429 – Good Fats vs. Bad Fats – An Interview with Udo Erasmus

The Importance of a Balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fats

Good Fats vs. Bad Fats - An Interview with Udo Erasmus

 The Omega Fats are Essential to Healthy, Normal Inflammation

Udo Erasmus is an expert on omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and the founder of Udo’s Oil. He became passionate about the topic when he was poisoned in 1980 and realized that the oils he was consuming were damaged. He decided to create an oil that was made with health in mind, and he spent the next 15 years touring the United States and telling people about the amazing properties of omega-3s. He realized that 99% of the population was not getting enough omega-3s because there were not enough foods that contained them. He also realized that omega-3s were five times more sensitive to damage than omega-6s, so he focused on creating an oil that was made with health in mind.

Increasing our omega-3 intake is essential for our overall health. Omega-3s are found in fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, as well as in some plant sources such as flaxseed, chia, and hemp. Omega-3s are important for a healthy heart, brain, and immune system. They can help reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic diseases.

  Unfortunately, many people don’t get enough omega-3s in their diets. This is due to the fact that the modern Western diet is often high in omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in many processed and fast foods. This imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can lead to inflammation and other health problems.

Udo Erasmus

Udo Erasmus

Udo Erasmus is the co-founder of Udo’s Choice line, which can be found in health food stores worldwide. Udo designed the machinery for making oils with health in mind and pioneered flax oil, a billion dollar industry. However, Udo walked a difficult path to become the man he is today. Being a child of war, Udo’s life began with intense struggle. As an adult, he got pesticide poisoning in 1980, leaving doctors at a loss regarding treatment. Deciding to take his health into his own hands, Udo began researching, and his discoveries led him to a passion for finding the answers to life’s big questions which would hopefully one day bring him and the world peace.

Udo Erasmus Books

Today, Udo is an acclaimed speaker and author of many books, including the best-selling Fats That Heal Fats That Kill, which has sold over 250,000 copies. He teaches at events hosted by Tony Robbins and Deepak Chopra, has keynoted an international brain health conference, and has traveled to over 30 countries to conduct thousands of live presentations, media interviews, and staff trainings impacting more than 25,000,000 lives with his message on oils, health, peace, nature, and human nature. Udo has an extensive education in biochemistry, genetics, biology, and nutrition, including a master’s degree in counseling psychology.


oils, omega, omega-3, fats, omega-6, Udo Erasmus, essential fatty acids, DHA, EPA, fish oil, inflammation, flax oil, arthritis


Introduction, Udo Erasmus, Steve Lankford

Introduction  00:09

Hello and welcome to Health Quest dedicated to nutrition and your good health support for Health Quest has been provided by some of America’s best nutritional companies and now Health Quest with your host, Steve Lankford.

Steve Lankford  00:30

Hello, and welcome back to Health Quest Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Lankford. Thanks for joining me. I’m glad you’re here. I’m very excited about today’s interview, we’re going to be talking to Udo Erasmus, if that’s not a name you’re familiar with, you should be I have known of Udo for many years, he is one of the pioneers in understanding the role of dietary fats, good fats, bad fats. In fact, he has written a very interesting book back in the 80s, called Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, I happen to have a copy of my own, at that time, over 100,000 in print. Now, I know it’s more than double that. So I have been a big fan for a long time. And interestingly enough, Udo and I did a radio interview back in 2001, I think it was, so I’ve been following him for a couple of decades now. And he’s had a very influential impact on the ideas of fats in health.

And just think about this back in the 80s. Where were we all thinking about fats, that was the decade where fats were vilified fats were bad, no fat diet, that’s the way to help as if that was certain. And it was preached to us with such certainty that, oh, cut out the fats, and you’ll be healthy. It’s like a lot of the advice we’ve gotten, which has turned out to be so wrong. And actually it is, in fact, exactly the opposite, Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill it’s a very intriguing title.

It’s just as relevant, perhaps more so today than it was at that time. And so we’re going to discuss fats, I’m sure a lot has been learned in the 20 years since we did our last interview. Certainly, people have understood that fats are maybe not what we were taught back in the 80s. Well, if that’s the case, let’s see if we can demystify some of this confusion that exists in the marketplace. It is very difficult for the average person to know well, what’s true, what should I believe in? What should I follow? And that’s why we go to famous well known experts like Udo Erasmus, because they have set the foundation for health. And I love the fact that he has been on this journey for probably 40 years now. So how far ahead of the curve is that? So it’s in that capacity I pleased to introduce to you Udo Erasmus. Udo, welcome to Health Quest Podcast.

Udo Erasmus  03:14

Thank you for that rousing introduction. Actually, the book came out in 1994.  Previous book that was called Fats and Oils came out in 86.

