Fats & Oils - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

Podcast Episode #272: All About Fats & Oils

Diane Sanfilippo Fats and Oils, Featured, Podcast Episodes 0 Comments

TopicsFats & Oils - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [2:14]
2. Shout out: Cassy Joy’s lemony kale [10:53]
3. Fats and oils and malabsorption [14:30]
4. Signs of fat malabsorption [24:50]
5. Why are vegetable oils bad? [31:39]
6. Being comfortable with making compromises [45:08]
7. Oil to cook with daily [50:02]
8. Type 2 diabetes and coconut oil [52:47]

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Fats & Oils - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Fats & Oils - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Fats & Oils - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 272.

Diane Sanfilippo: Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Diane; a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo and The 21-Day Sugar Detox. I live in San Francisco with my husband and fur kids. I love dancing around to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” on repeat.

Liz Wolfe: I’m Liz; a nutritional therapy practitioner, and author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller Eat the Yolks; The Purely Primal Skincare Guide; and the online program Baby Making and Beyond. I live on a farm in the mystical land of the Midwest, outside of Kansas City, and I am so ready for boot seasons.

We’re the co-creators of the Balanced Bites Master Class, and we’ve been bringing you this award winning podcast for 5 years and counting. We’re here to share our take on modern paleo living, answer your questions, and chat with leading health and wellness experts. Enjoy this week’s episode, and submit your questions at http://balancedbites.com. Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Before we get started, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Liz Wolfe: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Vital Choice Seafood and Organics, where a healthy diet is a vital choice. Purveyors of wild fish, shellfish, grass-fed beef and bison; Vital Choice offers premium quality, sustainably sourced foods that are wildly delicious and delivered to your door. With minimal prep from freezer to table, it’s easy to get delicious protein like wild Alaskan salmon (my favorite) and Wagyu beef into your paleo menu rotation. Vital Choice also has a wide array of ready to eat canned seafood along with satisfying snacks like organic dark chocolates, super antioxidant trail mix, and bison jerky. Celebrate the holidays, and your health, with premium seafood and organics from www.vitalchoice.com.

Liz Wolfe: Hey everyone, it’s me Liz, here with Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, hey.

Liz Wolfe: Hey buddy. I kind of nailed the opening just now.

Diane Sanfilippo: Gold star for you!

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [2:14]

Liz Wolfe: Thank you. So, what are your updates?

Diane Sanfilippo: What’s going on; so quick heads up for folks who have been joining me over on Facebook live. I am now broadcasting Thursdays at 4 p.m. I may add another day at some point to talk about other kinds of topics, as folks who have been following me on Instagram have seen, I’ve been talking a lot more about motivation and personal development and that kind of stuff, because it does; I don’t know, that’s the kind of stuff that lights me up, for sure, and I always encourage you guys to do what lights you up. So I’m going to do more of what lights me up.

But if you guys miss the live broadcast, don’t forget that I usually post either the day before or earlier in the day of, like Thursday, what the topic is going to be, and I take your questions so that I can answer them on the live broadcast as well. Usually I have a topic I’ll talk about for a little bit first, and then I answer questions. And the videos get edited and they’re over on the website kind of after the fact, so http://balancedbites.com/videos is where you can see what you may have missed.

Also, Balanced Bites spice blends are coming out soon! I don’t have an exact date. It kind of feels like a book going to print, or somebody who is pregnant. Except, when you’re pregnant there is kind of a finite window of when that baby is going to come out; but you know, I feel like the days leading up to it, people are always asking, “Did you have the baby yet?” and you’re like, I will tell you. You will know when I have this baby.

So it’s kind of how I feel with the spices; because I’ve been talking about it, and part of me wants to not talk about stuff before it’s really ready, but at the same time I like for people to get excited with me. I don’t like to keep secrets. So those are coming out really soon; they should be ready for holiday gifts. You’ll be able to order them through www.Kasandrinos.com. Eventually, they’ll be over on Amazon, but initially it will be through www.Kasandrinos.com, so just a heads up there if you’ve been thinking about getting some more oil or any of that, you can get it along with the spices within; I don’t know how long. I don’t know, I don’t know what date this episode is going to air, and what date the spices are going to be ready, but it’s all going to be soon.

What else; I’ve got a major product giveaway going on through Instagram right now. So check my Instagram feed if you haven’t seen it yet. Lots of healthy, fun, snack foods, all kinds of things as well as a Practical Paleo cooler bag for shopping for groceries. They are my absolute favorite thing. I love taking those shopping with me. I didn’t talk about them on our gift guide episode, because they’re not really for sale, but there are going to be a whole bunch of those. I believe we’re going to have 25 winners for this major product giveaway, so check it out. If you’ve missed it, I’ve probably been Instagraming it a lot, so make sure you check that out and enter. I think that’s pretty much it. What’s going on with you?

Liz Wolfe: Well, in my house, we are currently exploring the two K’s with food.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Kale chips and ketchup. I have officially stepped over the line of only nutrient dense, nourishing food, and my child now eats kale chips and ketchup. But it’s organic ketchup, so.

Diane Sanfilippo: Wait; stepped over the line of nutrient dense, nourishing food? I don’t know what that means? You have something against kale chips and ketchup? Because…

Liz Wolfe: I guess I’ve crossed; well, you know, I mean…

Diane Sanfilippo: Wait, you’re implying that kale chips {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Kale chips are not nutrient dense; which they are. Come on.

Liz Wolfe: They're fine.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know how you feel about kale, but let’s not be a hater.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. It just feels like; sometimes I feel this pressure. I mean, there are people that I’m acquainted with whose children literally eat nothing but liver, oysters, fish eggs, haggis, brains, and you know, like, fresh picked tropical fruit.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: You know, I don’t know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Who are these….

