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Ask the Experts

You stated while you were here at National Gypsum that heat and light transform the chemical structure of EFA's in nuts from a beneficial "cis" chemical structure to a hazardous "trans" chemical structure.

Two questions:

1) Does this transformation affect all the EFA's in the roasted nut or merely a small % of the EFA's?

2) If heating nuts renders their EFA's toxic, does not heating of salmon and other fish render their beneficial EFA's toxic as well? If so, how do you eat these fish while minimizing this toxic conversion?

The transformation that occurs in the essential fats is dependent on the amount of heat, light, or air applied. The essential fat in salmon is less volatile than that in raw flax oil. However, the more heat, air, or light applied, the more the essential fats will break down. When salmon is cooked, for instance, not all of the essential fats are destroyed, but there are more left in tact if it is cooked less. I usually recommend cooking lightly at medium heat, so that the fish is still pink on the inside. If you want to become a veritable expert on fats, I would recommend reading Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, by Udo Erasmus. It is one of the best treatises on biochemistry that I have ever read.

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