There are many companies in India selling different flavours of Rice Bran oil or a mix of Rice bran oil and sesame oil or even something else as “Diabetes Friendly”. We aren’t naming any brand as there are too many to be listed. A quick glance on the shelves of a supermarket will reveal many of them.
Are they really diabetes friendly? Let’s first get to the basics of the Types of Fats.
The reason for starting with Trans Fat is simple. This is that toxic cooking medium which surfaced as CRISCO – the first man made trans-fat — from Procter & Gamble (P&G) in the last century which even came with a cookbook with over 600 recipes.
P&G Gambled a few million $ back then and converted American Heart Association, a private club until then, into an organization that peddled CRISCO and thus started the era of “industrial funding” of associations to toe the industry line. Over the decades and into the new century this malpractice — funding these associations — continues.
India too had its own version of CRISCO — DALDA and RATH to name a few. This was one of the worst things to have happened and shows how industry took control of almost every association by pumping in advertising dollars (called donations).
Now, we know that TRANS Fat is dreadful, after being fed with it for decades. It is nothing but “Hydrogenated” vegetable seed oils in different avatars to mimic what we Indians know as GHEE — FAKE GHEE just because it is solid at room temperature. The whole demonization of Coconut oil and saturated fat coupled with promoting PUFA as a cooking medium started with this CURSE to human health — CRISCO. And, the drama against Coconut oil still continues.
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA)
As the name signifies, this contains more than one (poly) double bond in the carbon chain. They are unsaturated as they are missing out on what saturated fats have — hydrogen atoms. Oils that are PUFA rich are liquid at room temperature. As a result of this missing hydrogen bond, omega 6 PUFA loaded vegetable oils are unstable and prone to oxidation. It is this oxidation prior to ingestion and also oxidation after eating that causes all the trouble and makes it one of the worst things to consume. However, the food industry peddles all sorts of lies and pushes these toxic seed oils as heart healthy.
The rancidity of PUFAs is the root of the problem
Both MUFA and PUFA have a problem of rancidity. However, humans cannot really detect well the rancidity of PUFA vs MUFA. Imagine the difference between eating stale fish (MUFA loaded) versus stale bakery product (PUFA loaded). One can easily detect a stale fish but not a stale bakery product.
Rancidity produces harmful toxins, but n-6 PUFA loaded oils produce the worst form of toxins — the three best studied are — are acrolein, HNE, and MDA. All three are produced while cooking or heating n-6 fatty acids, and are also produced in the body. Collectively, they are called oxidized linoleic acid metabolites, or OxLAMs.
OxLAMs can bind to and alter the function of DNA — both in the mitochondria and the cell nucleus. In fact, they appear to be the leading cause of genetic damage, as the markers used for genetic damage are those generated by OxLAMs
How toxic are these products?
- Cooking with seed oils is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smoking women in China.
- Lowering dietary linoleic acid reduces bioactive oxidized linoleic acid metabolites in humans.
- Excess n-6 linoleic acid (LA) consumption causes remodelling of a molecule called cardiolipin in the mitochondria, the key energy-producing part of cells in all higher life forms.
- Increased n-6 consumption rapidly remodels cartilage. This drives out the more stable omega-9 fatty acids (Oleic acid is an n-9 MUFA). This also happens in the mitochondria. Mitochondrial dysfunction and DNA damage is a typical signature of Metabolic Syndrome and all related diseases. It is seen in the fat cells in obesity, in the pancreas in diabetes and in the lining of the vessels of the heart in atherosclerosis, in conditions of heart failure, fatty liver disease, neurological diseases (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s), and most notably, cancer.
- Don’t be misled. Replacing SFA with PUFA doesn’t protect your heart.
- OxLAMs such as HNE directly induce inflammation, increasing inflammatory markers. Haven’t we seen multiple cases of diabetics on dLife.in reducing their hsCRP values from as high as 17 to normal range just by switching to an LCHF diet where all these oils are simply prohibited? Vishnu, Anita are two examples that come to mind. There are many others on the forum.