Liz Wolfe: Handed to them personally by the; I just can’t. But at this point; I mean, she saw me eating kale chips, and I gave them to her; and it’s hard for; once a kid has fruit, they just don’t want to eat handfuls of spinach anymore, no matter how much butter you put on it. We’ll, I’m generalizing. My child does not want to eat handfuls of spinach like she used to. And we still do liverwurst, we still do all of that stuff. But she is definitely a fruit monster. And that’s fine; I’m completely, totally pro kids having tons of fruit, tons of carbs, they need it, it’s completely appropriate. But I just want to make sure I’m continuing to keep my eye on a balance of nutrients from other sources as well. But I could not pay her to eat fish eggs by the handful. I used to be able to just give them to her, and she’d be all about it. She just has no interest. Maybe if I doused them in ketchup, she would.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} That sounds so gross.

Liz Wolfe: But that’s where we’re at. Doesn’t it?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well. Do you want to tell people; or I’ll tell people, what you did with the banana that you gave her? Because I thought that was a really good idea that people wouldn’t think about. Or did you forget already.

Liz Wolfe: No, I didn’t forget, this is what I do with a lot of her fruit, actually. I think I know what you’re talking about. So when the kiddo is all about the fruit, I will; of course, I’ll put coconut oil and butter and stuff like that on tons of stuff, but I also will sprinkle collagen peptides from Vital Proteins on her fruit, just to combine those amino acids with a little bit of carbohydrate. A good way to go.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I thought that was a totally…

Liz Wolfe: That’s what you’re talking about, right?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I thought that was cool idea.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, why not. She doesn’t know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Also, can I just make a note that all of my updates being super business-y are only because I have help updating this document every week? {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: So if it were left to my own devices, my update would also be one bullet point; like, I’m weight lifting a lot. That would be my bullet point.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Had we left this to me. But because Niki, who is on my team and helps organize the podcast documents every week; which thank you, Niki, if you’re listening. But I’m looking at my 5 bullet points like; I would never remember all that stuff. So that’s my…

Liz Wolfe: Well to a degree, a couple of your updates are also my updates.

Diane Sanfilippo: True.

Liz Wolfe: Well, today just the one; the Master Class update. And I could update on Baby Making and Beyond, but all I’m going to say is like you said; the baby will be birthed when it’s birthed and I will let everyone know. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Grueling. So are these kale chips pre-packaged premade ones? Because you’re not making kale chips, are you?

Liz Wolfe: Unfortunately they are prepackaged.

Diane Sanfilippo: This is fine.

Liz Wolfe: I know I said at some point in recent memory that I was trying to decrease my use of single use plastics, and that is still true. I’m taking; I’m just, I’m going with it now, convenience food here and there. But one thing I am saving up for, is I want to get a Harvest Right freeze dryer, so I can start doing some freeze drying of kale and all of the harvest stuff that we don’t get around to.

Diane Sanfilippo: Have you seen Hayley from Health Starts in the Kitchen, freeze drying anything that won’t move? {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Yes! That’s what she has is the Harvest Right. And you know what’s so funny; I had to ask, they don’t do any kind of blogger deals or anything like that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: But what was funny; well, they didn’t when I asked them, and perhaps they wouldn’t have extended one to me anyway {laughs} because I don’t know that I’m blogging all that often anymore, and whatever. But it was kind of funny because I was listening to News Radio the other day; don’t ever listen to News Radio in the Heartland, because it will just infuriate you to the core. But I was listening to it for a minute, and it was funny because a commercial with Ron Paul came on {laughs} and he was talking about prepping and Harvest Right freeze dryers.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh my gosh.

Liz Wolfe: I was like, I guess they don’t need me to promote their freeze dryer if they’ve got Ron Paul.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} You’re like; small potatoes over here.

Liz Wolfe: I guess they’re good to go.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. But that’s my hope. I would like to get a Harvest Right so I can preserve the vegetables and what not that we will hopefully be growing a plenty again pretty soon now that we’ve got more of a handle on the child.

2. Shout out: Cassy Joy’s lemony kale [10:53]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, so Diane do we have a shout out today; speaking of kale?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Speaking of kale. This is going to be a loving on kale show. I have been obsessed with kale since I came back from; hold on, let me rewind. Here’s my story with kale. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Years and years ago, I was pretty obsessed with the curly kale. Right; there’s the curly kale and there’s the flat kale, and I just didn’t understand the flat kale. I was all about the curly kale; I’m like, “Why would anybody buy that flat kale, it’s weird, the curly stuff is so much better.” Why this is even a thing, I have no idea where I decided the curly kale was it. Anyway, I used to cook it with coconut oil, and I guess I liked it. Maybe some garlic. Totally just got away from it; got bored with it, annoyed with it, didn’t really love it anymore. Well, fast-forward to this year, being on tour with Cassy Joy, and we were cooking a lot of breakfast, as people saw in our hotels when we had, you know, an efficiency room with a stovetop and fridge and all that good stuff.

So she made her lemony kale, which is from her book, Fed and Fit, and I just; I was like, why is this so good? I don’t understand why I love it, but I do. And she used the flat kale, which is sometimes called lacinato; I don’t remember. Tuscan kale, Italian kale; whatever, it has 40 different names. It’s the flat one that looks like a canoe or paddle or whatever the heck it’s called. Anyway, it’s that one.

