The Latest on Avocado Oil

Nancy Mehlert, MS

I have been wondering how long it would take for this news break, and to be honest, I am not surprised at all.  Over this last decade, much has been documented about the fact that most olive oils, are not in fact, pure, fresh pressed, unadulterated oil.  In light of that, it is no surprise that the same has been stated now about avocado oil. 

According to Dr. Mercola[i], and based on a study completed in October of this year published by the journal Food Control (116:107328) a number of similar concerns about olive oil are also true about avocado oil:

  • 22 avocado oil brands were evaluated, 82% of which were found to be rancid, and 3 of which had no avocado oil in them but were mostly soybean oil instead.
  • Countries of origin were California, Mexico, Brazil, and Spain

As with many plant oils, the reasons for concern center around the quality of the source of the oil.  If the avocados used are bruised, overripe, and insect infected, they will not render a quality, fresh and pure oil.  Additionally, oil deteriorates with time by becoming oxidized, so if the time between harvest and  processing is too long, then an oxidized oil will be the outcome.  Finally, and importantly, most oil extraction methods, which are fast and cheap, are accomplished through high heat processing, resulting in damage to these delicate, mono-unsaturated fats. Molecular damage means your body cannot make good use of the nutrient source and it becomes an interfering toxicant or “trash” that must be cleared from the body.

For the time being, I have been able to confirm with Primal Kitchen that their olive and avocado oils are pure, with no other oils added, and have been tested for high quality and purity numerous times throughout every phase of production. Our books and dietary instructions include how to choose a good olive oil. Until then, the best way to benefit from the incredible nutrition in an avocado is to eat the real whole fruit. It remains one of the healthiest foods in the world!

[i] https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/07/08/fake-avocado-oil.aspx

By |2020-08-05T13:20:55-05:00August 8th, 2020|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

A Simple Thing, Profound Effects

Nutrition Nugget By Nancy Mehlert, MS

 

I wanted to remind you about a simple thing with profound effects: harmful oils in our food. In my opinion, it is one of our “big rocks” for reducing inflammation, preventing disease and improving health.  Yet you may be surprised how easily they can sneak back into your pantry, cabinets and refrigerator.  Strictly avoiding these has huge health benefits and can dramatically improve your lipid profile and reduce many factors for disease.  Watch out especially for salad dressings, hummus, mayonnaise, chips and snacks, restaurant food and fast food. Even brands that seem otherwise cleaner or healthier can have these harmful oils. If you see the words expeller pressed in front of the oil, it is slightly less refined.

 

Here’s why: These oils are highly processed and damaged. Your body has no good use for them. They interfere, obstruct and cause damage. They are often stored as garbage in your fat cells. They are well documented to cause inflammation, oxidative stress, elevation of LDL cholesterol levels, harm to endothelial cells lining your blood vessels, damage to gut bacteria, DNA damage and have glyphosate residues in them which harm your gut lining and increase permeability. [i]    You can see why we recommend total avoidance if at all possible.

Here are the oils to avoid:

  • Soybean oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Hydrogenated oil
  • Refined Palm oil

Healthy oils are unrefined or gently refined without harmful chemicals such as hexane.  Better choices are olive oil, avocado oil, butter, ghee, beef tallow, duck fat, cocoa butter, macadamia nut oil, coconut oil, almond oil, unrefined palm oil and palm kernel oil.  Check out salad dressings and oils made by Primal Kitchen, Spectrum Brands and Chosen Foods as good examples of better choices.  Your body knows how to make good use of undamaged, natural oils.   There have been controversies and issues in the olive oil industry over the last decade, so our current recommendations are to stick with high quality olive oil made in the United States, Australia or Chile. Cobram Estate and Bragg olive oil are other reputable resources.  Mediterranean olive oils have been found to be contaminated and blended with many of the damaged oils listed above.  

Coconut Oil and Olive Oil Article

Audit your kitchen and take a simple step with profound effects for the entire family.

[i] https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/01/07/replace-dangerous-oils-with-healthy-fats.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=mail&ut

 

 

By |2019-01-17T13:35:31-06:00January 17th, 2019|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

You Don’t Always Get What You Want (or think you bought)

by Mila McManus MD and Nancy Mehlert MSfake fish

There is no question, that if you knew everything about your food and what the FDA considers “acceptable”, you would be shocked.  It may surprise you (or not) that the FDA doesn’t have the resources to pursue all the fraud in the marketplace. And like so much in government, the FDA can be heavily influenced. Additionally the food industry is powerful and busy in Washington fighting for itself, and not usually for what is best for you.  Unfortunately, that leaves us to figure out what really is safe to eat and sometimes that is seemingly impossible to do. Moreover, the food industry and marketing techniques today are laden with an over-abundance of hype and confusion. Today we are sharing a few food examples of “fake food”. The information about fish and olive oil is taken from Larry Olmstead’s 2016 book called Real Food/Fake Food.

Sushi and Other Fish Scams¹

It may be surprising to you that there are very serious and frequent scams in the fish world where less expensive and sometimes dangerous fish are sold as a premium species. According to Larry Olmstead in his 2016 book Real Food, Fake Food, “The seafood industry is rife with fraud, substitutions and adulteration.”  The non-profit marine conservation group, Oceana, launched a study in New York City and found fraud in 58 percent of the retail outlets.  In addition, 39 percent of restaurants were serving something other than what the menu claimed was being served.  In the same study, they found that every single sushi restaurant, 100% of them, served fake fish.  Upon further research, they discovered these trends existed as the rule for the entire country.  In sushi restaurants, the single most common substitute for tuna is escolar, one of the most dangerous sea food products you can buy, nicknamed “Ex-lax fish” because it contains a natural wax ester that causes gastric distress and diarrhea. It is never shown on a menu as escolar, yet it is one of the most widely served fish in this country.  Other frequent trade out scams include replacements for grouper and red snapper. Apparently, according to Larry Olmstead, almost all red snapper sold in the U.S. is fake and more likely to be tilefish, which is on the FDA’s do-not-eat list for children and pregnant women because of high mercury levels.  Tilefish is a common trade out for halibut on the menu too. In the shrimp world, it is extremely common for farm-raised to be labeled wild caught. Olmstead also says that shipping and country-of-origin information is routinely, and illegally, falsified to cover up poaching and to hide fish coming from dangerous farms that use unapproved chemicals and even slave labor. Did you know that wild Atlantic salmon is extinct, so always farm raised when you see it on a menu or package?  Alternatively, Alaskan and Pacific Salmon is wild, where fish farming is illegal (in Alaska).

Olive Oil²

There are many ways to adulterate olive oil.  To begin with, the legal definition says that olive oil is nothing but the juice extracted from high-quality, fresh, otherwise unprocessed olives.  It is a time sensitive issue from proper ripeness and speed to press from picking. The best oils are pressed within 12 hours from picking at perfect ripeness. The three main ways to adulterate it are to dilute it with less expensive oils, dilute it with lower grades of olive oil that have been heavily refined with chemicals, or failing to pick at peak ripeness and press immediately, resulting in an older, rancid oil. Most of our olive oil comes from Italy where Italian investigators have found plenty wrong with olive oil from hydrocarbon residues, pesticides and pomace oil laced with mineral oil, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which are proven carcinogens and that can also damage DNA and the immune system.  According to Olmstead, virtually every investigation, whether by universities, journalists, law enforcement or government agencies, have found the olive oil industry rife with fraud. Our supermarket brands are almost all, without exception, included in these fake oils and routinely fail testing. In 2011, a large sample supermarket test was conducted of the top selling imported “extra-virgin” olive oil brands in the United States and 73% of the time they failed to meet the basic legal standard for olive oil. Colavita performed best but failed 50% of the time and Pompeian took last place and almost never passed. As recently as November 2015, the police in Turin, Italy investigated seven leading producers which included Bertolli and Carapelli and all seven brands failed despite being labeled “100% Extra Virgin” olive oil.   By law, “virgin” oil can only be extracted by physical processing such as crushing or centrifuges without the use of chemicals or heat. Sadly, you can see that enforcement is non-existent and everyone in the industry knows it.

¹ Real Food Fake Food by Larry Olmsted, Copyright 2016, Published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Chapter 3, Fishy Fish

² Excerpts from Real Food Fake Food by Larry Olmsted, Copyright 2016, Published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Chapter 4, Spoiled Oils: Olive and “Truffle”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By |2017-05-05T06:21:11-05:00May 3rd, 2017|Articles, General|

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly on Coconut Oil and Olive Oil

By Nancy Mehlert, MS

We often emphasize how important it is to choose healthy oils and we describe them as “undamaged”. Typically, once man begins to extract oil from its source, the goal is to find the fastest, cheapest way to extract the oil from the source, maximizing the amount of oil extracted, then treating the oil to make it look, smell and taste good, and last as long as possible. All of this is accomplished by using high temperatures, extensive refining and chemicals. Unfortunately, not only are the health benefits of the oils lost in this processing, but can actually cause harm. Here’s the scoop you need to know about two of the most important oils we recommend for everyday use, coconut oil and olive oil.

In the coconut industry, conventional coconut is dried in a wood-fueled kiln or in the sun over a period of several days. The result is called copra and it is packed tightly into burlap type sacks that hold the meat of about 400-500 coconuts. These bags are then moved through a very slow, time consuming transport to a large, industrial oil mill, usually in Europe or Asia. As a result of unhygienic drying methods, humid tropical conditions, bulk shipping and long distances with lengthy delays, the copra develops mold on it. These molds can also result in carcinogenic aflatoxin contamination. The oil extraction begins using large-scale, high pressure, energy intensive equipment and chemicals such as hexane to remove the mold from the copra. The result is a very low quality, damaged coconut oil with little to no available health benefits. This is why we emphasize organic, non-GMO, expeller pressed or raw and unrefined coconut oil so that you can benefit from the undamaged oil.

coconut

In the olive oil industry, a similar process occurs. Heat and chemicals are used to extract every last bit of oil from the olives, and these chemicals degrade the final product. To make matters worse, you may have recently seen the CBS News show 60 Minutes which exposed the hazardous chemicals and mislabeling of olive oil coming out of the Mediterranean. According to Italian authorities, as much as 80% of the olive oil investigated uncovered fraudulent labeling and false documentation. In one investigation of 10 tons of colored table olives, the coloring agent added was a prohibited and dangerous copper chlorophyllin complex also known as E141. “Made in Italy” claims were fraudulent and other illicit substances were found in production areas. Pesticides, mineral oil hydrocarbons, plasticizers, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and styrene were also found in the oils. For these reasons, we HIGHLY recommend First Cold Pressed, Organic, Non-GMO verified oils from small family owned farms, and more recently, from California.

olive oil fraud

Healthy undamaged oils are essential for good health but unfortunately highly processed and damaged oils are dangerous to your health, contributing to inflammation and disease. Be sure to make good choices when purchasing your oils.

References:

http://olivecenter.ucdavis.edu/research/files/report041211finalreduced.pdf

http://www.kokonutpacific.com.au/production/CopraKP.php

By |2016-04-29T15:24:12-05:00April 29th, 2016|Articles, General|

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly on Coconut Oil and Olive Oil

By Nancy Mehlert, MS

We often emphasize how important it is to choose healthy oils and we describe them as “undamaged”.  Typically, once man begins to extract oil from its source, the goal is to find the fastest, cheapest way to extract the oil from the source, maximizing the amount of oil extracted, then treating the oil to make it look, smell and taste good, and last as long as possible.  All of this is accomplished by using high temperatures, extensive refining and chemicals. Unfortunately, not only are the health benefits of the oils lost in this processing, but can actually cause harm.  Here’s the scoop you need to know about two of the most important oils we recommend for everyday use, coconut oil and olive oil.

Copra

Copra

In the coconut industry, conventional coconut is dried in a wood-fueled kiln or in the sun over a period of several days. The result is called copra and it is packed tightly into burlap type sacks that hold the meat of about 400-500 coconuts.  These bags are then moved through a very slow, time consuming transport to a large, industrial oil mill, usually in Europe or Asia. As a result of unhygienic drying methods, humid tropical conditions, bulk shipping and long distances with lengthy delays, the copra develops mold on it.  These molds can also result in carcinogenic aflatoxin contamination.  The oil extraction begins using large-scale, high pressure, energy intensive equipment and chemicals such as hexane to remove the mold from the copra.  The result is a very low quality, damaged coconut oil with little to no available health benefits.  This is why we emphasize organic, non-GMO, expeller pressed or raw and unrefined coconut oil so that you can benefit from the undamaged oil.

In the olive oil industry, a similar process occurs.  Heat and chemicals are used to extract every last bit of oil from the olives, and these chemicals degrade the final product.  To make matters worse, you may have recently seen the CBS News show 60 Minutes which exposed the hazardous chemicals and mislabeling of olive oil coming out of the Mediterranean.  According to Italian authorities, as much as 80% of the olive oil investigated uncovered fraudulent labeling and false documentation.  In one investigation of 10 tons of colored table olives, the coloring agent added was a prohibited and dangerous copper chlorophyllin complex also known as E141.  “Made in Italy” claims were fraudulent and other illicit substances were found in production areas. Pesticides, mineral oil hydrocarbons, plasticizers, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and styrene were also found in the oils.  For these reasons, we HIGHLY recommend First Cold Pressed, Organic, Non-GMO verified oils from small family owned farms, and more recently, from California.

Healthy undamaged oils are essential for good health but unfortunately highly processed and damaged oils are dangerous to your health, contributing to inflammation and disease.  Be sure to make good choices when purchasing your oils.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
References:
http://olivecenter.ucdavis.edu/research/files/report041211finalreduced.pdf
http://www.kokonutpacific.com.au/production/CopraKP.php
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
By |2016-04-29T09:04:00-05:00April 29th, 2016|Articles, General|
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