January 6, 2011
Introduction: In this podcast, why saturated fat isn’t bad and vegetable oil could kill you; what’s the difference between fructose in fruit and high fructose corn syrup; how to use hemp protein; is it OK to take Advil before exercising, advice from an 80 year old guy who raced an Ironman; what is the difference between threshold and VO2 max; and do special breathing techniques make you perform better?
Ben: Hey, folks. Ben Greenfield here, and in today’s feature topic, I’ve got Udo Erasmus coming on. This is a guy who knows more about fat than just about anybody on the planet. He’s written a book, Fats That Heal Fats That Kill, so I would highly recommend that if you want to understand this whole fat debate a little bit more that you listen to that interview.
We have a Q&A, and a very important announcement about the Q&A that you shouldn’t miss if you’re a regular listener to the podcasts or somebody who wants to ask questions for the podcast. And of course, just a few special announcements before we rock and roll. Let’s jump right in to this week’s content for BenGreenfieldFitness.com.
Folks, I am no longer taking questions for the BenGreenfieldFitness.com podcast via e-mail. I’ve instead set up a form on the website. And that form can be found on the show notes for any podcast episode. So whenever you have a question, just go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com, click on the show notes. So for example, you’d click on the show notes for this episode, this is Episode No. 127, and down by the Q&A, there is a little form that you can fill up. So that will allow you to effectively ask me a question and have that question get directed straight into a Q&A folder that I am able to view. The reason I’m doing that is because I was literally getting hundreds of e-mail questions each week, and it’s getting very difficult for me to navigate through, filter those questions and effectively be able to take care of you. So now we are using that form. The only exception to that rule is that if you have the free BenGreenfieldFitness i-Phone app, you can continue to ask your questions through that i-Phone app and then of course, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, or you can Skype me at username pacificfit.
The other announcement that I have for you is that I will be speaking in Sacramento, California, on January 22nd at a health event. That’s going to be a Saturday evening, and I will put a link in the show notes of this episode, Episode No. 127, if you’re interested in attending that event and meeting me, or in listening to the speech that I’m going to be giving on how to make your health more prosperous in 2011. So let’s go have a move on to this week’s listener Q&A.
Patrick asks: Is there any validity to the claim that taking in natural sugars is somehow less damaging to your body than processed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or refined (white) sugars? I’ve heard that it has to do with what your body “recognizes as food,” but haven’t heard any convincing evidence that your body knows the difference.
Ben: To make this question a little bit more specific, let’s go ahead and delve in and look at the difference between a natural sugar, like the type of sugar you’d get from, say, fruit, versus the type of sugar you get from high fructose corn syrup, because as most of you probably know, fructose is the primary sugar in fruit and of course, fructose is also a component of high fructose corn syrup. Fructose itself is basically what’s referred to as a simple sugar. There are three simple sugars that are in our diets or in our foods or in nature, and those are glucose, galactose and fructose. Now, fructose is interesting because it is processed by the human body a little bit different than glucose. And the reason for that is because fructose gets absorbed by the intestine the same way as the other sugars that you consume do. And it gets basically transported from the intestine via a special type of transport protein into your blood stream. But the interesting thing is that this process is not regulated by the hormone, insulin. When you consume something like glucose, insulin is released by your pancreas and it either will transport the glucose into your liver where the glucose could be stored as carbohydrate or converted into fat, or it’ll transport that glucose into your muscles. Fructose, however, is not something that is controlled by insulin. So when you consume fructose, you don’t get that same insulin release. Now the reason that that might be a bad thing for some people is because if you don’t get that insulin release, and you don’t get that surge in insulin after consuming a meal that contains fructose, you don’t get the same type of appetite suppressing effect as you would from a meal that is causing that release in insulin and the storage of the blood sugars. In addition, fructose has been associated with a high conversion in the liver into what are called triacylglycerols or triglycerides, which are circulating fatty acids and so they can really have an effect in terms of your weight gain, as well. Now, of course, that’s only an issue for you if you’re sitting down to a meal of say, four apples, or eight tablespoons of high fructose corn syrup. In most cases, most people, especially physically active people don’t need to worry or fret too much about moderate amounts of fructose intake. But the question is, what is the difference between getting your fructose from something like a fruit, or something like high fructose corn syrup. And although the actual fructose molecule per se is very similar between high fructose corn syrup and the fruit that you would get in say, something like an apple, there are other elements in a piece of fruit that go way beyond the high fructose corn syrup. Specifically, you’re getting fiber, you’re getting water, you’re getting phytonutrients and you’re getting the synergistic interaction of all the components in that fruit. And you take something as simple as the fiber in that fruit, and that’s going to automatically slightly lower the glycemic index or the rate at which that fructose is going to be released into the blood stream. And so you get a little bit more stabilization of blood sugar levels when you consume your fructose from a fiber and water and phytonutrient-containing source versus consuming your fructose from a high fructose corn syrup source. Now, one of the bigger issues to me for high fructose corn syrup is the corn part of high fructose corn syrup. Because most of the corn that you’re going to find in a high fructose corn syrup that’s in processed foods or preserved foods is going to be genetically modified corn. And there are a lot of