Steve Lankford  03:25

Okay, so you were on that trend? And let’s just set the record straight. I’d like to start off our interview today with your background. How is it that you became interested in this topic when it seemed like everybody else was following a different trend? I don’t know if you had any backlash from your original book when that was printed, or if we had moved into that, by that time. But tell us a little bit about your background, how you became interested in this topic.

Udo Erasmus  03:57

Just to give you the whole story. I was born during the Second World War 1942. And my early life was very chaotic. I never knew what I could trust. And because every people said one thing one day and the next opposite thing the next day, and it’s scary and I didn’t trust anybody. And I got into books because books were safe. We had bullets flying when we were refugees. And so I got into books, and I want to know what I can depend on. So what do you do if you want to know what you can depend on? Well you study science. You study how things work, right?

So I got into science. Actually, I wanted to know how people could live in harmony because it was so chaotic. They have figured that out when I was six years old. So I studied science for that. And then I got into biological sciences to figure out how creatures work. And then I got into psychology, how thinking works. Then I took a year medicine because I wanted to know how health works. And they only talked about disease. So I went back into biochemistry and genetics. And that was like why biochemist genetics is behind everything. And then I left university because I was still looking for other things. And eventually I got married, we had three kids, my marriage broke up, I wanted to kill something, I was so angry. And I took a job as a pesticide sprayer. And after three years of spraying them carelessly, I got poisoned. And that’s when I began to use my background and biochemistry to try and figure out how to cure myself from pesticide poisoning, because the doctors didn’t have anything for it.

And so I basically said, I’m gonna look at health and nutrition, disease and nutrition, on the idea that the body is made out of food. And I forgot about air and water at that point, but bodies made out of food. So if something goes wrong, then you need to raise your standard for what your input your food input.

And when you do that, then you will eventually rebuild your body. 98% in a year, because the body is always turning over. And so I was looking at minerals, and vitamins and essential nutrients and proteins, and all of that everything. And I got stuck on oils, because oils were the most complicated area. And I don’t know if it’s because I like complicated, but fundamental, I remember, the thing that really got me was I read a study that said, Omega-6 is essential, which means you got to have it, you can’t make it, you got to get it from outside. And if you don’t get enough, your health goes down. And if you don’t get enough, long enough, you die. And if you bring it back before you die in adequate quantities, then all of the problems that come from not getting enough are reversed. That’s the definition of an essential nutrient. So omega-6 is an essential nutrient. And the next study I read it says Omega-6 gives you cancer kills you.

And I’m going, why? How can that be? This is essential for every cell in your body to be healthy. And if you take it to make sure that you’re healthy, it gives you cancer kills you. I was like, what the hell’s going on it? So that contradiction drove me nuts. And so it was that contradiction that forced me to look deeper. And I started looking into well, how are oils made. And it turns out that oils are the most sensitive or essential fatty acids are the most sensitive of all of our essential nutrients. They’re damaged by light, oxygen and heat, they need the most care. And if you look at how people use oils, you know that we give them the least care.

And so more health problems come from damaged oil than any other part of nutrition. And more health benefits will come from getting your oils right than any other part in nutrition. And so I decided, oh my god, I can’t get healthy on damaged oils. First, the industry damaged. And then we’ve damaged them in the frying pan. And so I decided we need to make oils with health in mind. I can’t get healthy of these oils that are damaged. And then I got excited.

Then the year after I got poisoned Omega-3 was established as an essential nutrient. And what year was that? That was 1982. Okay, yeah, so just the year after I got poisoned, actually, I got poisoned in 1980. So 1981 1982, Omega-3 is essential. And 99% of the population doesn’t get enough because there are not a lot of foods that contain it. All seeds and nuts contain Omega-6, but only a few contain omega-3s.

And it’s kind of northern southern oil closer to the poles, because it’s a high energy has three double bonds, it’s very high energy. And you need that high energy to keep warm in the cold places. Right. So that’s where you find those oils the most. And then I thought, okay, 99% of the population doesn’t get enough, every cell needs them. They’re a nightmare to work with. Because they’re five times more sensitive to damage the new Omega-6s. But I got so excited. I mean, I went off like a firecracker, oh my god, if we could make omega-3 oils with health in mind, we could help almost everybody. Like, I just found a purpose for my life.

And it was like, I got so stoked, that that’s what drove the whole thing. I have no business background, I have good background in biological sciences and biochemistry, genetics. I had no business background. And so we just went out there and we were just like, Soul on Fire, people got inspired. So what we did is we developed a method for making oils with health in mind, where light oxygen and heat are kept from the oil from the time it’s in the seed to the time it’s in the bottle in the fridge with a box around it, to continue to protect it. And so there has to be a really, really tight system and the industry doesn’t have a tight system. They just say we make a mess at the front end, then we’ll clean it up at the back end.

