T Nation

Baking flax?

This may be a question for John Berardi-- Doesn’t cooking flax in bread destroy the “good fats” in the flax? Also, don’t they use the whole seed, which goes right through you without the benefit of absorbing the good fats? Does anyone else know about this? I know flax is great for you, and this would be a great thing to add to my p+c meals, but I don’t want to waste calories… :sunglasses:

The flax you would use to bake bread should be flax meal, not the whole seeds. You can buy the whole flax seeds and grind them up in a coffee grinder to save some money (or just buy it ground up already). No, cooking the flax does not ‘destroy’ the good fats…or even change their molecular structure. That’s like saying that putting Grow! in a high speed blender is going to destroy the protein chains in the drink and make the protein unusable…sorry, it just doesn’t happen like that. Not to be a dick or anything (really), but it’s definitely helpful for people who are ‘into’ weight training or fitness to buy a nutritional textbook that goes over the basic principles of nutrition, chemistry, and human metabolism. Your local college or library is a good place to start! It’s worth the time spent, educating your self on these matters…and it’s really interesting bro! :slight_smile:

When flax oil is subjected to heat or sunlight, it does not cause oxidation?

in all honesty i dont know what the answer, and maclar’s answer may be right, but maclar’s analogy is not a good one. A proper one would be “That’s like saying that putting Grow! in a microwave and cooking it (not a high speed blender) is going to destroy the protein chains in the drink and make the protein unusable…sorry… oh wait, cooking protein does degrade the protein-- never mind.”

When flax oil is subjected to heat or sunlight, it does not cause oxidation?<<
Yes, flax oil is very delicate, but the oil of the seed/meal is more restistant to heat/light because it is still encased in the fibers of the seed. The reactions of oxygen and other ions is a different phenomenon than that with heat.

but maclar’s analogy is not a good one<<

you’re right, maybe not a perfect analogy, but I think the point I was trying to get across was more important than the analogy used. And, FYI, proteins do ‘degrade’ under heat, but that does not make the amino acids unusable. If you cook egg whites in a skillet, the proteins do denature (uncoil), but they weren’t going to be functional anyhow, because proteins are broken down by your digestive enzymes, and then reformed by your cells through rna transcription to make proteins your body needs. Theres no such thing as an ‘essential protein’, only essential amino acids, although protein is used as a measurement of how much amino acids you are getting. Fatty acids are, in a sense, the same way. Triglycerides are broken down into monoglycerides and fatty acids (they are attached to a glycerol backbone). Heat doesn’t change the molecular structure of fatty acids…if it did, then we would all be fucking dead, because most of us eat a diet consisting of 90% cooked foods, particularly fish and breads that contain these fats. But, yes, light and oxygen will eventually oxidize fats…leading to rancidity. But just because you cook some flax meal under high heat, doesn’t mean that the omega-3 fatty acid chains are going to somehow move their double bonds along the carbon chain or something! It doesn’t work like that.

I thought it was not to do with oxidation but to do with partial hydrogenation, as the unsaturated fat heats the double bond that makes it unsaturated opens and excepts a hydrogen atom causing the fatty acid to resemble a saturated fatty acid, yet this is minimal and not worth worrying about - please correct me if im wrong, but I did hear this stated by a university lecturer.

Okay, bearing all the expertise of my bio textbook, I thought that heat could cause fats with fewer hydrogen atoms to be converted from a cis to trans, so heat would do damage to the fat. Also, regarding the comment about heat not changing fatty acids because if it did we’d all be dead, I thought that’s why fried foods are bad for our health.