unknowns out there when it comes to genetic modification and its potential effect on the human body. I wouldn’t necessarily come right out and say that you’re going to get cancer, you’re going to grow a third eyeball, but I personally try to steer clear of these many genetically modified agricultural products as possible simply because I don’t really see a lot of research out there proving that they’re going to be safe to consume. I don’t see a lot of research out there either that proves the opposite, but I like to play it on the safe side and not consume a lot of genetically modified food. So you’re getting that corn component of high fructose corn syrup and then there are a lot of issues that high fructose corn syrup in terms of the damage that it has been shown to cause. For example, the consumption of high fructose corn syrup is linked to diabetes and insulin resistance. It’s highly correlated to obesity and deposition of especially abdominal-based belly fat cells. It’s linked to high blood pressure; it’s linked to high triglycerides, which I mentioned that because it so efficiently converted into triglycerides in the liver, furthermore it can cause damage to the liver with something called fatty liver disease. It can produce a higher amount of uric acid in the blood, which can lead to uric acid crystals forming in your joints and the name for that is gout. A lot of people who drink a lot of soda, especially with high fructose corn syrup, increase the risk of gout. High fructose corn syrup can potentially have detectable levels of mercury in it, and that’s because they use caustic soda to separate the corn starch from the kernel when they make the corn part of high fructose corn syrup. And that caustic soda actually contains traces of mercury. High fructose corn syrup consumption is linked to kidney disease. It’s linked to memory impairment. It’s linked to pancreatic tumors. So there’s a lot of issues that have been found with high fructose corn syrup that have not been found with fruit. Usually because, again, the other components that you’re consuming along with the fructose in fruit are balancing or stabilizing the way that the fructose in fruit is metabolized. And in addition, you’re not getting a factory-produced, chemically-produced fructose derivative. You’re rather getting a naturally-grown fructose developed in the fruit as it was growing. So fructose for anyone is something that I do encourage to consume only in moderation, just because of the weight loss effect that they can have. I, generally, just have a rule that I try to limit myself to eating no high fructose corn syrup. I would get every label and don’t eat any high fructose corn syrup. And then I limit myself to about the equivalent of two pieces of fresh, raw fruit per day. If I were a diabetic, I would not be eating that much fruit. I’d probably be eating closer to one a day. Furthermore, if I wanted to lose weight, one of the things that I would cut from my diet would be fruit consumption. And then finally, some fruits don’t get absorbed in the small intestine. It can pass through and get absorbed in the large intestine, the fructose from that. And that can cause imploding and indigestion especially before exercise. So if you’re someone who’s consuming like dates based produced fruits, fructose sources, things like that, and you’re experiencing bloating or indigestion during exercise, you may want to consider switching to something other than fruit or a fructose source for your workout meal.
Mer asks: I was wondering what is a good place to start with hemp proteins. I’m staring down hempseed oil, shelled hemp seeds and hemp protein powder. I’ve seen your wife, Jessa, mix up the stuff with the oil, but is that good for smoothies, too? I can’t buy all of them at the moment, so where would you start?
Ben: Well, first of all, the reason that we like to use hemp is hemp’s pretty cool stuff. Not only does it have a high amount of those omega 3 fatty acids that we’ll talk about later on in the podcast interview with Udo Erasmus, but it’s also a great source of amino acid as well. It’s got plenty of the essential amino acids in it, including 10 of them that the body can’t produce itself. And of course, the amino acids are your building blocks for protein necessary to, not only your muscle tissue, but also a healthy immune system and healthy hormone formation. So it’s one of those things that’s nice to have around as a good source to grab for amino acids. So for example, the Living Protein stuff that I encourage anybody who’s wanting a vegan or vegetarian source of protein to consume, that contains hemp as one of the biggest primary sources of protein. The Living Protein is something that you can easily get over at pacificfit.net. But suppose you didn’t want like a powder-based hemp protein, you can also get a hemp oil. And you can use that the same way that you could use like a flax oil. You could use hemp oil in something like salad dressing. For example, you have a salad dressing recipe and it’s calling for vegetable oil such as canola oil or sunflower oil, you could use a hemp oil instead and get a lot of those better ratio of the omega 3’s, and you’d also get some of those amino acids that come along with hemp. I always recommend hemp seed or flax seeds. Even if you eat them raw, you’re getting a lot of the fiber effect, so you’re moving food through your body, you’re improving digestion, you’re slowing down the absorption of fats, the release of sugars, but when you consume a seed whole, you miss out on a lot of nutrients that are inside the seed such as the oils and the amino acids. So I would encourage you to grind hemp and add it to something like a smoothie, or you could also use the oil like I mentioned earlier. You can also, if you didn’t want to use the hemp seeds, for example, my wife makes a salad, a quinoa salad, and she basically just mixes up quinoa with vegetables like freshly chopped parsley and carrots, a little bit of mint, cilantro, some green onions. You can put some crushed red pepper flakes in there or some black pepper, typically a little bit of lime juice, a little bit of sea salt. You can put a little bit of maple syrup on there if you want a bit of a sweetener, that’s a good way to sweeten this particular meal. And then you put about a half cup of hemp seed and a cup or so of quinoa. And that’s a great meal that’s going to stick to your rib. It will be very high in protein, high in fat. I will put that recipe in the show notes for you. So grind the hemp, throw it in smoothies, use the oil in salad dressings, try the protein in smoothies, or take the hemp seeds and put them in a quinoa type of salad, and those would be some great ways to start with hemp.