And I said no, let’s don’t make a mess of the front and then we don’t have a mess to clean up at the back end. And the less processing we do careless processing we do the better quality oil we’re going to get. So if we can make these oils with health in mind, oh my god, we could literally help everybody. So that’s what we did.

1988 We did a tour through the United States and even without air conditioning in the hottest months, July, August, half of September, half of June, 101 days, 85 cities, 35 states 17,000 Miles 85 cities just told everybody about the amazing properties of Omega-3. And we had delivered flax oil by that point that was the first oil because it’s the richest, widely available source of Omega-3s. And I didn’t work with officials, because I already knew there was damage, and they weren’t made very careful. And because I said, the biggest problem is not that the body can’t convert plant omega-3s into fish omega-3s. The biggest problem is we’re not getting enough starting material to get the conversion done. More and more, it’s been shown that that’s actually true.

And then I spent like 16 years on the road six to nine months every year 40 countries just talking about oils and health. And when we started, yeah, we were in the low fat era. And people they had the food pyramid at the bottom where the carbs, so that’s what you eat should eat the most of and they have the oils on top, that’s what you should eat the least of. And the reason they did that is because of the problems associated with oils. But they didn’t blame the damage done by processing. They bled the oils. And so we had to sort that out. Most of the research that’s done on oils is done on oils that have been damaged by processing. And nobody ever fingers, the damage the processing damaging.

Steve Lankford  11:29

Well, you and I are of an age where we can remember where the idea was eat corn oil, vegetable oils are the key to health. Yeah, that’s how you prevent cardiovascular disease is by eating corn oil, safflower oil. And it was preached to us with such certainty. I remember when I started my career in health in 1976, we would use coconut oil, because we had learned of the value of coconut oil. But it wasn’t a matter of five or 10 years when all of a sudden coconut oil is bad fat. So it went from being an okay fat to being a bad fat to now being a good fat again. But boy, was it vilified during those years, it got to the point where you could no longer even find it on the shelves, and it was all about the vegetable oils. And here we find out that yes, vegetable oils contain the Omega-6. And from what I understand, we do need Omega-6 as well as omega-3. But we had gotten so out of balance because our diet was predominantly Omega-6. And I remember those times and how that’s changed. Tell us about how you have emerged in your thinking relative to omega-6 and Omega-3. And the balance because I think this is often an area where people get very confused.

Udo Erasmus  12:57

When we started, it was low fat diet was the big deal or no fat diet. I went to the international vegetarian convention. And I asked people, how many of you are on a low fat diet, all the hands went up, right? And how many of you have dry skin, all the hands went up. And I said, what you’re doing in terms of plant based has some merit. But you need more oil, it’s our main fuel. It’s our fir because we have fat deposits under our skin to keep us warm, because we don’t have enough hair on our skin. So it’s our insulation. It’s our main fuel source if you’re doing long term activity, because you can only store a pound of carbohydrates in your liver and muscles.

But you could store 300 pounds of fat in your body and still be alive. And we’re on 300 pounds of fat you can run 12,000 miles and on a pound of carbs, you can only run 20 Right. And then corn oil was the big deal. Yeah, corn oil is only contains Omega-6 is no omega-3s. It was shown in some studies to be somewhat helpful to cardiovascular disease. The same study showed that it increases risk of cancer. So then corn oil disappeared.

Then when I started traveling, I thought nobody made corn oil anymore. But when I started traveling, I found it in Taiwan and I found it in Malaysia and I found it in China. So they took the same company that was selling it was Mazola at the time, right? That same company was selling the same Mazola corn oil in all the places that didn’t know about the risk of cancer increase. So they just took the oil to places that were less educated than North America. Coconut oil was used to be made the same way oils are made you treat them with sodium hydroxide and then with phosphoric acid in that you bleach them and then you heat them to frying temperature. So that old coconut oil was a very processed product. And then the soybean industry had somebody take out full page ads in newspapers about how coconut oil causes heart attacks. Well, that was marketing, because they wanted to protect their soybean oil market.

