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Walnut oil is the best plant-based source of inflammation-reducing omega-3 fats, with health benefits far surpassing flax or flaxseed oil.
Over twenty years ago when I first began eating organic produce and clean meats, I discovered the wonders of walnut oil. I was introduced to this high omega-3 oil by an Ayurvedic MD. She was coaching me on some very necessary diet and lifestyle changes. The reason? I was living a completely stressed-out corporate life at the time that was taking all the joy out of my life.
Doctors Recommend Walnut Oil for Omega-3
Prior to Dr. Wright’s recommendation to add walnut oil to my diet, I had never before heard of the wonders of omega-3 fatty acids. I certainly had never heard of cod liver oil. My introduction to the work of Dr. Weston A. Price was still quite a few years away.
I was delighted by the slightly nutty clean flavor of walnut oil. So, I enthusiastically started using it on a daily basis for breakfast.
The usual way I would take my walnut oil was drizzled on a bowl of breakfast flakes made with organic amaranth, which is not exactly the best way to start the day. This is because boxed breakfast cereals are so highly processed. However, I was moving in the right direction and any progress at all in my diet at that time proved to be extremely helpful to my health.
Better Choice Than Flax Oil
Flax oil is the usual choice when people seek to add plant-based omega-3 fats to the diet. However, flax oil is known to sometimes exacerbate hormonal issues. This observation from Raine Saunders, of the blog Agriculture Society, touches on the subject:
Something I try to be mindful of are foods which are very high in estrogenic properties. Even natural foods like flax seeds and flax oil, like many other foods (soy, sesame seeds (oil), and various beans), are very high in estrogen and can make certain health issues worse such as fibroids or fibrocystic breast conditions. Even if you have a traditional, balanced diet, even moderate consumption of these foods could be problematic anyway because of all the xeno-estrogens in our environment from plastics and other chemicals, which are increasingly pervasive in the world due to industry use and production of new chemicals.
Some other people also commented on that post about how flax oil caused them hormonal difficulties. Cystic or sore breasts was a common theme. Clearly there are potential dangers to consuming flax in this modern age with all the estrogen-mimicking chemicals literally everywhere.
For this reason, walnut oil seems to be a better choice than flax oil for adding plant-based omega-3 fats to the diet. Plant-based omega-3 oils are never a good substitute for animal forms of omega-3 fats like in cod liver oil. It can, however, be a healthy addition to salad dressings in very small amounts.
How to Use
Like hemp seed oil, rice bran oil, pumpkin oil, argan oil, grapeseed oil, some types of sunflower seed oil, and any other culinary oil high in polyunsaturated omega-6 and/or omega-3 fats, walnut oil is extremely delicate and goes rancid easily. After purchasing, it must be kept in the refrigerator and can never, ever be heated or used as a cooking oil.
One or two teaspoons added to your homemade dressings adds delightful flavor and nutrition to your salads. Remember that even though healthy, omega 3 fats are still polyunsaturated oils and should comprise a very small percentage of the diet, so don’t overdo!
I’ve vetted this brand of unrefined, cold-pressed walnut oil.
Please note that walnuts are slightly goitrogenic the same as flax (although much less so). Hence, if your thyroid is a problem, it may be best to stick entirely with animal-based forms of omega-3 fats.
The Many Shades of Palm Oil
Five Fats You Must Have in Your Kitchen
Selecting a Healthy Cooking Oil and Reusing it Safely
Caution When Using Chicken Fat for Cooking
Cooking with Olive Oil: Yea or Nay?
How Vegetable Oils Make Us Fat
Red Palm Oil Benefits Rival Coconut Oil
There is segment on BLACK BELT TV | The Martial Arts Network call Power Nutrition that mentions all the same benefits of walnut oil mention in your article it’s good to know that walnut oil is a great substitute for flaxseed oil.
i have been using flax oil in dressings for many months because of finding out about all of the fake olive oil. many women on my mother’s side had male pattern hair loss. i have been shedding a lot lately and stumbled upon a board where people were commenting that flax was causing them to lose hair. so i stopped using the flax oil and found a good olive oil instead. i am not shedding as much already. now i read this, too. thanks for all of the great info!!
I was going through menopause last year and my period had stopped for several months. I started eating flax seed meal in muffins ( an instant food for celiac, pop in microwave), 2 tbsp per day say 5 days a week. Was loving it because had very positive affect on digestion….then the migraines, irritable, breasts really really hurt(agony)… And the i got my period back…my doc took hormone level test and estrogen was thru the roof!!! It took awhile to figure it was the flax becuase so much positive info about it. Took Dim and cold turkey the flax…took several months, but now i am happily on the other side of that misery..triggered viruses and epstein- barre…like high estrogen put sooooo much stress on my body!now i have chia seed in kombucha or in cocnut milk with hemp seed and shredded cocnut and have with berries for snack for the digestion. Thinking about Green Pasture Cod liver oil…my Irish grandmother always said take your cod liver oil…
Well, I tried walnut oil and had skin rashes. I’m not 100% sure if it was because of the walnut oil but I’ve stopped taking it. Strange because when I eat walnuts I don’t have this.
Who would have guessed about flax seed meal? Going thru the change this past year and all of a sudden started getting period again and migraines, gained weight, breasts hurt so much and felt awful. I was making muffins in a cup with 2 scoops flax meal…blood test revealed estrogen had shot up and neighbor brought it to my attention! It took a couple of months, but now estrogen low, no periods! Wow!
Your article mentions that Walnut Oil should not be heated or cooked with. Guess I should have read the article before I tried to cook with it. What happens to it when it is heated?
Oils turns carcinogenic when heated on high. They change they molecular structure. Butter & ghee & coconut oil are safe oils for high hears.