And I just love it. I’m obsessed with it. I've been eating it almost every single day. It’s a crazy addiction. I feel like I had a kale addiction/obsession probably 6 years ago, and it’s come back; and you know, I’m not ashamed to say it, that I’m obsessed with kale right now. So there you go. And everybody who’s tried it, this method, has really enjoyed it, even my husband likes it; when I don’t put too much lemon on it. {laughs} So yeah. I think you should try it. You cook some bacon first, you do the kale. I put my own; of course, I can’t leave well enough alone. I put my own spices on it. I have a blend that I call the trifecta; it’s a particular balance of garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper. And then I’ve been using this dried porcini mushroom powder; which sounds so much fancier than it is. It’s like, I bought a bunch of dried mushrooms, threw them in the food processor until they were completely pulverized. And I sprinkle all that on there while it’s cooking. And I think it’s really delicious, so there you go. Shout out to Cassy Joy for creating that new addiction in me to kale, of all things. I’m so lame.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants (including me; I’m an NTP), emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared nutrient dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal. Nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants learn a wide range of tools and techniques to assess and correct nutritional imbalances. To learn lots more about the nutritional therapy program, go to http://www.NutritionalTherapy.com. There are workshop venues in the US, Canada, and Australia, so chances are you’ll be able to find a venue that works for you.

3. Fats and oils and malabsorption [14:30]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright. Today we’re going to talk about fats and oils. We’ve dedicated an entire module to fat and cholesterol in our upcoming Master Class; so keep that in mind if you’re curious about diving deeper into the subject after listening to today’s podcast. And I will say this as well; that with our beta group that we’ve had, we’ve had a lot of really good additional questions, additional conversation come up in our group, and I think that is really; we know so many of you, some of this content is new, you need it to be repeated or you want to be reminded, or you learned something maybe a year or two ago and you just kind of need a refresher or you want to dig a little deeper. I mean, that’s really it.

So the Master Class is totally for you; it’s for everyone. It’s not just for practitioners; our beta group was just for practitioners, but I just want to remind people, because I’ve heard a few people ask me; “Well what do I do if I’m not a practitioner?” Well, this is really, it’s the best of the best in an expanded version of what Liz and I used to teach live. So we would love for you to join us. Come be in our little group on Facebook, and be part of the class.

But anyway, we’re going to get into it today. And I’ll probably mention a few other things as we go through this episode about some other stuff that gets covered in the class and what kind of work you will do to kind of learn more, and figure this out when you apply it to your own life, because that’s a huge part of what we’re doing with the class. It’s not just; you sit and watch a video and fill in some information. It’s about taking what you learn and applying it in your everyday life. Because we know that that’s where; {laughs} a Robb Wolf-ism, well, it’s not just a Robb Wolf-ism, but where the rubber meets the road. It’s where you take what you’re hearing us say every week, and actually put it into place.

Because quite frankly, we can talk about it; and we’ve talked about this topic many times before, but for some reason there’s stuff that is either just not sinking in or you don’t remember, or what have you. When you put it into place in your everyday life and it becomes second nature, then that’s when it really; when you really get it. So that’s what we’re doing with the class. So there you go. There you go. {singing} There you go.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Sorry, now I’m starting to sing. I don’t know what I’m singing.

Liz Wolfe: {singing} Just because I let you go; there you go.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: {singing} Looking pitiful.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah {laughs}.

Liz Wolfe: As my child would say, “O-kaaaay.”

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh my gosh.

Liz Wolfe: Let’s get onto it. Alright, so yeah, I echo what you said. I do encourage folks to sign up for notifications for the Master Class; because man, people are just so dedicated to these concepts, why not get all of the education and learning all in one place, and make it official. http://balancedbites.com/masterclass.

Alrighty, let’s go through some of these questions about fats and oils. This one is from Emily. “Hi! Why might some fats and cooking oils cause more issues with fat malabsorption than others? Any input on which fats or oils might be more easily absorbed or less irritating? Thanks ladies!”

My primary answer to this question is this probably has to do with fatty acid chain length more than anything, and potentially digestive cofactors. But just knowing what we know about medium chain triglycerides, which are rich in coconut oil, basically bypassing your biliary function but also having the capacity to enhance it. It just makes sense that those would be probably the easiest to digest and the least tendency to cause malabsorption; or do I have that backwards? I just started questioning myself.

Diane Sanfilippo: No, you have it forwards but I think what you said…

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} I have it forwards.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} May have been a little confusing for some people so let’s back up for one second.

Liz Wolfe: Ok.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because this is stuff that I explain kind of in a lot more detail obviously in the class, but we’re going to just talk a little bit about it right here. So what Liz was talking about with fatty acid chain length; so you guys know that we have a couple of different things going on with fats. There’s saturated and there’s unsaturated fats, and the length of the chain that Liz is referring to is a carbon chain. This is just the molecular structure of fats; and I can’t give you a visual on the podcast {laughs}.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: But that’s why we give you lots of visuals in the class. But the carbons are connected to hydrogen, and the way that the fat is actually formed on a molecular level. So we have some fats that if you were to look at them under a microscope, or you were to actually, probably not even under a microscope. But you were to actually draw out what the chemical structure is, there are some that are extremely short, little chains of fat, of carbon and hydrogen, and some that are much longer. So what Liz is referring to is that coconut oil tends to be; well, it’s a medium chain triglyceride. So it’s made up of; it’s a shorter length of a fat, so it’s a little bit easier for us to break down, and it also has some other properties which we’ll get into in a second.

But when we look at unsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats; monounsaturated meaning only one carbon chain doesn’t have a hydrogen attached to it; polyunsaturated meaning more than one. Olive oil is very commonly, as well as avocado oil, I believe, the most commonly known monounsaturated fats, and we’ve got canola and soybean and fish oil and things like that that are polyunsaturated. They tend to have much longer chains; so when Liz is saying the shorter chains are probably easier to digest, that’s what we’re talking about. The fats that tend to be more saturated fats than unsaturated; like butter is going to be a shorter chain fatty acid; the butyric acid in butter, than the olive oils and fish oils and all these other unsaturated fats.

So we actually digest and absorb saturated fats a lot more easily than unsaturated fats; and I think that’s one of the things that we’ve been taught about nutrition that’s wrong. Right? It’s like, everything we thought we knew about good nutrition is wrong. These fats are actually easier for us to digest, and like you were saying, Liz; because of the medium chain triglyceride, because of the very specific properties of coconut oil and of MCT, we don’t need as much bile to emulsify them.