There’s a lot of stuff that goes on in the industry that is like you say, Wow, honesty is obviously not that high ranking quality here. And then they brought it back as virgin coconut oil, which is unrefined, which hasn’t been processed so much. And it tastes better. And it’s probably better for you. But there is no research that says, that coconut oil, even the virgin coconut oil will increase LDL, which takes you in the direction of hard problems. But if you eat the coconut, the whole coconut, you don’t get that problem. So they figure now it’s the fiber in the coconut that protects you from the damaging effects that the saturated fats can have. But there’s another issue saturated fats now they say oh, they’re Yeah, they’re not good for you, they make your platelets stickier. So that means you’d go closer to heart attack, they make you more insulin sensitive. That takes you closer to diabetes. But what’s interesting is omega-3s do the opposite. They make your platelets less sticky, so they protect you, and they make you more insulin sensitive. So they protect you.

And most people 99% of the population don’t get enough Omega-3. So the problems that saturated fats cause should actually be blamed on omega-3 deficiency, because if you optimize your Omega-3 intake, then what the saturated fats due to your insulin sensitivity and your platelets is neutralized. So you have to say that saturated fat caused problems, the cause of them is omega-3 deficiency, because most people don’t get enough omega-3, isn’t that interesting?

Steve Lankford  16:52

It is very interesting. In fact, omega-3s have become my number one recommendation, almost no matter what your challenges are, you have to make sure you have enough omega-3s. And conversely, look at your diet and reduce the amount of omega-6, don’t eliminate it. But look at how much of it is in your food in your diet. And I understood it was the imbalance between omega-3 and Omega-6 that may be most responsible for this connection to other problems. Is that the way you see it?

Udo Erasmus  17:29

Absolutely. And yeah, because most people get five times 10 times, sometimes 20 times, sometimes even 50 times more omega-6 than omega-3, Omega-6 is essential. So if you completely removed all Omega-6 out of your diet that will kill you eventually. So you can’t do that you got to have omega-6es, as well as omega-3s. And what we did is by experimenting, if you ask people in the industry or in the academic arena of fats, some of them say, well, the best ratio is four times more omega-6 than omega-3, because omega-3 is the favorite for the genes and enzymes that do the conversions. That’s a whole other story that we could get into. But we didn’t find that to be true. Some people say it’s one to one, that’s the historical race.

But well, that’s completely false. Because if you’re in the north, there’s more omega-3 than omega-6. And as you go south, you get more omega-6. And then if you get to the Mediterranean, you get on more omega nine, and you get to the tropics, you get more saturated, so it changes depending like the historical ratio changes with your geography. So that doesn’t make sense. What we found is that if we use the ratio twice as rich in omega-3s, Omega-6, we got the always got the best results. And around the world. So twice as much omega-3s, Omega-6, both made with health in mind, we told people get off stupid cooking oils, don’t use your cook oils for frying, add them to fruit. When they come off the heat.

You have to have some omega-6es made was healthy in mind if you want to be healthy, but you need even more omega-3s, because almost everybody doesn’t get enough for them. So that’s the ratio we used to use more omega-3 than omega-6. And why that ratio. When we made flax oil, I actually became Omega-6 deficient on flax oil. The people I worked with, they were saying, oh, flax oil is the best or most essential fatty acids, but it has four times more omega-3 than omega-6. And I didn’t know of a traditional diet that high in omega-3s. There was no research that I could draw on.

So I said okay, I’m going to do an experiment. I’m going to use flax oil as the only fat in my diet and see what happens. And within three months, I had dry eyes skipped heartbeats, arthritis, like pain and finger joints and thin papery skin. Classic Omega-6 deficiency symptoms, and affects the by eating sunflower seeds which the sunflower oil is 60 percent Omega-6 and has no omega-3s. So I just brought the balance back. So the balance is important, balance is important, both are essential.

Steve Lankford  20:07

So your idea of balance is now recommended as two to one omega-3 over omega-6

Udo Erasmus  20:17

More omega-3 to omega-6. But if you look at the research, the research says, you can go anywhere from about two and a half times more omega-3 than omega-6, all the way to four times more omega-6 than omega-3, if you’re healthy, you can maintain your health on a ratio anywhere in that ballpark, but we use twice as much Omega-3, because most people don’t get enough Omega-3 and get too much Omega-6. And we’re trying to get them in the place where the Omega-3s that are the single most often lacking diet of our time, we’re hydrating them making sure they get optimized, and making sure that they override the negative effects that omega-6es can have when they’re too high in comparison to the Omega-3s. And the research says when you increase omega-3s in the diet, you can improve virtually every major degenerative condition of our time. Why is that? Because they’re essential every cell needs them. And almost nobody gets enough.

Steve Lankford  21:21

Thank you for saying that. Because that’s become my understanding. And I have a personal history with this, my wife has had rheumatoid arthritis since she was in her 20s. And in fact, when she was about 40, she had such a severe flare that it took her from work permanently. And she was very debilitated for about 15 years after that. And it was when we discovered the role of Omega-3 for inflammation. And in this case, it was a therapeutic dose of fish oil that she started on that turned her life around in terms of the level of inflammation coming way down with the use of the omega-3 fats. One of the tools that we used in that process was the Omega-3 blood test. Is this something that you think is a value for the average person? Can they learn enough from that to make a decision?

Udo Erasmus  22:19

Yeah, for a few years, people used to send me their essential fatty acid profiles. And you can do one in plasma, you can do one on red blood cells. And you can do one on adipose tissue, and you get different results, because the turnover of fats is different in those three different areas. So they get them done, and they wouldn’t know what they meant. And I would look at it and say okay, well, I would rather go by symptoms. So like your wife, I had the beginnings of arthritis when I was 38 in my knees.

And if I just bent my knees a little put a little pressure on my knees, they would hurt. So it wasn’t super severe yet I’m 80 now, I don’t have any pain in any place in my body, except when I bang into something, right? What’s the difference? The biggest difference is I threw out my frying pan, I do not fry foods anymore. And I changed my oil intake from oils that are made by industry that are damaged by about 1% by industry that are further damaged in a frying pan that cause tons of problems because you’re changing natural molecules into unnatural ones.

And life created health in nature. And the mandate life’s mandate for health is fresh, all raw organic, for humans, mostly plant based, if you want to have the longest health and the best health, right, so then if you get outta line with that, then you start to get problems.

Steve Lankford  23:43

How is it that omega-3s exert their effects? What is it that they are actually doing that are the beneficial source and contrast that with Omega-6 if we have plenty of Omega-3? Why is that working for us if we have too much Omega-6, why is that working against us?

Udo Erasmus  24:03

Well, yeah, it gets pretty complicated. But Omega-6es is turned into many different molecules in the body by enzymes that are coded on our genes. And so our omega-3s, so the Omega-6es form hormones that are pro inflammatory, they’re called series two eicosanoids made from arachidonic acid. And there’s dozens of them and they regulate cell activity on a moment to moment basis.

They’re also some anti-inflammatory eicosanoids made from omega-6es. From Omega-3, you only get anti-inflammatory eicosanoids. And so the Omega-3s protect us from the Omega-6es getting out of hand. So the balance is really important. And out of omega-3s. Not only do you get a whole set of eicosanoids they’re also called prostaglandins. prostacyclin, thromboxane and leukotrienes. Right, that are anti-inflammatory are out of Omega-3, EPA and DHA, the body also makes protectants resolving. And maricins, which are more anti-inflammatory molecules. And so they play a huge role in dealing with inflammation. Now, inflammation is not normal in healing processes.

But when you get damaged molecules in your body, like from the Omega-6es when they’re damaged, or fried, then they become pro inflammatory because your immune system is trying to say what the hell is this and you get swelling and pain and tenderness. And the immune system was trying to localize these molecules trying to figure out how to break them down how to take them down. And if it can’t take him down, you get chronic inflammation. Well, that’s not a healthy process that comes from the damage done by processing. So the body needs an oil change from damaged oils to oils made with health in mind.

Steve Lankford  25:56

And it seems to me that if we’re not getting those oils, we can’t possibly have that natural anti-inflammatory response. And so I had conceived of it this way, and tell me if this is a correct understanding, because I have been telling people if you don’t get enough Omega-3 relative to omega-6, and you don’t have a normal inflammatory response, that you can’t actually improve those inflammation systems that are going wrong in the body, that you can take curcumin, and you can take NSAIDs and other anti-inflammatories, but you’re actually just doing that after the fact. And if you don’t get to the foundation of changing those fatty acids in your system, all of those things can’t do what the Omega fats do. Therefore, you can never be fully successful at resolving this problem. Is that a fair understanding?

Udo Erasmus  26:55

Yeah, the picture that came to my mind when you said this look, you do in a bucket. And then you put whipped cream with a little sugar on it. And you call it dessert? In a way, that’s what we’re doing is like the curcumin and the spices. They’re very powerful anti-inflammatories, but we use them in very small amounts. Oils are major nutrients, right? We’re talking about tablespoons, two to four tablespoons a day. That’s like 48 to 56 grams, right? You don’t ever use that kind of a volume. So these are the main anti-inflammatories or the Omega-3s.