Bruce asks: A few weeks ago, I had a bit of a head cold. I was taking Advil Cold & Sinus to keep my symptoms minimized and I noticed that when I went for a run, I felt faster, lighter and like I could run forever. I thought it might be the Pseudoephedrine in the medication. So, once I was over the cold, I tried going for a run about 20 minutes after taking one capsule of Advil Cold & Sinus, and sure enough I got that energy boost again. My question is, I know Pseudoephedrine is a controlled medication in Canada (where I live) likely due to Meth Labs springing up and has been on-and-off the banned list for the Olympics. But is it safe to exercise when taking it? Is there any reason why someone shouldn’t pop a couple of Advil before a road race, shinny game or even a marathon to get that energy boost?
Ben: Pseudoephedrine basically, the way that it works is it crosses what’s called basal constriction, which is the narrowing of the blood vessels and the release of norepinephrine or noradrenaline from your neurons and when you release that noradrenaline, you can get a feeling of increased energy. You also get those constricted blood vessels, however, which can increase blood pressure. And that can be an issue during hard and heavy exercise. So while you are going to get that energy high, you may also experience that high blood pressure and consistent use of pseudoephedrine and consistent exercise with a high blood pressure can potentially be dangerous. Some people have some GI effects like gastric irritation from taking a pseudoephedrine-containing compound. And then the last things that you may want to be careful of is anxiety and increased stress, nervousness, irritability, when you take something like that. But the pseudoephedrine, like if you would just hand me pseudoephedrine and tell me to go for a run, I’m not going to be that concerned that your blood pressure’s gonna go up. Well, I would think twice about taking it before a marathon. Just a straight up pseudoephedrine, I wouldn’t be super concerned about. What I want to be more concerned about would be the other components of Advil, specifically the non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug component, or ibuprofen component of Advil, because that blocks out prostaglandins. And prostaglandins cause pain, so that’s good if it blocks out pain. But prostaglandins also protect your stomach lining. So when you take a non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, it can cause stomach upset or it can cause gastro intestinal bleeding. And that’s a big issue. So they have studied non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use in athletes found very little performance benefits and found that by masking pain, you could increase your risk of injury, which makes sense. So one study found that when people took about 400mg of ibuprofen before exercise, they reduce their perception of muscle soreness, but it didn’t actually prevent muscle cell injury and the way that they looked at that was they looked at levels of creatine kinase, which is a protein that indicates muscle inflammation that actually increase more in the group that was taking ibuprofen than in the group that didn’t. So the group that took the ibuprofen did more damage to their bodies during the exercise session. They also say the use of the stuff during Ironman Triathlon and that caused some pretty big problems. Really increase risk of something called exertional hyponatremia, which indicates altered kidney function and basically that’s because of poor fluid transport and basal constriction leading to dehydration and a drop in pressure at the kidneys and kidney failure. And they also did a study on ibuprofen used in the 100-mile western states trail running race and what they found was that the group that took ibuprofen had much higher blood levels and inflammatory markers and muscle damage they found out the same level of soreness across the groups. No difference in the race times, no difference in the rating of perceived exertion. So basically, once again, ibuprofen was found to cause increased damage. The last thing that you may want to consider is that with that decrease in prostaglandins and protection of the stomach, you can get what’s called a gastric toxicity, so you get a lot of leaking of the other things that you’re consuming into your blood stream along with the ibuprofen and once again increase your risk to go into a toxic shock, especially during something like an ironman or marathon. So pseudoephedrine, not that big of a deal. The other components in Advil, something to worry about. So be careful.
Bill asks: I was wondering if you ever commented before on Lew Hollander, an 80 yr old KONA Ironman finisher. What are your thoughts on his supplement recommendations?
Ben: Lew Hollander is an 80-year old guy. If you watched the NBC coverage of the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii, amazing guy. Finished the race and he’s a motivational speaker and he does have a website where he gives out supplement recommendations. When I saw him on Ironman, he was drinking Red Bull, which is not all that great to your red blood cells when you’re exercising. But that’s a full different can of worms. Anyway, you ask me what I think about his supplements. So I went his website and looked at what his suggested supplements for the aging athlete actually are. And here’s what he says: When you wake up, you drink this cocktail. And his cocktail is a greens supplement, mixed with magnesium supplement, mixed with Vitamin C, mixed with glutamine, mixed with cod liver oil, mixed with glucosamine chondroitin. So he mixes that with a glass of orange juice, drinks it down. Not too bad. I actually discourage people from taking a high fiber supplement along with their oil, because that fiber can wrap around the oil and decrease absorption of it a little bit. So I’d be careful taking a lot of high fiber supplements with your fish oil, your cod liver oil and try to put those up at a different time during the day. But ultimately, not bad for a morning cocktail. The only other thing I’d recommend is that if you were taking this magnesium supplement in the morning, take it before bed instead to help you sleep. And then he takes, looks like a mix of a bunch of amino acids in the morning. Great! Those are going to help decrease a lot of muscle breakdown. He’s got lysine, taurine, methianine… I don’t want to turn into a pharmacist here, just rattling all the different supplements. But he takes amino acids in the morning, so great! There’s not a problem with that. During the day, he takes biloba, great for the brain; a couple of garlic tablets, good for the GI tract, blood pressure. He takes some folic acid. Another Vitamin B complex. Looks like he takes selenium so he’s getting some good action for his prostate there. Coenzyme Q10 which I recommend everyone take no matter what. Whether you’re an athlete, non-athlete, coenzyme Q10’s a great supplement to take. I use Race Caps from HammerNutrition. He takes 5000 mcg sublingual drops of Vitamin B, and then before bed he takes more amino acids and more Vitamin B. Seeing a lot of Vitamin B, but the reason that he’s probably taking all that Vitamin B is just because it really is essential to cellular metabolism and it can impact your energy levels quite a bit if you take it throughout the day. It’s water soluble, not really an over toxic. Most of the stuff he’s taking is actually pretty good. I’d question how much you’re going to spend if you jump in to this supplement protocol. That’s why, I don’t know if anybody listened to the interview I did with James Odio from Bionics Supermodel. But the Bionics Supermodel has a lot of this stuff in there and it’s not cheap. I think it’s like $150 a month for that supplementation protocol. I’m guessing this one that he’s listing in his website is pretty similar. But you know, if you have $150 a month to burn and you want to feel great, look great and live longer and do the stuff that you’re doing when you’re 80, this stuff would actually help. Pretty good little protocol. This guy Lew Hollander is doing the right thing when it comes to aging. So if you’re an aging male, and you have questions for me, or you want me to help you with your supplement protocol, shoot me an e-mail, [email protected] and I’ll kind of help you put together something like what Lew’s got together.
Kelsey asks: What is the difference between an interval workout using threshold vs. VO2 Max?
Ben: This is a pretty easy question to answer, Kelsey. Threshold. When you hear that word thrown around, what threshold is is there is a point during exercise at which your body begins to run a little bit low on oxygen, meaning that your muscles are using up more oxygen than your lungs or your cardiovascular system is actually able to deliver to your muscles. And at that point, your muscles begin to produce lactic acid. And lactic acid not only makes your muscles burn, but also makes you need to breathe harder, because when you exhale carbon dioxide, that’s one of the ways that you buffer or break down lactic acid more quickly. So at threshold, your muscles start to burn from the lactic acid, you start to breathe a lot harder and generally, exercise becomes markedly less comfortable. That is what threshold is. And when you exercise at threshold, not only do you burn a lot of calories, but you also train your body to build up less lactic acid or to shift to producing all that lactic acid, or using all that oxygen at a higher intensity. So the VO2 max is different from the threshold. Typically, VO2 max occurs anywhere from about ten to twenty heart rate beats above where your threshold occurs. And what VO2 max is is that’s the maximum rate of oxygen absorption that you can get to. So you’ve got past the point when your muscles are burning and you’re breathing hard. Now you’re sucking in as much air as possible, you’re burning close to 100% carbohydrate, your heart is very, very close to maximum capacity and you are working at a 100, even a 110% all out red hot intensity. When I’ve done VO2 max test on people in my lab, I’ve never seen them be able to sustain VO2 max for more than 2 minutes. Now a typical workout to improve your threshold would be to go out and do 5 x 5-minute efforts with your legs burning and you would rest 5 minutes or fully recover between each of those efforts. A workout to improve VO2 max might be 10 x 30-seconds all out efforts with 4 minutes of rest between each of those 30 seconds all out efforts. So there’s a different way to train each of these separate systems as well. But that’s the idea between the threshold and the VO2 max and any good training program is going to have certain components of the program that train both of those elements of fitness, although in my opinion, for people like triathletes, marathoners, or swimmers, working out at threshold is more important that working out in VO2 max.
Shawn asks: Just wondering if you are familiar with the breathing techniques from something called BreathPlay?
Ben: What BreathPlay is, you can read about it at breathplay.com, but it’s basically a series of CDs that you purchase and they provide you with coaching in a certain breathing tempo and breathing patterns. So you learn these exercises and breathing techniques that supposedly are going to help you breathe more deeply, stay more relaxed, especially during exercise, and essentially improve your performance due to the increased amount of oxygen that you’re able to consume by breathing deeper and the improved relaxation of your inspiratory and expiratory muscles. So the philosophy behind BreathPlay makes sense. I personally never use the CDs. If you’ve used the CDs then leave a comment or tell us your experience on the comments to the shownotes for Episode #127. But it makes sense because if you learn whether via yoga or via BreathPlay or via pure concentration on your part to do things like breathing in through your nose, and then breathe out through slightly pursed lips to slightly flare your nostrils when you breathe to control the rhythm of your breathing so that you are, for example, breathing out or exhaling during the most difficult phases of exercise, for example, on foot strike when you’re running or as you press up when you’re bench pressing or squatting. If you learn how to use your diaphragm when you breathe, for example, breathing deep in the back of your mouth or breathe within your belly or your belly button, you’re going to turn yourself into a higher oxygen consuming machine no matter what. And if it takes a couple of CDs to teach you how to do that versus a yoga class, versus just sitting at your desk focusing on breathing, I think it could be very effective. That’s my thoughts on the BreathPlay and again, if you’ve used them, let me know, leave a comment so that we can see your experience.
So those are all the questions for this week. Remember, if you have a question to use the new form at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, and you can find that form above the listener question for any of the podcast show notes. If you got any of the podcast episodes, click on the episode, scroll down and you can ask your question, and that will be a very, very good way to do things going forward. The way to ask your question would be to call it in, or to ask your question using the free iPhone app.
