The Importance of Good Oils, the lost knowledge

If your gran was of a certain age, you would go round to your grans house for a meal and she would always fry in lard or butter.

Nowadays in the world of celebrity chefs, most would never consider to do such a thing as olive oil has taken over as the nations favourite oil.

But was your granny right?

To answer that, we need to look at what oils were eaten where historically, what is our skin tone and what oils are supposed to do for us.

Why are oils so important in the body? 

We are bombarded with "new and improved - Omega 3 added" on our eggs, butter and other products. But what does this stuff actually mean and why is it so important to us? 

Unsaturated fats (Omega 3, 6, 9) are one of the major components of our cell walls, brain and central nervous system tissues. The oils attract oxygen into the body like magnets. 

The oils have a specific electric charge and it is this charge that allows all the cells in the body to attract and store bio-photons of light from the sun (which gives us tons of energy, imagine “being enlightened”, full of light and energy). 

Due to their negative charge, the molecules in the oil repel each other slightly, creating a gap. This gap is vital since as the main component of our cell wall, it allows a space for rubbish to leave the cell and for “good things” to enter the cell to be processed.

The ability of this fat to attract and store light from the sun and utilise oxygen is dependent on the number of double carbon bonds that oil has. 

Before you run away with the mention of biochemistry, this is all, I promise! 

Olive Oil has 1 double carbon bond 

Flax Oil and hemp oil have 3

Fish Oil has 5-6 depending on the fish 

Saturated Fats have none 

But why is this so important? 

To explain lets look at where we live and what our origins are. 

Back before the time of cheap travel, where people lived in a similar area for centuries our local diets reflected our needs. 

If we lived near the equator, we often ate more saturated fats, coconut oil, palm oil etc. This gave our cell walls a more solid structure, important in not allowing the heat to dehydrate our cells, keeping us alive in hot conditions. 

We did not need to store light/energy from the sun, since the sun always shone. Our skin tended to be darker to help deflect some of the sun and therefore, our skin and diet perfectly reflected what we needed.

If we lived in the Mediterranean, we traditionally ate Olive Oil. With one double carbon bond, this allowed us to attract and store some light since the weather was not as bright or as hot all year round. Our skin too was generally lighter to help our bodies maximise the light available to it. 

If we lived around the latitude of the UK, we traditionally ate Flax and Hemp Oil. This has 3 double carbon bonds, which gave us more chance of attracting light/energy in this more unpredictable climate. Our skin was still fairer to help maximise this collection. 

If we travelled further north to where the Eskimos lived, they traditionally ate fish giving them the maximum number of double carbon bonds. This helped them to maximise the poor light available during the darker winter months. 

So it all used to make sense. 

However, now since we all move around the world, this knowledge of what we need seems to have been lost. 

For example, as a Mediterranean, I will need more unsaturated oil then a Celtic skinned person living here in London. My skin will naturally block some of the light which theirs will not. My traditional Mediterranean diet needs to change to reflect my current living conditions. 

Research shows that people with darker skins living in the UK suffer from more endocrine disruptions then their fairer skin counterparts. This is in part due to the poorer light collection and maintenance of traditional diets whilst living in the UK. 

Omega 3 and 6 are major components of the production of "anti- inflammatory prostaglandins" in the body. Prostaglandins are hormones produced by our tissues, controlling many processes in the body.  They allow us to produce anti-inflammatory responses, vital in our modern times of inflammatory diseases such as period cramps, pelvic inflammation, arthritis, asthma, colitis and psoriasis to name a few. 

It is also wonderful for those who wish to lose weight, since these oils increase our metabolic rate and increased appetites have been linked to a lack of unsaturated fats. 

Good sources of oils, Omega 3 are in oily fish (Salmon, Mackerel, Herring and Sardines), flaxseed, linseed, walnut and green leafy vegetables. Most people get enough Omega 6 in their diets.

If we chose to supplement oils, it is vital to take them with sulphur bonds, to allow the oils to be fully utilised by the body. A great source of this is Bee Pollen which can be found online ( This is because for example if we eat fish, the fish protein naturally contains the sulphur bonds which help the oil from the fish be absorbed in the body. 

Unsaturated oils are very sensitive to damage by light and heat. My granny who lived in the Mediterranean would never heat olive oil, but would use butter or ghee instead.

After all, thinking about it logically, olive oil is normally recommended to be stored in a dark container, in a cool cupboard away from light to protect it from damage and then we go and fry and bake with it to very high temperatures..... which doesn’t really make much sense.

Individuals who have disorders involving bleeding, who bruise very easily, or who are taking blood thinners should consult with a medical practitioner before taking supplemental omega 3 fatty acids. 

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