Steve Lankford  27:31

Yes, well, I felt that people if they don’t change that, they’re going to be chasing a result that they can’t possibly fully achieve. Now, you mentioned something that I had heard about before, that really intrigued me this concept of resolvins and protectins. Now, I understood that these were metabolites maybe of Omega-3, but that they had downstream other benefits. And when I heard that, I was talking to my wife and I have said, well, maybe these oils are also helping for you to resolve. Maybe they’re helping to protect them and so that they’re doing additional things downstream. Can you elucidate that for me a little bit.,

Udo Erasmus  28:14

Yeah that’s exactly what they’re doing is the omega-3s they have converted into a whole bunch of  first SDA steronoic acid, then Eicosapentaenoic acid. Then through a couple more steps, docosahexaenoic acid, EPA and DHA are the fish oil, omega-3s, but you also find them in krill in a less damaged form. And they’re also made by algae in the ocean. And from those, the body makes protectins because they protect you. They’re antioxidants, very powerful.

I mean, this is really crazy. These are oils that are super sensitive chemically, and they are easily oxidized. And the body makes out of this very sensitive molecules that could hurt you, if it got oxidized, makes it moves some of the double bonds around and makes a double bond system that is antioxidant and snags free radical electrons and protect to so they call protectins and then the resolvins. They’re called resolvins. Because they resolve inflammation. They are literally anti-inflammatories that the body makes out of omega-3s, but the body doesn’t make them out of omega-6es. They are some antioxidants made out of omega-6es but not anywhere near the range that you get out of omega-3s.

And so omega-3s are the highest energy molecule in the body because they have three double bonds and then five double bonds and then six double bonds. And then these double bond systems have properties that are both anti-inflammatory and inflammation resolving and the maricins protect the immune system from inflammation.

And last night when I was reading some studies, they’re also helpful in COVID when people get COVID and they get the cytokine storm that they talked about way at the beginning, nobody talks about it now. Well, the cytokine storm is caused by omega-6 derivatives. And most people are not getting enough Omega-3. So they’re not getting protection from those cytokine storms that would naturally be provided by omega-3s. If they had them in their diet, and they weren’t damaged by processing. I didn’t know that

Steve Lankford  30:23

It’s good news, and especially good for those of us who have been taking these oils right along, because not knowing that particular connection, but certainly having confidence in the importance in human nutrition. Now I know you have actually created an oil blend, Udo’s Oil very famous, lots of people know about it. Tell us about your thoughts going into this oil, what is the blend? And why did you go that route?

Udo Erasmus  30:52

The route I went is I started with flax oil. Why flax oil, because it’s the richest source of Omega-3s easily available to us. And my feeling right from the beginning was we don’t need fish oil, we need more starting material and let the body make its own conversion. So I didn’t work with fish oils ever. I said let’s make sure that we optimize the intake of the essential fatty acid.

Because EPA and DHA are not essential fatty acids, they are essential fatty acid derivatives that the body can make, provided it has enough starting material to do so. And so I got into flax oil, then I became Omega-6 deficient on flax oil. And people when I would give talks, they say, Wow, this is complicated. Is there one thing I can do? That gets me all the good stuff from fats, and none of the bad stuff that gets me all the fats that heal, and none of the fats that kill? And so those were the two reasons for the blend.

Steve Lankford  31:50

So is it something you take as a supplement? Is that how it’s used?

Udo Erasmus  31:54

No, it’s not a supplement. And that’s the other reason that I really got clear on later, there are two things you got to look at here. One is food oil Foundation, that’s major nutrients, we’re talking 28 to 56 grams, and supplement, we’re usually talking one to three grams, you cannot fix what is wrong with the food or foundation. And what’s wrong with the Food Foundation, the oils are damaged by the industry 1%, then you throw them in the frying pan and you damage the more you cannot fix a damaged foundation.

With a supplement, you have to fix the foundation. So what I say to people is your body needs an oil change just like your car, right, you got to get the dirty oil out and you got to replace it with clean oil. Who knows oil is the clean oil has Omega-3 has Omega-6 in the two to one ratio. So the balance is right made with health and might not damage and you never use it for frying, you add it to foods after they come off the heat source literally compatible with all foods. But if you use it with carbohydrates, then you might put on a little weight. So when you start using good oils as your fuel source, you need to lower your carbs at the same time.

Steve Lankford  33:08

That seems to be the prevailing wisdom is that carbs are more responsible for the weight gain that we’ve experienced. Because one we quit eating oils, and we went to carbs. And I think that still continues because they’re so ubiquitous in the diet. But they’re also often made with the wrong oils as well. So right that like a double whammy, then

Udo Erasmus  33:30

Well, it is kind of a double whammy. Yeah, the reason why carbs are an issue is carbs turn into sugar, and then the sugars absorbed and then it can flood your bloodstream. So you get high blood sugar, but you get high blood sugar that could kill you. So in its wisdom nature has remedy. Insulin drives the excess sugar out of your bloodstream into your cells. And in your cells. If they don’t burn it for energy, the cells turn the excess sugar into fat, and then it goes into storage. And then the idea is if you live between feast and famine, like we once did, then if you’re a little bit fatter than the average, when the famine hits, you’re going to survive longer because you can live off the fat, right?