Ben: Hey, folks, this is Ben Greenfield and on the line today, I have Udo Erasmus, and aside from the book Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, and we’ll put on a link to that book for you in the show notes because it’s a fantastic read, Udo has quite a few accomplishments. He has a PhD in Nutrition and many years of research in nutrition that actually went into that book Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill. He’s recognized as an international authority on fats, oils, cholesterol, you name it. If it has to do with dietary fat, he really knows that topic quite well. And back in the ‘80s, he actually began to pioneer technology for pressing and producing oils that are a little bit different than the type of oils that most folks use as a vegetable oil source. What Udo and I are going to talk about today is fat in general, dietary fat, also some of the unique type of oil that Udo recommends that people prioritize in their diet. So, Udo, thank you for coming on the call today.
Udo: Well, my pleasure.
Ben: The first thing that I’d like to start in to, because we have highlighted before the importance of essential fatty acids on the show, but I thought we’d start out with a bang and talk for a second about the link between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease, because I think a lot of people find that to be confusing. Whether or not going out and eating beef and butter and maybe dairy with saturated fats in it and cheese is going to be bad for you from the cardiovascular perspective, or not. So what’s your take on saturated fats and the link between them and cardiovascular disease that seems to be constantly reported by the USDA?
Udo: Okay. That’s complete misrepresentation based on misunderstanding. Let me explain why I say that. There are more cardiovascular problems that come from hydrogenated fats, the trans fatty acids, the margarines for short names, the junk food fats you find in junk foods, the correlation to cardio from those is much higher than that with saturated fat. Having said that, here’s the saturated fat story. Saturated fats will make your platelets more sticky. That means they pre-dispose you, or they raise your risk for heart attack, stroke or embolism, and they make you more insulin resistant which means they take you in the direction of diabetes. That’s what the doctors are reporting. That’s why they say buy your steak, cut the fat off, you know, don’t eat that stuff. Here’s where the mistake is. The omega 3’s, which are my specialty, newest essential nutrients which every cell in the body needs, they are essential nutrients, essential fatty acids, were only established to be essential in 1981. Those, when you increase them in optimal, they actually make your platelets less sticky and they make you more insulin sensitive, so they work against the problems that saturated fats can cause. If you bring in and optimize your omega 3’s, you can eat saturated fats til the cows come home and never have a cardiovascular problem. So what is being blamed on the saturated fats, should actually be blamed on the lack of an essential nutrient that 99.99% of the population doesn’t get enough of, that actually works to prevent the problems that saturated fats cause when omega 3s are deficient in a diet. So this is really an omega 3 deficiency issued, not a saturated fat issue.
Ben: I know that you’re probably exaggerating when you say eating saturated fats until the cows come home, but I’m curious about what type of level we’re talking of, because if you look at, say the USDA’s recommendations, I know you’re up there in Canada, but down here, they’re telling us that we should, depending on total calorie intake, shoot for anywhere between about 20 to 30 grams of saturated fat, or about less than 10% of the total daily calorie intake. Now, what you’re saying is, if you have enough omega 3s, you can eat more than that. How much more?
Udo: Well you know, you can opt to 6% of calories from fats and never die of fat-related diseases, provided, a. that the fats are not damaged. We eat a lot of damaged fat. And b. that they have enough Omega 3 and enough Omega 6 in direct ratio together. You can go up like 60%. You know, the doctors actually give epileptic kids a diet that’s 80% of calories from saturated fat for 2 or 3 years, sometimes that cures the epilepsy. Change in mental function slows them down, decrease the epilepsy and often cures it. You can go up to 80% of calories of calories from saturated fat for 2 or 3 years and still not die.
Ben: You mentioned whether or not the fat was actually damaged. Now, is it possible to damage a saturated fat? I know it’s a very stable fat that you could, you know, for example, leave it out in the heat or in the sunlight and it wouldn’t damage as quickly as say like a vegetable oil, but how do you damage a saturated fat? What are some damaged saturated fat sources that people might be exposed to?
Udo: Okay. The saturated fats are more stable than the liquid oils. But when you fry fats or oil, you increase inflammation, you increase cancer. Both when it’s just overheated fat or when it’s overheated starch, or when it’s overheated protein. All three of them increase cancer and increase inflammation risks. And so frying is the no-no. That’s the big no. More damaged fats are the liquid ones. They’re actually more sensitive. So cooking oils are damaged. A million damaged molecules for the body’s 60 trillion cells in a tablespoon of cooking oil. That is 1% damage by being treated with drano, then window washing acids, then bleach, then into the frying temperature. Plus, those oils contain pesticides and those also inhibit functions and performance in all of that. So I say to people, you body needs an oil change, just like the car. You want to get off those dirty oils that affect he engine and you want to get on clean oils that make everything work smooth.
Ben: Now what about, say coconut oil or butter? If you’re gonna cook, you’re gotta cook in something. How much damage, how much risk are people taking on if they’re frying food in those oils.
Udo: Less than liquid oils, more than cooking in water. The preferred from a health perspective and performance perspective is cook in water add good oil after. So what you do is you cook in water, then when it comes off, you can put Omega 6. You can put it in hot soup or steamed vegetables, not just in the frying pan. I tell people, take your frying pan, turn it upside down, hit yourself with the side on the head so it really hurts, because that thing is gonna cause you a lot of pain.