And I think; one way, I think you can see this in action, and Liz maybe tell me if you think I’m crazy for this. But I think you can see this in action; when you rub coconut oil on your skin, it soaks in pretty easily. And maybe I’m over simplifying, or I’m trying to take something more chemical cellular level and bring it to a macro; “how does that work in everyday life.” But I think this is real. So if you go to rub coconut oil onto the back of your hand, it doesn’t stay oily for that long. And maybe part of it is how dry your skin is. But let’s just say you do one hand with some olive oil and one hand with coconut oil; the coconut oil actually absorbs and soaks in a lot more quickly than olive oil.

I think that some of the viscosity of the oil has a reflection on the way that our body may need other constituents like bile to be able to break it down. So even if you were to rub butter on your hand, it’s not going to break down, but part of that is because it’s a combination of different types of oils, and it doesn’t have the same properties as coconut oil, which very specifically doesn’t need an emulsifier to break down. Am I; do you think I’m crazy? Do you think that’s…

Liz Wolfe: I don’t think you’re crazy; it’s interesting that you mention coconut oil and the skin, because I just had this conversation with some folks from Beautycounter talking about how coconut oil is actually not the greatest oil to expect to enhance your skin barrier function. That is to say, it’s not the best oil to expect to help you retain moisture or do anything really topically. It does absorb; it goes away, and it doesn’t do a whole lot with regards to helping your skin retain moisture. A lot of people with skin issues, like psoriasis or other stuff like that, actually have reduced long chain fatty acids in their skin cells, so the shorter chain are fairly useless unless you’re dealing with fungal stuff or you’re just cleansing or something like that. It’s the longer chain ones that are actually going to do a little bit more for the health of your skin and the moisture. So I don’t want people to extrapolate that too far, but that is an interesting way to describe it.

Diane Sanfilippo: I just was thinking that it’s not that viscous. It just doesn’t have this property that to me says it needs to be worked on to be broken down as much, but that could be a little bit of; I don’t know, taking it a little too far on that macro level. But anyway.

So fats or oils which might be more easily absorbed or less irritating; like you said, coconut oil, ghee. Malabsorption; fat malabsorption, ways that you can tell. I think we have a question about this later, but I think it would be; or is that just the next one here. There’s a couple on malabsorption, or what would be the repercussions of too much fat; which could be either eating too much fat or really just not absorbing it. Not being able to digest it, because it’s all relative, what’s too much for each person. But I think it would be good to piggyback this first question with; how do you know if you’re not absorbing fats or digesting them?

4. Signs of fat malabsorption [24:50]

Diane Sanfilippo: So some signs that you’re not digesting and absorbing fats; oily stools. I know, it’s like; we have to talk about poop. But also some signs of fat soluble vitamin deficiency; which Liz you might have more notes on that than I do, but vitamin A obviously, is one of the most obvious. We see a lot of folks who have keratosis pilaris, which is that chicken skin on the back of the arms most commonly; it can appear other places, as well. But often that can happen if you’re either not getting enough vitamin A or D, or you’re not absorbing either of them. And I say A and D because though it is known to be more related to vitamin A, I think that when you’re not getting vitamin D, even if you are getting the vitamin A, you may not be putting the vitamin A to use because we know we need to have those in a specific balance in order for them to be used properly in the body.

So those are a couple of signs. Do you want to talk about some others? Maybe some other skin related issues or anything else that folks might experience?

Liz Wolfe: Signs of fat malabsorption?

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: Skin-wise, you would have probably very dry skin that doesn’t retain moisture very well. So, there’s a lot of value to the chain length of what you put on the outside of your skin, so if you’re skin is really, really dry, any of the liquid serums from Primal Life Organics would be ideal; or liquid oils in general, the lighter ones. Jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, things like that.

But your skin cells themselves are composed of the fats that you eat dietarily. So, it is important to give yourself a spectrum of fats. I don’t think folks should just eat coconut oil. The body can synthesize different fatty acids from the foods that you eat, but I think a variety is good. Foods with different types of fats; tallow, butter, ghee, that type of thing. But you’ll see probably dry skin probably more frequently than you would see oily skin from fat malabsorption. Reduced skin barrier function. Oh jeeze; I don’t know. Just only related to the skin, or other things, too?

Diane Sanfilippo: Anything else. Or too much fat intake, any other signs of too much fat intake that I didn’t kind of call out there besides; I mean, obviously the biggest one would be that you’re ending up getting far too many calories. And you can store body fat, just eating an excess of calories regardless of what they are, although our bodies will metabolize things a little bit differently based on our activity and all of that, so just eating a high fat diet without any attention to how many calories overall we’re eating, the repercussions of too much fat in that regard? You can easily put on weight. I know a lot of folks who have gained weight going paleo because just switching their food to all higher fat food, they’re taking in just a lot more calories overall and that doesn’t sit well in the balance of the energy that they have throughout the day.

Liz Wolfe: So I feel like what we’re doing here is both of us see this really big, broad picture {laughs} of many different contributing and mitigating factors, and we’re just kind of pulling little tidbits out here and there and maybe; me in particular, I’m not doing a good job of bringing all these different points together. Maybe I should backtrack a little bit and say that we talked about medium chain triglycerides; those are very pro-metabolic, it would be difficult to gain weight eating too much coconut oil.

But then again, I did just say that we need a variety of fatty acids, so one thing I’d like to point out is that the longer chain fats are going to be the ones that would probably cause issues with unwanted weight gain. They’re not pro-metabolic. I wouldn’t call them anti-metabolic; I guess it depends on what you’re eating. If you’re eating a ton of corn, soybean, and canola oil, those are going to be anti-metabolic. But if you’re eating avocado, some homemade mayo, some olive oil, those types of things, you’re going to be fine, and that’s providing a variety of fatty acids to your body, which is important. So hopefully I provided a little more context there.

