T Nation

Flax Oil vs. Vegtable oil

I’m a college kid and I don’t really have a lot of money right now. For protien, I mostly rely on whey (which is partially why I am strapped for cash), eggs, and chicken (why is chicken so damn expensive? ) However, my real problem is with fat. I want to buy flax oil, but holy shit, my measly job and income can not afford such luxuries. However, I noticed while shopping at a local grocery store that vegtable oil is a high fat/high caloric source. Is this a good, or at least decent substitute? IF not, what else can I look for?

Thanks,
Pork

NO WAY! Stay away from vegetable oil (Soybean, corn, sunflower, canola) and they are literally poison oils! They’re loaded with trans fat and very high ratio of omega 6s to 3s unlike flax oil which is the other way around. We get more than enough omega 6s and we all could use more omega 3s which is why we take flax oils. Flax oils aren’t that expensive. If it’s really important to you, you’d make an effort to cut out things like beers, going out and partying, etc and cook your own foods instead of going to resturaunts. Consume whole eggs (free roaming chicken based) rather than egg whites. You can use extra virgin olive oil salads. This way you’re getting ALL kinds of fats rather than ONE source of fat. I don’t think consuming flax oil as your only source for fat is not good idea. Try getting 1/3 of each type of fat - saturated fat (animal fats, organic butter, virgin coconut oils), monounsaturated (extra virgin olive oil, nuts) and polyunsaturated (flax oil, fish oil).

If you want a good fat source that isn’t terrible for the body use natural peanut butter. Even Smuckers has some stuff that doesn’t have trans-fats and its labelled “Natural”. They don’t add sugar, it tastes good, and its about the same price as all the other shit peanut butters on the market.

The omega 3 essential fatty acids are essential to your diet and are found mainly in salmon, sardines, flax oil and walnuts.

Monounsaturates which are also good are found in olive oil (extra virgin is best, but it does have a very strong taste), peanuts and canola oil (some have questions about if canola oil is healthy or not, but that is a very different conversation).

Tran fatty acids are very unhealthy. Do not eat anthing which has hydrogenated…or partially hydrogenated… in them.

Processing of canola oil… Think it’s still healthy???

Processing

Rapeseed has been used as a source of oil since ancient times because it is easily extracted from the seed. Interestingly, the seeds were first cooked before the oil is extracted. In China and India, rapeseed oil was provided by thousands of peddlers operating small stone presses that press out the oil at low temperatures. What the merchant then sells to the housewife is absolutely fresh.

Modern oil processing is a different thing entirely. The oil is removed by a combination of high temperature mechanical pressing and solvent extraction. Traces of the solvent (usually hexane) remain in the oil, even after considerable refining. Like all modern vegetable oils, canola oil goes through the process of caustic refining, bleaching and degumming – all of which involve high temperatures or chemicals of questionable safety.

And because canola oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which easily become rancid and foul-smelling when subjected to oxygen and high temperatures, it must be deodorized. The standard deodorization process removes a large portion of the omega-3 fatty acids by turning them into trans fatty acids. Although the Canadian government lists the trans content of canola at a minimal 0.2 percent, research at the University of Florida at Gainesville, found trans levels as high as 4.6 percent in commercial liquid oil.24 The consumer has no clue about the presence of trans fatty acids in canola oil because they are not listed on the label.

A large portion of canola oil used in processed food has been hardened through the hydrogenation process, which introduces levels of trans fatty acids into the final product as high as 40 percent.25 In fact, canola oil hydrogenates beautifully, better than corn oil or soybean oil, because modern hydrogenation methods hydrogenate omega-3 fatty acids preferentially and canola oil is very high in omega-3s. Higher levels of trans mean longer shelf life for processed foods, a crisper texture in cookies and crackers – and more dangers of chronic disease for the consumer.26

Peanut butter…

They are loaded with omega-6 fats that distort the omega 3:6 ratio
They are frequently contaminated with a carcinogenic mold called aflatoxin
Peanuts are one of the most pesticide-contaminated crops

Fortunately, there are some relatively safe ways to reduce these negative effects. First, you can obtain Arrowhead Mills organic peanut butter. These peanuts are grown in New Mexico, and aflatoxin has not been reported to be a problem in that state due to the dry conditions. The organic version of the peanut butter is also pesticide free.

Additionally, you can pour off the oil that settles on the top of the peanut butter jar rather than stirring it into the peanut butter, as this will lower the omega-6 content. If this makes it too dry for your taste you can stir in some olive oil or macadamia nut oil, both of which are very low in omega-6 fats and far higher in safe monounsaturated fats. Avoid using canola oil as a filler, as it is fraught with other potential problems.

Flax Oil pills are a lot cheaper, is that a safe bet? Or is the liquid better some how?

Liquid is always cheaper than pills. Let’s look at this way… 1 tablespoon (most of us consume that amount) equals 16 pills! Do you really want to shove that much pills down your throat???

Just go to your local hippie-dippie health food store and buy a bag of flax seeds. Throw a couple of tblsps into the spice mill and grind em up and mix into your oatmeal in the morning. The seeds are pretty cheap, last a long time, don’t taste bad. I think you can get all the flax oil you want this way. There’s a fiber boost that comes with it.

Packets of linseeds/flax seeds are pretty cheap. There’s a simple recipe for them in the archives somewhere by Steve Berardi. Put the seeds in a bowl with a few scoops of chocolate whey or whatever you are using. Add a really small amount of water and get mixing. Leave them in the fridge for a great P+F portable meal. The seeds are also a good source of fibre!