do not contain EFAs and are therefore nutritionally deficient. The body can only burn them as fuel, or store them as body fat. Olive oil is acceptable for low temperature frying.

The best way to cook with olive oil is to start by adding 1/4 cup of water to the pan. Cook the food for a while, and then add the olive oil. The water will keep the oil below 212 F, a non-destructive temperature. It is not a good idea to pour the oil into the pan first and heat it; during this time, the oil is being destroyed.

Even the most sensitive EFA rich oils can be used in boiled grains and steamed vegetables, because the temperature does not exceed the temperature of boiling water, 212 F.

You can bake bread with oils because the temperature does not rise much above boiling (maybe 240 F), and it is protected from light and air. It is actually steamed, but the crust is browned (meaning burned).

Instead of using butter, consider dipping your bread in fresh unrefined oil such as olive, flax, hemp, or other oil. This habit, common in the Mediterranean area, does away with the need for hydrogenation to make spreads. Or, use a squeeze bottle and pour the oil onto the bread. It is just like melted butter.

Never consume any deep fried foods; they are all soaked with toxic oil.

If the oil ever smokes, discard it; it is damaged.

That said, there is good evidence your diet should be 80% raw, and 20% cooked. Some would argue that a 100% raw diet is the ideal. Only cook those things that can't be eaten raw, like beans and grains.

How to Store Oil

Heat and light degrades oils so they should be stored in the refrigerator in the dark. The exception is olive oil which need not be refrigerated; it is high in oleic acid and contains antioxidants which slow spoiling.  Wrap clear bottles with a dark covering. Contact with air will affect the quality of the oil so keep bottles lids tight. Use the oil within a month or two.

Many saturated fats and oils, while also benefiting from refrigeration, do not turn rancid nearly so easily as unsaturated fats and oils at room temperature.

Unsaturated oils are inherently unstable and will go rancid quite rapidly in a transparent bottle on a room temperature grocery store shelf; their shelf life is on the order of half a day or sometimes less.

Fats and Oils: Energy and Weight Gain

Any pure, edible fat will provide about 37 kilojoules (kJ) per gram. This is more than twice the energy level of one gram of protein or carbohydrate. Because butter contains about 20% water, it provides about 30 kJ per gram. Cream contains even more water, so the energy content is about 14 kJ. Although all pure fats provide about the same amount of energy, there is some evidence that the degree of saturation effects weight gain for a given diet. A diet high in saturated fat is more likely to be fattening, while polyunsaturated fats may be less fattening. The evidence for this is strong in animals and preliminary studies suggest that the same effect may occur in people too.

Saturated Fats and Blood Cholesterol

Because they are derived from a ruminant animal, lard, butter and cream contain far more saturated fat than do the polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils. In the body, cholesterol production can be increased in response to the consumption of foods rich in particular saturated fatty acids. High blood cholesterol is associated strongly with increased risk of heart disease. Coconut and palm kernel oil also contain the saturated fatty acids found in butter, so they can promote higher blood cholesterol too. These two plant-derived oils are similar to butter in their ability to raise blood cholesterol. Most other plant oils such as avocados, peanut, and other oils have little saturated fat and are largely monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated and are therefore considered to be relatively heart-friendly.

Polyunsaturated Fats and Blood Cholesterol

Many polyunsaturated fats are believed to lower cholesterol, especially those rich in omega-6 fatty acids such as safflower, sunflower, and soybean oils, and the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and flax oils are also believed to be helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease, but by means other than lowering cholesterol.

Monounsaturated Fats and Blood Cholesterol

Oils that are rich in monounsaturated fat such as olive oil are also believed to be "heart friendly". In fact, olive oil, a component of the Mediterranean Diet, has been suggested as the reason this diet may be good protection against heart disease.

Some believe that olive oil and other monounsaturated fats are simply neutral with respect to cholesterol, and any reduction of cholesterol is merely the result of reduced consumption of saturated fats from replacement with monounsaturated fat.

READ NEXT: Diabetes Symptoms


Recommended Sources

Absolutely The Purest.com - Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Here is a source of coconut oil that is very good for cooking. Even though this is made using the traditional and not centrifugal process, this company specializes in providing the purest products.

I do not recommend you buy oils that require refrigeration through the mail.


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