And, extrapolating to almost any issue that can be connected to fat soluble vitamin deficiency; so vitamins A, D, K, and even vitamin E which is really hard to find. It is in olive oil; it’s not in avocado oil, which is always kind of my argument for using olive oil when you can instead of avocado oil. I know people like avocado oil right now, but I’m just much more a fan of olive oil; in part because it does have vitamin E.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: But all of those nutrients require fat as a cofactor. So if you’re dealing with deficiencies, that’s part of why you want to look at this in the context of a whole person; a whole dietary strategy type thing and not just looking at fat in isolation.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, and I think when I was talking before about how we actually present it and all the information about all of this in our class; it makes a lot more sense when we first teach you the foundations of; here’s what we’re talking about when we’re talking about fats. You know; what are saturated, what are unsaturated, poly, etc. Why are they that way, what are the fats that are categorized in these different sections. And then talking about how they work in the body in terms of the diet-heart hypothesis, and the lipid-heart hypothesis, and all this stuff that the reasons why we’ve been scared of different fats and just kind of how this stuff works, I think when you create a foundation that begins with that understanding, then all of the minutia of this stuff; I think some of it falls away. At least that’s my take.

Because I know people ask about; we’ve got some questions about, “What do you cook with?” “What do you do with this?” And I think when you learn the whys and you learn how did we come to these conclusions, then the specific of which thing I’m using in this dish that I just made is just not that important. You know what I mean? It’s like, use the one that you have based on what you’ve learned. Anyway. So I think that will really help people to not just hear, “do this” and then I do that. It’s more understand why so that you can make an informed educated decision. So there’s that.

Liz Wolfe: Ok.

5. Why are vegetable oils bad? [31:39]

Diane Sanfilippo: Do you want to do this next one from Stephanie? Real Food Foodie.

Liz Wolfe: Yes, ok. “Can you talk about the bad oils, like canola, vegetable, soy, etc.? I know they’re not good to use, but I’d love a more detailed explanation as to why. What do they do to your body? Also tips on navigating eating out when you’re trying to avoid these oils; it seems like they are everywhere.” A lot of people had similar questions to this. So one of the reasons; can I start, is that ok, if I just jump in?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, do it.

Liz Wolfe: Alright. So we have to look at this in context. So what most people are eating every day for their entire lives from the time they are babies involves some kind of highly refined industrial oil; canola, vegetable, soy, corn; something like that. So not only are these hyper-present in a standard American diet, and even the diet of people that are trying to be healthy. If you go through the health food store; Whole Foods is like 78% canola oil, 2% paleo stuff and that’s growing.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I just saw, at my local Whole Foods, they have a little paleo section in the prepared foods area, and it’s like {laughs} there are like 4 things. There’s paleo broccoli; which is broccoli, coconut oil, and salt.

Diane Sanfilippo: Stop it.

Liz Wolfe: It’s quite funny.

Diane Sanfilippo: You’re like; they should to our first episodes where we talk about chicken, broccoli, and coconut oil.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Yeah!

Diane Sanfilippo: And we’d be able to put a label on it that says, “You’re doing it wrong,” or something like that. Anyway.

Liz Wolfe: I wanted to take a picture, but I didn’t. My hands were full. I really should have. But part of the issue with these oils, and the reason that we are so, just profoundly anti-industrial oils is not just because they’re not nutrient dense, they’re highly processed, and the body doesn’t need all of those long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, it’s also because we are fighting an entire lifetime of consuming these foods, either disguised as health food, or just as part of the crap that we’ve been eating for way too long. So there’s a larger context there that we’re really just trying to battle back, and we’re battling back the effects of these oils for years and years of exposures, and that’s part of it.

So one of the things, one of the biggest issue with them; and both Diane and I talk about these things in Eat the Yolks and Practical Paleo and of course in the Balanced Bites Master Class; one of the biggest issues is that they are very, very easily damaged. So not only in the processing of them are they bleached, deodorized, heat processed, chemicals are used in the refinement. They probably reach you damaged, and the word we use is “oxidized.” And when you think of oxidation, just think of another term that people know, which is free radical damage. Basically these fats are damaged before they even get to you, and then you eat them and they are incorporated into yourselves. So you’re pretty much incorporating damaged materials into your cells. And you are your cells. So that’s one of the reasons that we’re so anti-these industrial oils.

They also are not nutrient dense. They don’t come with vitamin A, like ghee does. They aren’t medium chain triglycerides, which coconut oil is not particularly nutrient dense, but it does provide a very unique and a very pro-metabolic substance to the body, so that’s one of the benefits of it. I guess that’s kind of where it begins and ends for me. What do you think?

Diane Sanfilippo: Just a couple of notes; one, if people want to see how canola oil is made, this is something we used to show in our seminars, in our full day seminar, and we do link to it as well through the Master Class and talk more about it, but canola oil, how it’s made. Or How it’s Made, Canola Oil, something like that. I forget the order of the name of the video, but you can find it on YouTube. And it’s not propaganda against canola oil; it’s one of those PBS/Nova type, how it’s made. Literally, just here is how you make it.

And I think the matter of fact nature of that video just shows the people who are explaining how it’s made don’t have an agenda to try and say that this is a bad thing. And to me, that’s a powerful video, because you can watch a million documentaries on why not eating meat would be the way to go, and they’re obviously very biased. And this video is not biased to try and prove to you that these oils are bad; it’s just extremely matter of fact; here’s how it’s made. So I would encourage you to watch that. I would encourage you to pay attention when they talk about extracting the oils with hexane, which is a chemical solvent. It’s a very different process than pressing olives would be, or getting oil from something that naturally contains a lot of oil. Coconut, and…

Liz Wolfe: Like an avocado, yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. But is avocado oil coming from the avocado or from the pit? Either way, actually.