Ben: So you’re talking about like steaming and boiling in forms of cooking like that.
Udo: Yeah, pressure cook, yeah, that’s how people cook a hundred years ago before the oil industry was invented. That’s only been about a hundred years. That’s how people cool. Even olive oil was not used to fry. They cook in water, dump the water, put the olive oil on. Why did they do it? Flavor enhancement, better absorption of nutrients, and you didn’t wreck the food and you didn’t wreck the oil.
Ben: Now, I’d like to ask you a little bit, you know, we talked and you mentioned about essential fatty acid before on this show, and so I don’t want to insult people’s intelligence by going that, the elementary of what essential fatty acid is, but I have in front of me a bottle of your 3-6-9 blend oil and it’s something that I’ve been taking on a regular basis. For example, I just had lunch and my lunch, in celebration of my upcoming interview with you was an avocado and a little bit of this oil and some homemade flax seed crackers and a couple of eggs. And this oil has an interesting blend, you’ve got flax oil, sunflower, sesame, coconut, cream rose, rice bran, oat germ, soya lecithin, all these oils blended together and I know you probably didn’t just have thrown these in here. Why do you put an oil like these together the way that you do?
Udo: You do not probably know, but in 1986, I wrote a book. It’s now called Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill. In 1986 I also wrote the book Flax Oil. Everybody knows it. But I became Omega 6 deficient from flax oil, because it has a lot of 3 but not enough 6. I got dry eyes, skipped heartbeats, arthritis-like pain in finger joints, and thin papery skin. Those were classic Omega 6 deficiency symptoms. And I fixed those by eating sunflower. But it got me thinking. What would it take to make one oil that has all the good stuff and none of the bad stuff. That’s why we made that. The ratio between Omega 3 and 6 is in most effective for performance and for health because the Omega 3’s, we hydrate the Omega 3’s. They’re the ones that are too low in everybody. You don’t want to go back to the cooking oil with dirty Omega 6s, because they would inhibit body functions. So the idea was, because people would always say to me, this is a complicated area, and we see the different fatty acids, and we see the different amount of fat, and there’s good ones, saturated, unsaturated, blah, blah, blah. This is complicated. The blend was made to answer that question and make it simple for people.
Ben: Gotcha. Now, I got to be totally honest with you. I take fish oil, because this oil of yours that I have here in my table doesn’t have any EPA and DHA in it. And those are of course very important in terms of our cell membranes. And you know, their role as prostaglandin and things of that nature. So do you think somebody else should take a fish oil or why don’t you have EPA and DHA in your blend?
Udo: Because in the market place the fish oil industry tells you the body can convert. That may be true for 8 to 10 of the population that don’t convert well, that do better with a supplement. The rest of us do if we have enough starting material. The problem is 99.9% of the population doesn’t get enough starting material to do the conversion of Omega 3. Even if the body could not convert any of the ALA Omega 3 in Udo’s oil. Because you’re talking about 2 things. One is the food fat foundation and the other one is the supplement. Fish oil is a supplement. Get what, about blends a day if you follow doctor’s orders. Never more than 5 often only 1 in a ton of people on this planet including 300 million Hindus have never eaten fish or taken fish oil. And their brains, their eyeballs and their sperm were just as well as ours do. And they have vegetable sources of ALA. And they will be doing the conversion. Otherwise, they will be dumb, like Hindus are idiots, blind and sterile. Even if you didn’t convert and for a moment let’s just say Udo’s oil cannot convert into fish oil. Not true but let’s save up for a minute. You still need it, because it’s supposed to read, it’s not fish oil. But they cooking oil which we use for 2, 3, 4 tablespoons a day at 14 g per table spoon. So usually about 50 gms., which is the amount of intake per day , which is about 100gm, plus or minus. It’s cooking oils and those we replace with Udo’s oil, because Udo’s oil has both Omegas 3 and 6, has them in the right ratio, is packed in glass. You don’t want to end up with plastic in your oil and that is the healthy alternative to the damaged cooking oils in plastics. So this is a bad cooking oil replacement. The food oil foundation and everybody needs a foundation made in health and mind. Some people can get more benefit if they add supplements to that, but nobody can be healthy on supplements alone, and that’s what needs to be understood. More problem come from bad foundation because there’s so much of it then come from whether you get or don’t as a supplement. Supplements cannot fix what’s wrong with the foundation. A better foundation is the only way to fix that. Just buy the blend. You can supplements on top of it, but not instead of it. That’s ridiculous.
Ben: Now, what type of nutritional deficiency would I need to have if I were say unable to convert Udo’s oil in terms of EPA or DHA? You mentioned that if you had the proper nutrition and the proper elements in place that you could do that conversion. Can someone be in deficiency that would quit so they aren’t able to convert if you change oil.
Udo: Yeah. If you have no start material, then you have no conversion.
Ben: And what would the starting material be?
Udo: Alpha linolenic acid.
Ben: Okay, alright. Got it.
