5 minutes with Udo Erasmus
To say Udo Erasmus is a hero of mine is an understatement. He embodies the kind of integrity that has inspired me ever since I first learnt about his contribution to the world, when I was at college studying nutrition. His friendly face, that graces the label of the Udo’s 3 • 6 • 9 Oil Blend®, is a constant in my refrigerator; and his book Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill is a favourite that I must have read, who knows how many times. I am not exaggerating when I say that I owe my knowledge and understanding of ‘oils’ to Udo, and that my health and beauty is undoubtedly better due to the consumption of his products, and implementation of his research. So what an absolute joy it was to make a connection with Udo and discover that he is as kind and considerate as I imagined him to be, and humbly gifting his time to contribute to this Be Naturallyou interview.
Udo Erasmus is THE leading authority on essential fatty acids. Full stop. In terms of advice about ‘good’ fats and ‘bad’ fats … it doesn’t get any better than what Udo has to offer.
What inspired you to dedicate 30+ years of your life to ‘good’ oils?
Pesticide poisoning in 1980 got me seriously interested in health. It was my wake-up call. The doctors could not help, so I went to the research literature.
I had many years of biological science, biochemistry, and genetics background. I learned how much damage is done to oils while being made by industry and how much more damage is done when we use oils for cooking.
‘I can’t get healthy on oils like this,’ I thought. ‘We should make oils with health in mind (rather than with shelf life).’
1983, I developed a method for making oils ‘with health in mind’.
Mid-1986, I published the first version of the book now called FATS THAT HEAL, FATS THAT KILL.
Late 1986, working with others, I developed flax seed oil.
I became deficient in omega-6, because flax oil has lots of omega-3 but not enough omega-6. That is when I became determined that we should make a better balanced blend of oils that has all the good and none of the bad, made with health in mind, balanced in omega -3 and -6 content, in glass so no plastic ends up in the oil, protected from light damage by a box, refrigerated, and NEVER used for frying. Added to hot foods AFTER they come off the fire. Added to warm or cold foods. Intake spread out over the course of the day. Good oils are compatible with all foods.
How long did it take you to develop the Udo’s 3 • 6 • 9 Oil Blend®?
That depends what you consider the start.
8 yeas of university studies in life sciences.
6 years to do the research, develop the method, write the book, develop production machinery, and develop the only flax oil made with health in mind.
8 years of further studies; re-write and expand book, develop formula for a perfected oil blend that contains all the good and none of the bad
9 years of travel to educate public on healthy oils: 5,000+ live presentations; 3,000+ media interviews; 30+ countries.
I made thousands of deliberate choices in the process. While others were cutting corners and decreasing food standards, I raised them.
We had no money, but huge passion for making healthy oils that improve quality of life. I was on fire to make oils for health to replace oils that increase inflammation and cancer.
In 1988, I took a tour (with a driver) through the US. The tour started mid-June and ended mid-September. In a van without air conditioning, we traveled 101 days, stopped in 85 cities in 35 states. We worked all day and drove all night. We traveled 17,000 miles. I slept on the floor of the van. Our clothes hung on a broomstick inside the van doors. Every couple of days, we stopped in a Marriott Hotel, where we showered and washed our clothes (Thank you, Marriott!!), then got back in the van. We talked to anyone who would listen to us.
Udo’s Oil is FOOD oil foundation. Fish oil is SUPPLEMENT. Fish oil cannot replace food oils. A supplement is supposed to supplement foods, not replace them.
Udo’s Oil is basic requirement for health. Fish oil is an add-on.
Udo’s Oil provides major essential nutrients: Omega-3 and Omega-6. Fish oil provides essential fatty acid derivatives.
Udo’s Oil optimum intake is about 1 Tablespoon/50 pounds of body weight per day. That’s 28-56 grams/day. Fish oil intake is recommended at 1-3 grams/day.
Udo’s Oil is made with health in mind, undamaged by processing or in food use (because no frying). Because fish oil is highly processed and much more sensitive to damage than plant-based oils, I personally do not use or recommend fish oils.
Personally, I love adding a little to my morning smoothie. What is your favourite way to take Udo’s 3 • 6 • 9 Oil Blend®?
I love the oil on miso soup. It tastes great in brown rice. Any dish with strong flavor is flavor-enhanced by the oil blend. My favorite use is in tahini, which is ground sesame seed. I pour off the sesame oil, and put mine in, instead.
Alan Roettinger wrote a recipe book called: OMEGA 3 CUISINE: Recipes For Health And Pleasure. It contains 140 plant-based recipes, most made with Udo’s Oil. His flavoring is superb. The publisher of this and my books is: The Book Company, Summertown, Tennessee.
What is the biggest misconception that you hear time and time again in respect to ‘fats’?
There are several.
1. Eating fats makes you fat. IT DOES NOT! That’s never been true. Most overweight comes from eating carbohydrates. Sugars are worst, refined starches are bad, but even brown rice makes you fat. If you eat it and you don’t burn it, you wear it. The body turns excess carbs into fat. That’s the law in the body. So limit carb intake. Oils suppress appetite, and turn on fat-burning in the body. That is why they don’t make you fat. When you switch to oils as your major fuel source, you have to lower carb intake at the same time. If you add the oil to your carb intake, you will put on weight. So, do a fuel SWITCH, not a fuel addition. Oils or carbs, not oils and carbs.
2. Fats are bad, and we should avoid them. REALLY BAD ADVICE!! Bad fats are bad, and we should avoid them. Good fats are good and we need them. In fact, two essential fatty acids—omega-3 and omega-6—are necessary for health and life. You cannot live without them. They ONLY come from fats/oils. Fats are dangerous only when you don’t get enough omega-3 or -6 in your food supply. Oils are dangerous because of the damage done by industrial processing and by cooking. Oils made with health in mind bring more health improvement than any other part of nutrition. Damage done to oils by industry and by food preparation causes more health problems than any other part of nutrition. By the way, there are NO essential carbohydrates. That makes carbs the least important food.
What are your top 3 tips for natural health and beauty?
1. Contentment looks good on you, so practice contentment. Inner peace is embedded in the energy called life. Find a way to live in touch with the feeling of that energy. There is no stress in that essence of your being. But there is the feeling of calm, wisdom, presence, freedom, wholeness, perfection, insight, strength, beauty, and much more. Discover it. Contentment also reverses stress-related aging and extends life. Costs nothing. Discontent is destructive, and that’s not good news.
2. Harmony works for everyone, so practice harmony. What if we were to deliberately discipline our thinking toward benefit to all at the expense of none; to protecting, supporting, and caring for life, body, and nature; and to think ‘us all inclusive, globally’? We would be safer, and the quality of life that we could reach would be higher. So, cultivate that kind of disciplined thinking. Any other kind of thinking could qualify as insane.
3. Life invented physical health in nature. So live with your body in line with nature. Nature’s standard: The operative word is ‘fresh’. Breathe fresh air, drink fresh water, and eat fresh whole raw organic uncontaminated food. Optimize digestion with probiotics, digestive enzymes, and fiber. Avoid poisons and detoxify. Balance activity with rest.
cultivate membership only in groups that accept you as you are, appreciate your individuality, and don’t force you to give that up in order to belong.
Finally, think and act toward a clean environment. Someone a long time ago, carved in big letters into a log on the beach, a pithy summary of all environmental issues: ‘Shit in your nest! Nest in your shit!’ (Not my words, but point well taken).
Shop Udo’s Choice products here
To read my Tried and Tested review of Udo’s 3 • 6 • 9 Oil Blend® go here