Liz Wolfe: The avocado.

Diane Sanfilippo: The pit does contain a lot of fat.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: But it’s really different, and avocado is not hexane processed, as far as I know. But this is a different thing; where we should be getting oils is where they come from nature easily, from the animal naturally it’s there; from places like a coconut or an olive, where we do press it. We do put it through some processing, but it’s pretty minimal. So if you watch that processing that Liz talked about; bleaching, and refining, and all of that. I don’t like to say that it’s kind of scary and it will make you really not want to eat it, because that’s what people do with showing you how a cow is slaughtered. But the truth is, seeing how a cow or a chicken is killed is part of our evolution that we have turned a blind eye to because we live in an industrial age where we don’t have to do that. We can walk into the grocery store and buy it already killed. But there was not a time that we needed to go through this process to extract oil from rapeseeds, which is the plant that canola oil comes from, the rapeseed plant.

So anyway. I digress. Just talking about how it’s made. Another really important point here is; and I think this is kind of for the paleo movement at large, but part of not buying and eating these oils is voting with your dollars. {laughs} You know, we talk about that on the heels of an election that’s got the whole country in a tizzy, of course, but when we want to make a statement about what kind of food industry we want, not even an industry, but food landscape perhaps that we want, we need to be not spending our money on foods that contain these oils or buying these oils point blank.

And I will say, to the credit of a lot of the more organic-oriented, health food-oriented grocery stores, I am seeing canola oil really take the bottom shelf quite literally, not have a huge facing any more. And that; you guys, I know not everybody notices this stuff, or pays attention to it. Part of it is the brands that are featured at eyelevel or near eyelevel are paying for that placement. But, I will say that that wouldn’t happen if they’re not selling. The brands are going to pay to be at eyelevel so that you will see it, because they’re selling it. They’re not going to pay for that placement if it’s not working. So when I see that happening in the grocery store; when I see ghee at eyelevel, and I see canola oil on the bottom shelf, I ‘m encouraged by that. So that’s kind of a little bit of an upside.

When we talk about other food system spending and things like organic meats or pastured meats or CAFO feed lot, caged chicken and pork and all that stuff; it’s a similar thing, right? We want to buy pastured meats, we want to buy grass-fed meat because we want to tell farmers that we want what they’re doing, we want to encourage that process. But there is a bit of a different situation here where we talk about paleo perfectionism, and we talk about the difference between eating, perhaps conventional protein versus damaged and really unhealthy fats. I think the metabolic, the health implications, the overall damage to our physical bodies; I think it’s going to be far more negative from these fats than it is from a piece of chicken that really wasn’t raised right.

And there can be arguments, for sure, around if there are antibiotics in the chicken, and all of that. And that’s totally legitimate; but in the grand scheme of things, let’s say you’re changing everything over, and you are still using these unhealthy fats. You’re using, I don’t know, Benecol or any of these horrible {laughs} horrible vegetable oils in your house; really refined stuff, especially the hydrogenated refined stuff. The implication of that on your health, I think, is more damaging and more long-lasting because fats are building our cell walls, and we do want those fats to be high quality. So that’s why when I talk about food quality and what to spend money on first, it is going to be fats first, and then as a secondary thing to the fats, you are getting a lot of time, proteins with the fats when you’re spending on something like a grass-fed rib eye, for example.

Anyway, that’s just one thing to point out, is that part of it also knowing that it’s an industrial byproduct that was kind of the first reason why we even had some of these oils. This wasn’t a, your great-grandparents had these oils. They were introduced into the food system 30-40 years ago, and this is not; it’s not even talking about it's not paleo. It’s just not real food. It’s not something that our ancestors would have eaten; even great-grandparent ancestors, right? So I think it’s important to know that.

Liz Wolfe: And a lot of these are; yeah, byproducts of like the plastics industry, which is heavily based around soy, I believe, or at least was. You have byproducts, which are oils, and sludge, lecithin sludge, and the protein leftover from the plant, which is sent to feed lots. I think canola was possibly used as an industrial lubricant, so you have these co-industries that pop up around these things. It wasn’t originally this dietary bastion of, “Oh, look at this perfect human food.” {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: We need to question everything; and I mean, you have a lot more about the historical kind of appearance of these foods in Eat the Yolks, but I think people don’t realize that when these oils came to market, this is when {laughs} this is when, let’s get some research around, “What does this fatty acid do to this other thing in the body,” And maybe there was some, I say this with finger air quotes, “Science” around one specific molecule acting on one other specific molecule, and being extremely granular and not looking at the bigger picture of, where do these oils come from and what do they actually do in the body?

And there’s been a lot of propaganda around plant oils lowering cholesterol, but that’s just because at one point we were taught and then were led to believe and were convinced that eating cholesterol or having cholesterol levels in the body of a certain amount was bad. So all of this stuff gets packed into; there’s so much more dogma ingrained in us, than we even realize when we ask these questions about these oils that we need to kind of unpackage and deprogram in a sense. I’m getting a little; I’m getting off topic. But anyway. I’m feeling ranty today; I don’t know what it is.

Liz Wolfe: I am a little bit too, which sucks because we have like 10 minutes before I have to hop off.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. Alright, well let’s move on.

Liz Wolfe: Well, let’s bring up one more thing because I think one of the things, especially folks new to this community here, is that for example canola oil is high, or at least not low, in omega-3, as a justification as why it’s good. And I think that’s a critical point, too, because what a lot of folks don’t realize is that there are different forms of omega-3 and what we get from fish is very, very different from what we get from plants. And both of us talk about this in our books, and we talk about it a lot in the Master Class, once again. The process of converting omega-3 that you would get from canola oil is clunky, it’s poorly converted in the body, and it’s an entirely different thing from just getting the end usable form omega-3 from, say salmon and sardines. So that’s kind of a; I don’t know what the word would be, not red herring.