- OxLDL is the second-best known predictor of myocardial infarction, exceeded only by the OxLDL/HDL ratio.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. You can find scores of studies which show how horrific n-6 PUFA loaded vegetable oils are. WE don’t need them. Whatever n-6 is needed, we diabetics on Indian Low Carb High Fat diet get it from nuts.
However, gate-keepers of industry science keep peddling this crap on everyone. So, get rid of n-6 PUFA loaded industrial vegetable oils from your kitchen, irrespective of what the slick advertising on TV tells you. LDL per se’ is not the problem. It’s the oxidised LDL (OxLDL) that’s the problem. And, n-6 PUFA loaded vegetable oils are the worst. Enough evidence, beyond the ones linked in this article, are available.
Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acid (MUFA)
Compared to more than one double bond in PUFA, MUFA have one double bond in the fatty acid chain with all the remaining carbon atoms being single-bonded. The viscosity and melting point of fatty acids increases with decrease in the number of double bonds. Hence, both the viscosity and melting point of MUFA (one double bond) is more than PUFA (more than one double bond) but is always less than SFA (no double bonds).
The link — Oils – Fatty Acid Composition — has details of all the different MUFA, common ones being palmitoleic acid (16:1 n−7), cis-vaccenic acid (18:1 n−7) and oleic acid (18:1 n−9). The details hence, will not be repeated here.
MUFA oils still have a problem of rancidity during storage, so care has to be taken. For example, MUFA rich oils like Virgin Olive oil (VOO) are stored in colored bottles and should preferably be stored in a fridge once the bottle is opened. On the forum, we always advocate the use of VOO for salad dressings or any other “cold use”.
Saturated Fatty Acid (SFA)
Saturated fats tend to have higher melting points than their corresponding unsaturated fats. While nutrition labels regularly combine them, these saturated fatty acids appear in different proportions among various food groups.
Lauric and myristic acids are most commonly found in “tropical” oils (e.g., palm kernel, coconut) and dairy products. The saturated fat in meat, eggs, cacao, and nuts is primarily the triglycerides of palmitic and stearic acids.
For an exhaustive list refer to: Oils – Fatty Acid Composition
So what should we consume?
- Virgin Coconut Oil
- Clarified Butter or Ghee
And, wait a minute, Saturated FAT does not cause heart problems. Only the gatekeepers of the High Carb Low Fat industry want us to believe that. SFA vs Heart Problem theory, something that was started by Ancel Keys, has been disproved over and over again, multiple times. Despite that, the dogma sticks like PLAGUE despite there being no scientific proof. We list a few references below:
- Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease.
- Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.
- Association of dietary, circulating, and supplement fatty acids with coronary risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis
- Effect of the amount and type of dietary fat on cardiometabolic risk factors and risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer: a systematic review.
None of the above could find any clear and conclusive evidence of SFA being bad for heart. Also, remember that most of these are on a high carb diet; replacing SFA with carbs have shown a negative impact.
Many of these studies are not very clear on MUFA replacing SFA and its impact in conclusive terms. A correlation is not the same as causation.
Let’s not get trapped in the usual scaremongering about heart disease vs type of fat touted by the gatekeepers of industry interests. Let them first show one study on LCHF.
For Cold Use:
- Olive Oil.
- Flaxseed Oil.
Anything that’s branded as Diabetes (or Diabetic) Friendly should never be touched even with a barge pole. And the same goes for Diabetes Friendly Flours too. Always remember one thing: anything that carries a “Diabetes Friendly” sticker ought to be thrown out of the window. More discussion on SFA on the forum here.
A Word of Caution: People with certain medical conditions or cholesterol problems (Familial Hyperlipidemia for example) may need to watch their saturated fat intake in relation to how their LIPIDS behave. There’s a dedicated Q&A thread on LCHF & LIPIDS on the forum at the following link: