Fats and oils have become a controversial topic in our modern day with many claims as to their supposed benefits or harm. As discerning and health conscious consumers it is therefore very important that we know the most complete story about any item of interest or need. In this essay I will share with you an analysis of Udo’s Oils to help you understand more about these products and how they can benefit your health.

Fats are an essential part of our health and something that all of our cells, tissues and organs depend on for optimal function. In recent decades however, fats have been vilified in various ways and greatly misunderstood. In their most natural form, from whole food, high quality, natural sources, especially plants, fats are considered not just healthy, but necessary components for health. In their processed, refined, isolated or unnatural forms, such as those found in processed foods or factory farmed animal foods, fats contribute to the degradation of our body and health.

As health conscious consumers, it is therefore vital that we gain back the necessary knowledge when it comes to fats and not get lost in the hype or false promises of “low-fat” or “zero-fat” food claims. It is also important to know some basic information when it comes to understanding fats and oils so that we can make informed decisions when it comes to the products we choose to invest our money and health into.

This is where a product like Flora’s Udo’s Oil 3-6-9 blend requires a thorough analysis to understand why it stands out from the crowd and how it can benefit us, if we choose to use it. In our quest for optimal health, longevity and quality of life, while quantity plays an important role, it always comes down to quality for making the greatest impact on our health and wellbeing.

About Flora

Flora was founded in 1965 in British Columbia, Canada. Today it is owned by Thomas Greither, grandson of Dr. Otto Greither, founder of Salus-Haus natural health products. Thomas is dedicated to preserving the environment and in utilizing production and packaging practices that are ecologically sound, including vegetarian capsules for all the dry herbal extracts and environmentally friendly amber glass bottles for the herbal tonics and organic oils.

In its early stages, Flora served primarily as a centre for distributing and marketing European herbal remedies. Today, Flora manufactures and distributes premium health products prepared with botanicals from sustainable, organic farmlands. Their formulas use full-spectrum plant constituents and certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, and kosher materials whenever possible.

Flora has been honoured with numerous awards and continually strives to remain a leader in the field of natural health by remaining committed to its mandate of offering only supreme quality formulas. To date, it has grown to serve all of North America as well as many parts of Europe and other continents, with a facility in Washington, US as well.

About Udo’s Oil

Udo’s Oil is one of the high quality products carried by Flora. It was formulated by Udo Erasmus, Ph.D., who introduced the importance of essential fats (EFA’s) derived from organic flax seeds to the world. He is credited with establishing methods for producing unrefined oils, which are still used today by manufacturers of flax and other oils. Later, he developed an oil blend which is an improvement on flax oil, offering a better ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6, known today as Udo’s Oil 3-6-9 Blend. Udo is also the author of the book, Fats that Heal Fats That Kill, which has become the industry’s leading source on fats.

Udo’s Oils come in 2 liquid varieties:

  1. Udo’s Oil Organic 3-6-9 Blend
  2. Udo’s Oil DHA 3-6-9 Blend

    • Both offer the ideal 2:1:1 ratio of unrefined omega fatty acids 3:6:9.
    • Both come in dark glass jars.
    • Both must be used in their raw form, not cooked with or heated.
    • Both may be slightly bitter tasting on their own, but blend well with salads and other meals where their flavors become neutral.
    • The oils must be kept refrigerated or frozen to prolong their shelf life.

There are several capsule options of oils also available, however I do not recommend those as they get even further away from the original, real whole food forms, which are most optimal for our health.

Udo’s Oil Organic 3-6-9 Blend

The specific characteristics for this oil are as follows:

Ingredients

  • organic flaxseed oil
  • organic sunflower seed oil
  • organic sesame seed oil
  • organic coconut oil
  • organic evening primrose seed oil
  • organic rice bran oil
  • organic soy lecithin
  • organic oat bran oil
  • mixed tocopherols (non-GMO)

Nutrition Info/TBSP

  • 120 calories
  • 14g fat
  • 1.5g saturated fat
  • 0g trans fat
  • 3g omega-3
  • 6g omega-6
  • 12mg GLA
  • 3g monounsaturated fat
  • 0g cholesterol
  • 0g carbohydrates (0g sugar, 0g fiber)
  • 0.2g protein