Diane Sanfilippo: Pun intended. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know what the logical {laughs} device would be for that. Yeah, red fish.

Diane Sanfilippo: There’s so much there.

6. Being comfortable with making compromises [45:08]

Liz Wolfe: Ok, in this question that came up with it, you also brought up an interesting point about feeling that fats are the number one priority in getting healthier, and I totally agree with that. The priorities that I choose now for myself, now that I’ve been down this road for a long time and I feel like I’ve brought myself to a good place health-wise, is I would always choose crappy oils over industrially produced meat. Just because that’s where my heart is right now. But it’s a really good point that folks might be a little wobbly between those choices. But if you’re really looking at it from a health perspective, prioritizing fats first is probably the most important thing. But we have this next question from Raquel that says, “Chipotle uses rice bran oil, should it be avoided?” and another question about lots of Trader Joe’s snacks being made with rice bran oil; “How bad is that?”

So, a lot of times, you and I are like; “Hey, make compromises where you're comfortable,” and for a lot of folks, their compromise would be Chipotle. Or it would be non-GMO corn chips cooked in sunflower oil, or rice bran oil, or what have you. And that’s fine; that’s a personal choice that everyone has to make based on their level of health and their goals and how they want to feel in an hour, but I think we would be disingenuous if we acted like rice bran oil was not an industrial byproduct oil.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: I mean, it’s produced from rice bran. I think it’s a better choice than canola, soybean, or cottonseed; they’re doing something. They’re taking a step, but I can’t tell people that it’s a perfect oil.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah; I don’t know that it would be GMO, which I’m going to guess that the vast majority of the industrial corn and soybean oil and canola oil is going to be GMO. But this is like; some people say, “Well, it’s organic canola oil.” It’s like, well, ok if that’s the argument you want to use, why don’t we just talk about how it’s made. For every argument we have to use them, I’ve got 4 points of what people are forgetting. It’s like, “Well it’s organic so it’s non-GMO.” But that’s not really the point.

But when it comes to rice bran oil; yep, totally with you. I think it’s a lesser evil, and I think it’s; you know, I think if there’s a restaurant; I believe that Rome, where we get our burgers, they use rice bran oil, and I will have Brussels’ sprouts from there; which I know they drop them in the deep fryer, they don’t really have any other way to cook things there besides a cooktop and a deep fryer. But you know, I’m aware of that and I make that decision with the awareness. And that doesn’t happen every day or even multiple times a week. And it doesn’t come into the house. And so even to that point; something like plantain chips are kind of a point of contention for me. My husband loves plantain chips, and he edits this podcast so he hears me say all of this; but he loves plantain chips which is totally fine, but the oils that a lot of them are cooked in, I just would rather them not come into the house. Because that means we’re eating more of it, and it’s not just a random whatever. So there are some great brands that use palm oil; not palm olein, if I’m pronouncing it correctly because I was Googling to see what the deal was with that. It’s a totally different format of the oil; palm oil is one thing, but the olein, palm olein; I don’t know how to pronounce that.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I’m just waiting for you to pronounce it for me; this obviously wasn’t happening. But, it’s not the same, and it’s probably far more processed and probably damaged versus straight up palm oil or coconut oil or something like that. So, I think it is important to be aware of it, and then make the decision, and I personally would say; “let’s try and not bring those into the house.” I just think that’s a good border/barrier, what have you. What we eat at home is 80-90% of what we eat at all, so I think that helps to make that delineation clearer.

Liz Wolfe: I like it. One of the things I do when I’m exposed to a lot of industrial oils, by choice, because that doesn’t happen by accident all that much anymore, is I’ll take a capsule of vitamin E from Unique-E which is mixed tocopherols. Vitamin E can just help your body manage polyunsaturated fats. And who knows what good it does and what good it doesn’t do, but it does seem to make logical sense, so there you go.

7. Oil to cook with daily [50:02]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, quick question. “What’s a good oil to cook with daily?” Your thoughts, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: So, wouldn’t you know, I’ve got a whole guide to cooking fats in Practical Paleo. My favorite to cook with is going to be ghee or coconut oil, depending on what you like the taste of and what it’s going with. I think, for the folks; there are a bunch of questions about refined coconut oil, because people are seeing it more out there. If you don’t like the taste of coconut, then refined coconut oil is an option. The refining process of coconut oil is not going to damage it as easily as the refining process which is heat, chemical extraction, etc., when we’re talking about vegetable oils and seed oils versus coconut oil. Because coconut oil is saturated, it can stand up to a little bit more of a process in that way, but it’s not the same type of process that we’re talking about with seed oils. So if you don’t like the taste of coconut, you can do a refined coconut oil. I believe Trader Joe’s has one now that’s called triple filtered or something like that, and that’s the option that won’t taste as coconutty.

But, I think butter, ghee; if you want to use olive oil, and not scald your food, I think another great approach there is to combine it. So combine some olive oil with some ghee if you’re going to use that, as well. Olive oil; it is on my list of ok for moderate heat cooking, and I think in the past I was a little bit more militant about it; which, we all have to be open to changing our viewpoint, and I think with the information learning a little bit more about the antioxidant properties that are contained within olive oil, much like in a piece of fish. We’re not damaging the delicate omega-3 fatty acids in the fish when we cook it in the whole fish; olive oil, the fatty acids probably aren’t quite as damaged. But I do still stand by not getting that oil to smoking hot, and having it sit there and smoke for several seconds or even longer before you start cooking in it. But just look at the chart in Practical Paleo; butter, coconut oil, ghee. Cocoa butter ranks really well; I don’t know how it would work in practice, I haven’t really done it.