Udo: The one in flax, that makes them 50 % of Udo’s oil. As you can get, I recommend a tablespoon per 50lbs of body weight per day. Some athletes used that much. I also recommend that people who do the long races like triathletes and marathoners. That instead of car bloating for the race, they carb deplete and run the race on fat in their body. And tank up of Omega 3’s because they term on the fat burning mechanism in the body. Really, really effectively. And the people who’s taking the challenge, coz that’s a little bit of what we think we ought to do. Come back and they say it was awesome. I never had that time that you get when you want the card in the long races. And I had stable energy and at the end of it I felt that who could cheat running.
Ben: Yeah. You know, I find it interesting that, they just started to do more and more studies that replace carbohydrate base drinks with with certain percentages of protein. Keep the two drinks at the same number of calories and they found that the same performance was reached on the drink that was replaced partially with protein. Not one study has been done yet with fat. It’s interesting.
Udo: But Ben, if you place the calories with good fats, we’ve done a couple of studies with Udo’s oil, hoping within a month of starting on a tablespoon for 50 lbs of body weight per day of the blend. Standard amount in athletes, and we’ve worked with elite athletes with strength and endurance athletes, 40 to 60% increased stamina. Just on oil. There’s nothing that does it better.
Udo: One of the guys actually said I’d have to give Udo’s oil 15.
Ben: And the joints problems, their injuries heal in a third or half the time. Explosive powers through the roof. Of course the triathletes don’t need that so much, unless you’re a strong man. Their recovery time after their workouts down from 3 days to 1 day. The intervals, the rest between sets down from 5 minutes to 2 minutes. And at the end of the set, they’re all worked out. Not that they follow a particular program. That’s the increase in stamina you’ll get when you get the right oil undamaged preponderant in Omega 3 and you use enough of them.
Ben: Why is it that you wouldn’t want to heat this oil? Or why is it that you want to make sure that you use some type of oil that’s been gently extracted?
Udo: The more effective the oil is for any production, and Omega 3’s are about 5 times more effective than Omega 6. Even though both of them are essential for functions in the body. The more effective the oil is in the body, the more chemically sensitive it is to damage by light. And so to make these oils high in Omega 3, we have to protect itfrom life, oxygen and heat. That’s why I’ve been going brown glass bottles. That’s why the body goes in the box, to keep the light out, that’s why they’re refrigerated at the factory, in shipping if it’s more than 2 weeks. So when we did ship it to you, it’s refrigerated. That’s why they’re kept refrigerated in the health food stores and the gyms, that’s you why keep it refrigerated at home. That’s why we never use it for frying, because frying damages the oil. But only add it to food as the food comes out the fire.
Ben: Got it.
Udo: This is how I say it. If you treat oils with care it will take care of your health. If you damage them they will damage your health and if you fry, they will fry your health. So you don’t want to do that. The performance cannot be better than the machine that’s performing and the fuel that it uses to burn to create that performance.
Ben: You have listed as one of the ingredients in here, and this is something that I know concern some people when they see it, soy lecithin. Why is it that you have soy lecithin as an ingredient in this oil?
Udo: Because it makes the oil easier to emulsify, which makes it easier to digest, which makes it easier to absorb. And because it’s in there, the athlete tell within half an hour to an hour of taking their oil, they find that they have an increase, feel that they have an increase in the energy. The problem with soy? It has some thyroid inhibiting issues, it has some allergy issues. Those do not, the protein does not end up in the lecithin. The thyroid inhibitors end up in the bean, they don’t end up in the lecithin. The way that it’s actually taken out of the seed into oil soluble, and most of these problems in soy beans are not oil soluble molecules, and then the lecithin is taken out of the oil soluble with water. So it’s the process by which it’s made separates from all of this stuff. And then the other thing that you’ve got to remember a billion Chinese can’t be entirely wrong. Soy bean as a protein or meat extender other than a meat replacement that you won’t run into those problems.
Ben: I know and I’ve seen a lot of the people listening to the show are endurance athletes or triathletes. I’ve seen advertisings in triathlete magazines for this stuff, being kind of like you mentioned as kind of like the oil that keeps your car’s engine going. One of the things that I’m a little bit concerned about, the one area that I haven’t started using this oil for is like before I go to a race or before I go to a hard competition, because I’m concerned about gastric emptying, digestion of fats taking a long period of time or maybe causing some summit distress. How does that actually work in terms of using something like a fat for competition and not experiencing stomach ache?
Udo: Are you talking about drinking oil while you’re racing?
Ben: I’m more talking about let’s say I’m going to take in a pre-workout meal, or a pre-race meal, two hours before. You know, I take in 2 to 3 tablespoons of this stuff. You know, I know as an athlete that fact takes a longer time to digest and then carbohydrates. So how does that work?
Udo: The Omega 3, I call them the fat burning fire starter. What you want to race on if you’re smart, you run the race on the fat already in your body. The Omega 3 makes it easier for your body to burn that fat. And I figured out in numbers. You know, if your carb lows 400 grams, you can run about 20 miles on that. If your 8 % body weight, which is relatively lean already, and you weigh 150 pounds, that’s 12 pounds of fat in your body. If you ran half of that down, coz you’d be dead if you ran all the time, you can’t have a body that’s alive without any fat in it, but if you ran half of it, you’d be down to 4 % of b0dy fat. You could run 300 miles in it. So fat has always be the body’s fuel, and carbs, you can’t, carb low, because carbs are actually dangerous. Because a lot of the insulin, high blood sugar and low blood sugar, the cravings, the falling asleep, the driving off the road, that comes from the blood sugar booster. And the fact that they turn on fat burning and turn on fat production, and they inhibit fat burning in your body.