Udo’s Oil DHA 3-6-9 Blend

The specific characteristics for this oil are as follows:

Ingredients

  • organic flaxseed oil
  • organic sunflower seed oil
  • organic sesame seed oil
  • organic evening primrose seed oil
  • algal oil
  • organic coconut oil
  • organic rice bran oil
  • organic soy lecithin
  • rosemary extract
  • high oleic sunflower oil
  • tocopherols
  • ascorbyl palmitate
  • organic oat bran oil

Nutrition Info/TBSP

  • 120 calories
  • 14g fat
  • 2.5g saturated fat
  • 0g trans fat
  • 3g omega-3
  • 5g omega-6
  • 40mg GLA
  • 100mg DHA
  • 3mg EPA
  • 3g monounsaturated fat
  • 0g cholesterol
  • 0g carbohydrates (0g sugar, 0g fiber)
  • 0.3g protein

How Udo’s Oils Are Made

What makes these oils stand out and qualify as high quality oils is the way that they are treated and processed from start to finish. Unsaturated fats, especially essential fatty acids can be very vulnerable to damage and oxidation. This is one of the main reasons why we should not be heating most oils and why we should store most nuts and seeds in the refrigerator or freezer. Rancid fats are harmful to our health and wellbeing.

The Udo oil production begins with fresh, organic flax, sesame, and sunflower seeds, as well as organic oils from evening primrose, rice germ and oat germ. The seeds are pressed at a temperature of less than 120°F (or 50°C) and in the absence of light and oxygen. The oil is then packaged into nitrogen-flushed, amber glass bottles that are further packaged into light-excluding boxes. The oil is stored and found only in the fridge or freezer.

This process protects the oil blend from potential damage by heat, light, and oxygen, and helps ensure maximum freshness and stability. It produces the highest quality, unrefined blend of oils that can then provide us with the numerous benefits that the selected saturated, unsaturated, and most specifically essential fatty acids (EFAs) can offer our health.

Udo’s Oils, Your Diet, and Health

Udo’s oils are mainly focused on providing consumers with high quality, plant-based essential fats, like various omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids. When we consume these fats from the highest quality sources and in the correct ratios, they offer healing and protective benefits for our health. The most significant benefits that these fats provide, include being health promoting for our nervous system (including brain) and our cardiovascular system (including heart). Otherwise, they can be problematic and destructive to our health and wellbeing.

Since the start of the omega-3, and more specifically the fish oil bandwagon, I have shared information to help readers, like yourself, fill in the missing pieces and gain a more complete story about the impact of omega-3 and omega-6 fats on our health. Too many people, medical experts alike, believe that fish foods and fish oils are the solution to our health, when it comes to addressing inflammation and providing us with healthy fats. However, given the problems with today’s seafood and quality of fish oil supplements, as well as the conflicting fish oil studies, this is a far cry from an effective solution. What we must focus on if we want to prevent inflammation and our risk of chronic disease is the overall quality of our diet.

Trying to fix our health and diet via risky foods or isolated supplements or food forms is the common bandaid approach that our modern society tries to apply to every area. This type of approach may provide a false sense of security or some short-term benefits, but fails to address the real issues or provide long-term, sustainable solutions. The real problem is not that we are eating too little fish or need more fish oil supplements. The real problem is that our diets are too imbalanced in favor of omega-6 fatty acids, which are inflammatory in the absence of sufficient omega-3 fatty acids.

Therefore to implement effective solutions, we should first and primarily focus on whole-food, plant-based diets that are naturally anti-inflammatory in nature. Within that, we can focus on smart omega-3 sources, like flax, hemp and chia seeds. They are extremely valuable additions to our daily diet in terms of their favorable macro- and micro-nutrient profiles, and outstandingly ideal omega-3 to omega-6 ratios. Note, however, that we cannot consider their extracted oils nutritional equivalents. Nature simply does not work that way, and there is a reason why each whole, natural food is packaged as it is. The healthiest sources of fat come from whole food, plant sources like nuts, seeds, avocados, as well as grains, beans and vegetables.

