Prof. Dr. Werner Seebauer is Dean of Studies – Association of German Preventologists, Head of Preventive Medicine Department of Institute of Transcultural Health Sciences (European University Viadrina) and Head of Preventive Medicine – NESA (The New European Surgical Academy).
Since 2000, prof. dr. Werner Seebauer worked only in preventive medicine, after ten years spent at the Frankfurt University Hospital. He is also involved in the medical professionals training for nutrition and prevention.
MediHelp International contributes to the medical science development and is actively involved in the international social responsibility advocacy.
When it comes to fats, special attention must be paid to the quality and type of fatty acid distribution. The pyramid shows examples of foods in the base that contain "good" fats, and in the top that contain "bad" fats!
More disadvantages have saturated fatty acids (occurring mainly in animal foods * as well as palm and coconut fat) as well as hardened vegetable fats and especially industrially-produced trans fatty acids. * In animal fats, cold-sea fish are an exception, with plenty of good omega-3 and less saturated fatty acids.
Essential (dietary) fatty acids also include omega-6 fatty acids, but their amount should not be too high because, in an unfavorable ratio to omega-3 fatty acids, they can exaggerate inflammatory reactions. For lower to moderate levels of unfavorable fatty acids, it is quite possible to compensate them, but overall, they have higher risks for oxidative cell stress and chronic diseases.
The industrially produced trans fatty acids are the fats, which in any case must be significantly reduced; you should better avoid them completely.
- Refined rapeseed oil is well to heat and has a good omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio.
- Olive and nut oils, such as walnut oil, are usually cold-pressed and therefore contain heat-sensitive substances such as flavoring and coloring agents. These should not be overheated as they begin to smoke quickly. Olive and nut oils are suitable for cooking and cold meals.
- Linseed oil has an excellent fatty acid composition, but it is also very sensitive. It should only be used for cold meals. As it quickly turns rancid and tastes bitter, it is advisable to buy small bottles, which should be stored dark and cool.
- Sunflower, corn germ and safflower oils are good for frying and cooking but have a rather unfavorable fatty acid composition.
Vegetable oils and fats
Vegetable oils and fats provide important essential fatty acids (linoleic acid LA [omega-6], alpha-linolenic acid ALA [omega-3]), fat-soluble vitamins (E, D, K, A), minerals and also very valuable phytochemicals. To improve the supply of omega-3 fatty acids, rapeseed, linseed or walnut oil, for example, should be included regularly in the diet. Complemented by olive oil and avocado, which supply the monounsaturated oleic acid (omega-9-FS) well, you complete the health-promoting properties.
Sunflower, thistle, soy, and corn oil are more likely to be avoided as their omega-6 fatty acid content is too high.
Native oils and fats offer higher levels of vitamins and phytochemicals than refined ones. However, this is at the expense of heat stability, so that cold-pressed oils are only for cold or moderately hot food. High levels of unsaturated fatty acids also reduce fat stability on heating, and high temperatures produce more harmful trans fatty acids.
- The saturated fats (especially in foods of animal origin) are unfavorable in too high an amount (should deliver a maximum of 7-10% of the daily energy).
- Even worse are the trans fats (for example from industrially processed fat for biscuits and fried products, fries, etc., or from excessively heated saturated fats); they should better deliver less than 1% of the daily energy.
- The "good" fats are the unsaturated fatty acids: e.g. the oleic acid (Omega-9-FA–is very high in olive oil); it is the most stable; of the polyunsaturated fatty acids you should increase the omega-3 fatty acids (best are the bioactive forms DHA and EPA).
- Omega-6 fatty acids are also needed, but they are occurring much frequently and higher in foods; and excessive doses can promote inflammation as well as allergies or even cancer risks. Therefore, the omega-6-FA sources should rather be reduced from the usual diets from our cultures.
- The total dose of omega-6-FA should not be too high and should not be higher than 5 to 1 above the omega-3 FA dose (better would be only 2 times more omega-6 FA than omega-3 FA, or even a ratio of 1 to 1 omega 6 to the omega 3 FA).
- Rapeseed oil has the best O6 / O3 ratio. Olive oil is also good because it has a very low total of Omega-6 FA and a lot of Omega-9 FA.
- For heating rapeseed oil (up to 200 ° C) is better than olive oil - otherwise soybean oil can be heated up to 235 ° C; usually, it does not need to be heated so high. Excessive heat causes too many trans fatty acids.
In summary: olive oil and rapeseed oil are best (rape oil also for heating)
- Olive and nut oils for salads*
- Linseed oil is also rich in omega-3 FA, but it quickly becomes rancid. Therefore caution: Store linseed oil in small bottles in the refrigerator.
- Oils for salads and cold dishes should be cold-pressed from first pressing (extra virgin) and stored in dark bottles.
- Fish oil (derived from fish or dietary supplements such as krill or salmon oil capsules) has high levels of omega-3 FA (with DHA and EPA ,more bioactive and thus more potent omega-3 FA than the ALA form of the vegetable oils). This can have several advantages. A better alternative to fish oil is oil from marine microalgae (special combinations also contain the DHA and EPA Omega-3-FA and have no heavy metal load due to the growth conditions).
* For salads you should always use cold-pressed and better high oleic oils.