Oil Your Hair, Not Your Food

If you put oil in your dog’s food, it sup­pos­ed­ly makes his coat glossy. If we eat too much fat, we can end up with a coat that is too glossy, with too much oil on our skin and hair. But what if your hair is dry? Does that mean that you should eat more fat? Def­i­nite­ly not. To find cas­es of peo­ple with a gen­uine dietary defi­cien­cy of fat, you have to look at peo­ple who were being fed noth­ing but sug­ar intra­venous­ly. If your hair is dry, add oil direct­ly to the hair, not to your food!

One effec­tive way to add oil to your hair is with a hot oil treat­ment. I tried this yes­ter­day and am thrilled with the results. My hair is curly and very thick, and it tends to mis­be­have, espe­cial­ly in the sum­mer. So I heat­ed up a few table­spoons of olive oil in the microwave for a few sec­onds (not too hot!) and applied it direct­ly to my hair. I couldn’t believe how much oil my hair absorbed! So I heat­ed up more oil and added that. I let the oil soak in for about 15 min­utes, then I sham­pooed my hair: lath­er and rinse, no repeat.

My hair turned out soft and man­age­able. I think that next time I’ll try a mix­ture of olive and coconut oil, to see how that works!

Pho­to by Inter­net Archive Book Images

Olive Oil Is Junk Food!

Late­ly, many peo­ple have been tout­ing olive oil as some sort of “health food.” Sad­ly, olive oil is junk food, one of the worst junk foods there is. It’s emp­ty calo­ries that pro­vide prac­ti­cal­ly no essen­tial nutri­ents.

At rough­ly 9 calo­ries per gram, olive oil is packed with calo­ries, all of them from fat. Most of the fat­ty acids in olive oil are a monoun­sat­u­rat­ed fat­ty acid called ole­ic acid. You don’t need to get any monoun­sat­u­rat­ed fat what­so­ev­er from your diet, and monoun­sat­u­rat­ed fats have no known role in pre­vent­ing chron­ic dis­ease. About 14% of the fat­ty acids in olive oil are sat­u­rat­ed. You don’t need to get any sat­u­rat­ed fat what­so­ev­er from your diet, and a high intake of sat­u­rat­ed fat has long been known to con­tribute to coro­nary artery dis­ease.

There are only two kinds of fat­ty acid that are essen­tial in human nutri­tion, which means that you have to get them from the diet. One is an omega-6 fat­ty acid called linole­ic acid, which accounts for some­where between 3.5% and 21% of the fat­ty acids in olive oil. Since linole­ic acid is com­mon­ly found in nuts, seeds, and grains, most peo­ple get far more of it than they need. Olive oil con­tains van­ish­ing­ly small amounts of alpha-linole­ic acid, the essen­tial omega-3 fat­ty acid that is in rel­a­tive­ly short sup­ply in most people’s diets.

Too much fat of any kind will make you fat. Excess fats of all kinds also tend to build up in your arter­ies, thus lead­ing to heart attack and stroke. Fats of all kinds also tend to pro­mote insulin resis­tance, thus lead­ing to type 2 dia­betes in some peo­ple. 

Olive oil has been get­ting good press because it is con­sid­ered to be part of the “Mediter­ranean diet.” Pop­u­la­tion stud­ies had shown that rates of heart dis­ease were much low­er in some of the coun­tries that bor­dered the Mediter­ranean Sea than they were in Scan­di­navia and the Unit­ed States. How­ev­er, most peo­ple ignore the fact that the peo­ple in the Mediter­ranean coun­tries were eat­ing a more heav­i­ly plant-based diet than the peo­ple in the Unit­ed States and Scan­di­navia. Plants have no cho­les­terol, and the fiber they con­tain helps to car­ry cho­les­terol out of your sys­tem. Instead, peo­ple have been focus­ing on the fact that peo­ple in the Mediter­ranean coun­tries eat some olive oil.

Fat peo­ple in Mediter­ranean coun­tries tend to eat a low-carb, high-fat diet, with olive oil being the pre­dom­i­nant fat.  One study found that fat peo­ple in Spain had been get­ting 35% of their calo­ries from car­bo­hy­drate and 43% from fats, 55% of which were from monoun­sat­u­rat­ed fat­ty acids. So much for the the­o­ry that eat­ing fats instead of carbs makes peo­ple lose weight, or that olive oil has some sort of bel­ly flat­ten­ing mag­ic!