But really most other animal fats, as well, so whatever renders off of what you’re cooking. If you render some duck, you render some lard or you cook some bacon and you keep that fat especially and specifically if it’s pastured. You don’t want to buy pastured bacon and spend anywhere from $8-12 a pound, and then throw away that fat. You want to cook with that.

8. Type 2 diabetes and coconut oil [52:47]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, this last one is from Valerie, and I’m just going to give it the quick treatment. “My mother was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in her 40s; she’s offered free nutrition classes for dealing with her diabetes through her job with the school board. At these nutrition classes, she was told there is no scientific data to support the health benefit claims of coconut oil, and it is harmful for people with diabetes. She was instructed to only use a vegetable oil. She trusts this information over any that I give her, but I’d like to hear your opinion on this. Are there certain oils that are more harmful or more helpful to those with type 2 diabetes?”

Alright, well we’ve talked before this about vegetable oils and the arguments against them, and that would specifically go for folks that have metabolic issues, who are more vulnerable to the damage they can cause. But specifically with regards to type 2 diabetes and coconut oil; we need to reduce this a little bit. You might not be able to just type “coconut oil and diabetes” in PubMed, and have something pop up immediately for you to read. But as far as scientific studies, if that’s what she needs, just go to PubMed and type in medium chain triglycerides and metabolic syndrome. Or MCT plus type 2 diabetes. Right off the bat, I got two very interesting studies; one with the title “Gut Microbiota and Metabolic Health: The Potential Beneficial Effects of a Medium Chain Triglyceride Diet in Obese Individuals,” and the second one was “Medium Chain Fatty Acids, Functional Lipids for the Prevention and Treatment of the Metabolic Syndrome.”

So really, you just have to know what you’re talking about, which clearly these people teaching the classes do not. So sorry if that’s a little bit of a burn on these folks, but I am really, really tired; especially in the fertility world, which I tend to work in a little bit more than the metabolic syndrome like type 2 diabetes type world; so many professionals saying, “there’s no evidence about this, there’s no evidence about that.”

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: When really what they mean is, “I haven’t actually looked for that.”

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: It’s so ridiculous to me. And you can go on the alt web and basically pull up any of these studies for free. And just hand them right over; the end.

Diane Sanfilippo: You know, also; I’m just going to throw a couple of things in here. {laughs} this is like; it’s just so frustrating. So the first thing I want to point out is, this is the kind of information that; look, not everyone wants to sit down and learn something. I already know that folks are sitting down and learning about cholesterol numbers and all that from the Master Class; the section where I talk about what your blood work should be showing, how to impact that one way or the other, and that’s one of the things that if we could have your mom sit down with you and learn from this lesson. Learn from this module about fat.

Learn from the module we talk about blood sugar, and get her to understand that this stuff doesn’t work the way that the medical system is saying, because they’re solution to things is not; {sigh}. Their solution is to absolve you of responsibility and give you the insulin, or give you the metformin, or give you the pill, and to not say, “There is something you can do to get your body back to a healthy place.” They don’t make money by telling you to eat better; they make money by selling you drugs. And that’s the bottom line. And it doesn’t mean that there aren’t well-meaning endocrinologists and well-meaning physicians out there who might be working with her; but, unfortunately, as you said, Liz, they haven’t looked for the answers.

And I’ll tell you what; even my mother, the doctor that she goes to is very well meaning, but she had issues with high triglycerides; sorry to out my mom, she doesn’t listen to the show, but whatever. High triglycerides and cholesterol levels borderline; and I put her on a protocol. I put her on a specific approach to eating that reduced her carbohydrate intake to a level that was appropriate for the type of activity that she does; I didn’t put her on a low-carb/no-carb diet, any of that. And I gave her some supplements to support her liver and told her; this is what we need to do. And her doctor didn’t really understand it, because her doctor wanted to tell her to take high doses of fish oil to get the triglycerides down. I was like; that is like trying to put water on the fire when there’s somebody in the house still lighting matches, and that’s not solving the problem. And unfortunately, with someone with type 2 diabetes, getting told not to eat coconut oil because it’s harmful for your from a medical doctor who is also telling you to just take this pill to fix the issues with your sugar; it should be a red flag that obviously this person isn’t looking at how to solve the problem, they’re just giving you something to manage symptoms.

So, it’s just a fundamental shift that needs to happen. And maybe if she’s open minded, and there’s a moment that you can catch that; I don’t talk to my parents about what to do, but my mom had a moment where she said, “Here’s my blood work, what do you think I should do.” You guys; however many of you are listening, however many have bought the book; I would literally scrap all of it for the fact that my mom was going to listen to something that I have to say and turn around her health a little bit. Like, I think we all know anybody who studies nutrition and wellness and health; if there’s someone in our family, especially our immediate family, who can benefit from what we’re doing, that’s all we care about. Right? I love you all as listeners, but I care about my mom more than all of you {laughs}.

So I think if your mom has a moment, if you notice that there’s an open door/open window, whatever to get this information with her, have her sit down with you and take the Master Class together, and go through the blood sugar module and go through the fat and cholesterol modules. That is the stuff that is really going to help. I can’t help but rant about that. So there you go.

Diane Sanfilippo: Pete’s Paleo has opened a new location on the East Coast. Since they’re still operating out of San Diego, as well; this means local produce and meat coming from both coasts. And drastically reduced shipping prices. Check out their new and improved website, www.PetesPaleo.com to take advantage of low shipping rates; and be sure to use coupon code 1FREEBACON. That’s the number 1; free bacon, and receive a free half pound of bacon with the purchase of a meal plan. Go to www.PetesPaleo.com.

Liz Wolfe: Alright, I like it, and I think we’ll have to close it out there. That will be it for this week then. You can find me, Liz, at http://realfoodliz.com/ and you can find Diane at http://dianesanfilippo.com. Join our email lists for free goodies and updates that you don’t find anywhere else on our website or on the podcast. While you’re on the internet, leave us an iTunes review. See you next week.

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