But now we don’t have the famine. So we still have the same process in place. So we never have the famine. So we put on the weight and we keep it which is the main reason and why is that because when your insulin drives the excess sugar into cells and turns into fat, it’s very good at doing that. But then you end up with low blood sugar. When you got low blood sugar, your body screams that you eat or die that you eat and then people eat pretty fast, then it has to be digested that takes some time. So by the time you’ve gorged and your blood sugar is normal, you’ve eaten more than you need it. So then your blood sugar goes up again. And then insulin comes again drives into the cells again, then you end up with blood sugar and cravings again, then you eat again it so you get into what’s called the carb addiction cycle. And that’s been measured to be somewhere between four and eight times more addictive than cocaine.

So like, of course, when you know when you’re starving, and your body is run out of fuel, this is like a life threatening deal. When you use fats as fuel, you get stable energy, you don’t get that whole insulin thing, you don’t get the blood sugar thing, because the body can turn by beta oxidation, it cuts two carbons off the fats, sticks them in the citric acid energy making cell cycle, and you get a stable feed, and you don’t get the blood sugar swings, the cravings, the overeating and the addiction. So that’s always been true. And that, of course, when we got the food pyramid with the carbs at the bottom, that’s what started that, because we went in 20 years following that overweight went from 25 to 60% of the population in North America. And nobody questioned the stupid food pyramid that was put together by a politician, not a health expert.

Steve Lankford  36:03

And then a lot of the downstream health problems that we have, can be attributed to an imbalance in fat and possibly many other essential nutrients. But how is it that we can possibly be healthy if our diet isn’t supplying these essential nutrients, the right amount, and most people just don’t want to take the time to actually consider that because it’s going to take some of their favorite foods off their plate. So it’s a common issue for people. And

Udo Erasmus  36:36

I think we need to learn to have a subservience in our preferences. From taste. To nature, live to eat, yeah, left to eat instead of Eat to Live. Yeah. Because or Eat to Live is what we should be doing. Because when we eat out of line with nature, that’s not sustainable. Nature’s the boss here, not Kellogg’s?

Steve Lankford  36:58

Yes, let’s look at the results. And we can judge from that if we take a good close look, we’re getting near the end of our time, Udo and I just want to ask you, one of the things I’m wondering is your book fats that heal and fats that kill? Is that updated still that people could look at that and not only get the information that you’re bringing us then but is it revised as we go forward? Is it still an up to date resource?

Udo Erasmus  37:26

Yeah, we revised it until 1997. There isn’t a lot that needs to be changed, because it gives you the basics because we can talk about prostaglandins and all of those fancy molecules, you know, but for the average person, yeah. But just tell me what to do. What do I need to do? That’s very well addressed in the book. And that’s why I haven’t changed. There are little details. I was probably 10-15 years, 20 years ahead of my time. Oh my gosh, standing of oils, because I fell. So in love with the project. It was like I knew how fats think. Molecule thinks, it was like that. It was like, I don’t know, it was like, channeled inspired, but it came out of the research. So a lot of things that I said at that time have been proven by research since then.

Steve Lankford  38:07

Yes. And I’m sure you took some flack during the time when that came out, because it was not conventional wisdom. And boy do we have always have to fight against conventional wisdom.

Udo Erasmus  38:20

It’s  because I think there’s more conventional than wisdom and conventional wisdom. The biggest issue has always been does the body convert plant based essential fatty acids into what fish oils contain? Yes. Okay. And that was laid to rest in 2015. Somebody actually did the measurement. They didn’t just make the claim it was called is docosahexaenoic acid, which is in fish oils, acid synthesis from alpha linolenic acid, which is to plant based Omega-3 central fatty acid sufficient to supply the adult brain. So they figured out the adult brain only turns over 2.4 to 3.8 milligrams of DHA a day. So that’s like peanuts. Let’s that’s really small amount for a big brain, which has a lot of DHA in it. So they figured that out. And then the second thing they figured out is that they did the research wrong. How come they came up with an idea less than 1% conversion?

They didn’t have that problem with Omega-6es. I use the same thing. Yeah. So they what they found out, you know how they did the studies, they gave people five grams of labeled alpha linolenic acid labeled with carbon 13. So that means you can trace where it goes in the body. So they gave five grams. And then they measured the label DHA, right? They didn’t take into account that DHA retro converts into EPA, probably 10%. That is forward converts into all of those fancy maricins and antioxidants and protectins and resolvins. They didn’t measure that either. They just assumed that DHA just sits there and waits for you to measure it. This is not our anything ever happens in nature, right? It’s always on the move. And then the thing, the thing that the biggest thing was, they measured the labeled DHA, they completely ignored that your body already has between 16 to 60 grams of ALA in it in your fat tissue that is also available for conversion. But that isn’t labeled. And that you wouldn’t measure if you only measure the labeled DHA.