Ben: What about higher intensities?
Udo: What about it?
Ben: Well, you know, like sprints triathlon versus an ultra marathon we’re you’re moving at a slower pace at a lower heart rate. Have you, in the experience that you’ve seen as a nutritionist or an adviser, seen any differences between fat use or the digestibility of fat at that intensity versus a lower intensity?
Udo: Yes, it’s not the digestibility. It’s that when you rough an organ 20 miles or the equivalent of the energy you need for 20 miles, fats are your preference. If you’re roughing the short races, you can run them on carbs. But can’t run a long run from carbs unless you keep eating carbs. But you’re actually becoming better and you have a more stable energy and you have a higher level of energy when you run the entire long race on body’s fat plus Omega 3 that you can load before the race that you can take small amounts during the race and a teaspoon gets you 9 calories, right? So if you don’t need the bulk food, so you can do that during the race. If you take a teaspoon of oil on an empty stomach, whatever it is, every 2 miles, however you pace that, actually works. And there isn’t a problem with getting indigestion. Our athletes say, within a half hour to an hour, they notice the spike in energy level.
Ben: How do they keep the oil cool during these events where they’re taking it on a regular basis?
Udo: You can keep the oil warm for a certain time.
Udo: If you took a bottle along, how long does it take?
Ben: Well, take for example a 10-hour long Ironman event.
Udo: Well, it’s not a problem at all. Ten hours is enough. You can have it unrefrigerated for 2 weeks, closed. But they don’t go that fast. It’s just that air gets in and then gradually the process begins. For any of, for a 10-hour race, even a 2-day race, even a 3, 4-day race, it’ll be okay.
Ben: Okay. So if I were to pour some of the stuff in a flask, I could take it out with me on say like a long bike ride on a warm dayand I would be doing damage than good?
Udo: What I would do is when I take the oil, when I take a swig of oil, I would swish it and get it really mixed with saliva. And it becomes quite liquid. And it starts to taste sweet. And then swallow it, and I think, this what makes it easy to digest. It really is not a digestive load. I think the digestive load usually comes from eating too much oil at any one time. Or from having liver toxicity. Thus sometimes people feel tired or heavy or nauseous when they take a lot of oil in an empty stomach. That’s the liver saying, that doesn’t mean that they don’t digest and absorb, but it means they didn’t digest and absorb and the liver is saying don’t give me so much to quit. So that’s why I recommend you mix it and spit it out over the course of the day. In the 60’s, we were told saturated fat was the best fuel. In the 80’s, they figured out that carbs get you more energy than saturated fat. Just at the beginning of 2000, they show that Omega 3 and 6 rich balanced oils not damaged by processes get you more energy than carbs do.
Ben: Yeah. And I definitely know the difference since I skewed the fat percentage of my diet way up.
Udo: Plus to get you a long list of other health benefits where carbs get you a long list of problems, including wrinkling and aging, insulin spikes, aging faster, taking minerals out of bones and teeth, feeding bacteria and virus and cancer cells and then getting the blood sugar in mood swings, and getting you to fall asleep if you’re a kid, or on the road and driving off the road if you’re a truck driver who’s eating a high carb meal then sitting in the truck. Omega 3 and 6 are essential, there are no essential carbs. Omega 3 and 6 will get to every cell in the body where the body needs them. They get you benefits in every part of the body as a side effect of taking enough to maximize your energy level.
Ben: Absolutely. You’re a true expert on fats, and I really appreciate the time that you’ve given us today. This book that you’ve written, I would highly recommend, folks, check out Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill. And for those of you who’ve been wondering about the oil that we are just talking about, this 3-6-9 blend, pretty simple, you just keep it in your refrigerator and like Udo said, it’s in a glass bottle. I’ll make sure that I put a link on the shownotes to be able to get that and also to Udo’s book.
Udo: You’ll find it in the fridge in a health food store and under Udo’s choice. It also works with enzymes, probiotics and fiber and mostly for digestion. And it’s under Udo’s Choice, it’s called Udo’s Oil, has my picture on it and in a blend glass bottle, in a box, in the fridge, in the supplements section in the health food stores or in the gyms.
Ben: Yeah. So people, fat phobia can be killing you, and it could be really limiting your performance, so open up your mind and don’t fear fat. Don’t fear fat.
Udo: Good fat.
Ben: Yes, exactly. Udo, thank you for your time today and coming out on the call.
Udo: Okay, Ben. It’s my pleasure. I hope somebody can benefit from the information.
Ben: Absolutely. So folks, that’s Udo Erasmus. I’ll put a link to his book, Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, in the shownotes of this episode, Episode #127. I will also put a link to the Udo 3-6-9 Oil that I personally take. The last thing is please, remember to leave this show a ranking in iTunes if you are able to. Just go to iTunes, and it’s pretty easy: Type in BenGreenfield or BenGreenfieldFitness, you’ll be able to find the show and leave it a ranking, really helps out. So that is all for this week from BenGreenfieldFitness.com. We’re gonna finish with a final special message and I wish you a wonderful week.
For personal nutrition, fitness or triathlon consulting, supplements, books or DVD’s from Ben Greenfield, please visit Pacific Elite Fitness at http://www.pacificfit.net