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Rethinking Heart Health: The Role of Seed Oils and Cholesterol





Colonel’s Blog, Earthdate 12 May 2023…

Hey Y’all!

Happy Fast-Jet Friday, Y’all! Today’s fast-jet pic is, of course, the Mighty-Mighty F-15E Strike Eagle. That said, this pic is our second daughter, Hannah “HAIL” Slayton in the front seat! It has rained almost 3 inches in the past 36ish hours. The sun is shining in-between storms and the grass is GROWING! We’re deciding when to get the beef herd back on the move, probably this weekend. They are doing well but are ready to get back to grazing—they’re a bit tired of hay since they’ve been eating it since November. The ewes are doing well. They are starting to show signs of lambing soon. We expect lambing to begin this weekend also. The other pics today are: top—Smokey the Barn-cat’s 3 kittens, the next is one of Smokey’s daughter’s with her 3 kittens, the next two are the new beef chicks about a week from moving onto pasture, and the last is 4 of the 5 incubator chicks in their brooder. Looks like a bust with the Guinea eggs in the incubator. We’re just going to throw them out and take a break from incubating for a time. We had new friends visit the farm yesterday evening and we had an amazing time looking at all of the different aspects of the farm and then enjoying great conversations. Today, we went to get 1,200 pounds of broiler feed for the next batch of beef chickens and 1,000 pounds for the layer hens. Our local GMO-Free feed mill is a real gem. The bulk bags are still working really well for us and we absolutely do NOT miss the paper bags laying around everywhere nor the hours spent burning the bags.

I’d like to continue the topic of our health in relation to things we shove into our face and discuss some research that doesn’t make it to the mainstream conversation. Let’s start with seed oils and Omega-6 fatty acids. Seed oils have been used for various purposes for thousands of years. In ancient civilizations, seeds were crushed to produce oil for cooking, lighting, and medicinal purposes. Over time, the use of seed oils expanded to include lubrication, and the industrial revolution in the 19th century brought about a significant increase in demand for seed oils for this purpose. During this time, seed oils such as linseed oil and rapeseed oil became popular for use as lubricants in steam engines and other machinery. The high viscosity and heat resistance of these oils made them ideal for use in heavy machinery, and their use continued well into the 20th century. Yes, the oils that are an integral part of the Standard American Diet were first used as industrial lubricants. Further industrial advances brought about the ability to continue to refine the oils into the “food” we know it to be today. The refining process involves several steps, including degumming, neutralization, bleaching, and deodorization. Degumming removes phospholipids, which can make the oil cloudy and rancid. Neutralization removes free fatty acids, which can cause the oil to spoil more quickly. Bleaching removes pigments and other impurities that can affect the color and taste of the oil. Deodorization removes any remaining impurities that can affect the flavor and aroma of the oil. Now that it is refined past an industrial lubricant into a “safe for human consumption” form, the food industry went wild adding this cheap form of fat into processed foods until now it is very difficult to find processed foods without some form of seed oils. So, besides consuming a lubricant…ahem, I mean…very refined lubricant, what is the big deal? In recent years, research has shown that some seed oils, particularly those high in omega-6 fatty acids (corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and cottonseed oil), can have inflammatory effects on the body. Research suggests that a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids, particularly when combined with a low intake of omega-3 fatty acids, can promote chronic inflammation in the body. This inflammation can damage the lining of arteries, leading to the development of atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by the buildup of plaque in the arterial walls. Why, you may ask, does inflammation lead to a buildup of plaque? Enter the “bad-guy” in the nutrition world. Cholesterol—but maybe it’s not the bad guy we’ve all been told it is. Cholesterol is a vital substance that the body needs for various functions, including the production of hormones, cell membranes, and bile acids. Other than those functions, cholesterol also acts as a kind of internal bandage. When the lining of an artery becomes damaged due to inflammation, cholesterol is transported to the site to help repair the damage. However, if the inflammation persists, the cholesterol can accumulate and contribute to the buildup of plaque in the arterial walls. While cholesterol has long been considered a primary culprit in the development of heart disease, recent research suggests that chronic inflammation may be a more significant factor. The accumulation of cholesterol in the arterial walls is a response to inflammation, rather than the primary cause of heart disease. To illustrate, imagine placing bandage on top of bandage on top of bandage on top of bandage—eventually it builds up. This is what happens with cholesterol. Inflammation causes ulcerations, cholesterol bandages the ulcerations, inflammation causes more ulcerations, cholesterol bandages…over and over. In conclusion, a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids can promote chronic inflammation in the body, which can damage the lining of arteries and lead to the development of atherosclerosis. Cholesterol plays a role in this process by mending tiny ulcerations caused by inflammation, but chronic inflammation is the primary driver of heart disease. So, maybe its time to rethink heart health. Stop eating the things that cause the inflammation in the arteries (Omega-6 fatty acids from seed oils), no inflammation means no ulcerations, no ulcerations means cholesterol won’t be needed to bandage the ulcerations, no bandages means no buildup, no buildup means healthy heart.

Local Farm Report for 11 May 2023:

Harvest:

34 Chicken eggs

20 Duck eggs

1 Goose egg

6 Gallons of milk

Cheers!

Psycho & Shelley

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