Fat Processing: Extraction (Previous Sidebar Post)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Fast Food Fact:

'Kay, this is the updated info on sugar and your immune system:

One teaspoon of sugar knocks your immune system out by 80% for one hour. So if you have a can of Coke, which contains 7 tsp. of sugar,
first thing in the morning, you are working on twenty percent of your immune system's potential strength until supper--and that is only assuming you consume
no other sugar that day!

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It is important to understand that, of all substances ingested by the body, it is polyunsaturated oils that are rendered most dangerous by food processing, especially unstable omega-3 linoleic acid. Consider the following processes inflicted upon naturally occurring fatty acids before they appear on our tables:


    Extraction: Oils naturally occurring in fruits, nuts and seeds must first be extracted. In the old days this extraction was achieved by slow-moving stone presses. But oils processed in large factories are obtained by crushing the oil-bearing seeds and heating them to 230 degrees Fahrenheit. The oil is then squeezed out at pressures from 10 to 20 tons per inch, thereby generating more heat. During this process the oils are exposed to damaging light and oxygen. In order to extract the last 10 percent of the oil from the crushed seeds, processors treat the pulp with one of a number of solvents--usually hexane. The solvent is then boiled off, although up to 100 parts per million may remain in the oil. Such solvents, themselves toxic, also retain the toxic pesticides adhering to seeds and grains before processing begins.

    High-temperature processing causes the weak carbon bonds of unsaturated fatty acids, especially triple unsaturated linoleic acid, to break apart, thereby creating dangerous free radicals. In addition, antioxidants, such as fat-soluble vitamin E, which protect the body from the ravages of free radicals, are neutralized or destroyed by high temperatures and pressures. BHT and BHA, both suspected of causing cancer and brain damage, are often added to these oils to replace vitamin E and other natural preservatives destroyed by heat.

    There is a safe modern technique for extraction that drills into the seeds and extracts the oil and its precious cargo of antioxidants under low temperatures, with minimal exposure to light and oxygen. These expeller-expressed, unrefined oils will remain fresh for a long time if stored in the refrigerator in dark bottles. Extra virgin olive oil is produced by crushing olives between stone or steel rollers. This process is a gentle one that preserves the integrity of the fatty acids and the numerous natural preservatives in olive oil. If olive oil is packaged in opaque containers, it will retain its freshness and precious store of antioxidants for many years.

    -from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, available at www.chapters.ca.

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