So what they say at the conclusion is that the conversion rate is at least by three times under estimated because of the way they did those stupid studies. And these guys know better. These are smart people, they know fats. So my guess is that the reason why they’ve been doing that is payoff from the fish oil industry. Because that’s where their grants come from. So these scientists or scientists are corruptible. I’m sorry to have to break it to you. But there’s a lot of cheating going on.

Steve Lankford  40:58

Well, and one of my favorite sayings is, it’s not what I don’t know that bothers me. It’s what I think I know that ain’t so. Yeah, that exactly. So much of what we assumed to be true and has been preached to us with really great certainty is not always the right answer.

Udo Erasmus  41:17

Yeah, I don’t use any supplement oils, because I want to be proof that you don’t need them. But I make sure that optimize my intake of the starting material.

Steve Lankford  41:26

Yes. So now I know you have a website, tell us what our listeners can find on your website that will be of value to them.

Udo Erasmus  41:35

UdosChoice.com udo’s choice.com is the website. And there we talk about the products I’ve worked with the oils, there are several different one has LG DHA in it, and one has lignans in it, which has come from the seed material. And we’ll talk about why we made it, how we made it, a lot of things that we don’t have time to talk about in an hour. And then I also worked with digestion and with greens, because digestion is the second most neglected area after oils. And greens are the foundation of everything. So but most people know they should eat the greens, but don’t. So we work with that as well. And that’s what the website is about. Udoschoice.com.

Steve Lankford  42:15

All right, we’re going to recommend these resources. As always, Udo, I like to give my guests the last word is there anything and I know there’s probably plenty that we didn’t cover today, but that you want to make sure our listeners here,

Udo Erasmus  42:27

Man does not live by oil alone. You know, this, like this is two parts, there are 42 essential nutrients, the essential fatty acids are two of those 42. And then there’s everything else that affects health, which is everything, who you hang out with and what your environment looks like, and how you feel about being alive. And whether you have purpose in your life and what your thinking is what your negative thinking is, especially hurts you. But so if you want total health, then you really have to give everything in your life its due. And so that’s kind of where my interest is going is to bring that out and make a whole field of total health based in nature and human nature,

Steve Lankford  43:06

Powerful words of wisdom. And I couldn’t agree more it is everything that we can avail ourselves of. I mean, early on, you mentioned water and sunshine, and air, all of these good things that are part of our life. They can be problems or they can be beneficial. Seek out that which is good. And you just covered that very well. I really appreciate this idea of the fats and what you have done and your contributions, I know have been appreciated by 1000s, perhaps millions of people have benefited by the work and the influence that you have.

Udo Erasmus  43:45

So the joy that comes out of being poisoned by pesticides. Sometimes you need that kind of a kick, right?

Steve Lankford  43:52

Well, I find many times that people who become passionate about health, it’s out of a health crisis, because we need to find ways to heal ourselves. And if we can do this ahead of time, we may avoid some of those problems. And I believe that’s to be the case. So

Udo Erasmus  44:09

Yeah, and don’t forget Vitamin D, Vitamin C and zinc,

Steve Lankford  44:12

Well, we’ve learned that the last couple of years and seven way many people who never knew it, but still without the right foundation, they’re going to be less successful. Lay a good foundation, all of these things are going to work better in your body. And I’ve come to believe that the omega-3 fats are my important number one key that I think if you don’t do that you’re going to struggle with the others. So do that and everything else will work better for you. I’m glad you agree. Yeah. Thank you so much.

Udo Erasmus44:43

Oh, thank you. That was totally fun time.

Steve Lankford  44:44

I wish you the best. Thank you. Thank you so much. Take care. I wish you the best. Bye bye. If you would like additional information, please visit Health Quest podcast.com. We’ve provided additional details and links on the podcast page, remember, this is your process of discovery. Continue to search continue to learn. The more you know, the better choices you can make better choices lead to better outcomes. If you like HealthQuestPodcast.com. Please recommend us to your friends and social networks. We sincerely appreciate every like every star and every review. Together, we can lead others to better health one listener at a time. Thank you for joining me today. I’m glad you were here. Make it a good day and join me for another interesting Health Quest podcast.

Closing  45:43

Thank you for joining us today on Health Quest you want to improve your health Health Quest can help. For more information and interviews that help you visit HealthQuestPodcast.com

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