Secondly, we should focus on the complete removal, or at the very least a serious reduction in refined vegetable oils and processed foods made with them. Any oils that we do choose to use should come with least harm. This is where we may consider organic, virgin coconut oil and organic, extra virgin olive oil, as well as Udo’s oils.

Thirdly, we should focus more on consuming our oils in their raw, not cooked forms. Today we have become too comfortable with heating most oils and we do not realize the deleterious consequences of this on our health in how inflammatory and oxidizing it is. It can lead to all sorts of health problems via the inflammation that it causes, including heart disease, diabetes type 2, cancers, etc.

Therefore, when it comes to using Udo’s oils, we can feel good that they are produced under strict conditions aimed at maintaining the integrity of the fats, and if used in raw forms, may provide the intended benefits. Here is a summary of who I feel could most benefit from these products:

  • if you would like to boost your fatty acid composition in a healthy way from plant-food sources
  • if you would like a source of plant-derived DHA
  • if you would like to avoid fish and seafood-based sources of essential fatty acids, and cannot get them from other whole-food, plant sources, like flax or chia seeds
  • if you would like to swap your salad oil (i.e. olive oil) for a more essential fatty acid balanced one

Here are a few other cautionary points to consider:

  • reduce or eliminate other oils in your diet if you are going to use these oils (too many oils in the diet are not going to be a healthy way to go; you may be working against yourself and wasting your resources)
  • do not feel like you should or must include these oils in your diet; those with optimally healthy whole-food, plant-based diets may benefit little, if at all, or even lose out by using such oils

Personal Commentary

Although I am not a fan of adding much oil to my diet these days, and prefer whole food sources, I decided to try both of these oils, so that I can be of most help to others who are looking for information about them. I tried both oils on their own first, and found the taste of both to be distinctly bitter. It was not overwhelming, but it was definitely there. Bitter oils can be a sign of the fats going rancid, and therefore should always be investigated, or avoided if you have confirmed that the fats have gone rancid. Udo’s oils must be kept refrigerated, but buying them from online sources makes this hard to prove. However, as mentioned previously, Udo’s oils can naturally have a slightly bitter taste or after-taste to them. Truly rancid oil is usually extremely bitter and unpalatable.

Throughout my experience with both oils, I simply consumed them as toppings for my raw, whole-meal salads. In the salads there was no noticeable bitter taste, which was nice. It was also nice to have an alternative to my organic, extra virgin olive oil, which has a more pronounced flavor that is not always desirable. If you are looking to diversify your use with the oils, either one can be compatible with many foods and used with cold, and warm/hot meals, as long as the oil itself is not heated. Common uses include: salads, shakes or smoothies, soups, on steamed vegetables, on a stir-fry, on rice, potatoes, and pastas, and for dipping.

When it comes to health benefits, being someone who enjoys optimal health, I did not experience any noticeable changes or improvements personally. I consumed 1 tablespoon in my salads daily for about 2 months, which is how long the 2 bottles lasted back to back. (One 500ml bottle will last roughly 30 days if using 1 TBSP daily.) The recommended dosage is anywhere from 1 tablespoon to 5 tablespoons daily, so that use will vary depending on one’s personal health needs. If you choose to work with this oil, experiment with what works for you, and remember to be patient as our body’s most profound changes do not happen overnight.

Which variety of Udo’s oil you decide on will depend on your personal nutritional and health needs. If the price is comparable, I would go with the DHA blend as it offers that extra bonus. I would especially recommend the DHA option for pregnant or nursing women; young, growing children; new vegans or vegetarians, or those whose diets may be lacking in quality nutrients; athletes; or anyone who has higher than normal needs for mental or physical exertion.

Whatever you decide, don’t forget that optimal health is most influenced and created by the overall quality of your diet, and not any one food or supplement. The foundation of our health rests in our overall lifestyle, which includes our food, but also much more.

Pros

  • The regular 3-6-9 blend is fully certified organic
  • The DHA blend uses mostly certified organic ingredients
  • The oils do not use any GMO ingredients
  • The oils provide the ideal 2:1:1 ratio of omega-3:6:9 fatty acids
  • Both oils contain unrefined omega fatty acids (GLA, ALA, LA, DHA, EPA)
  • The DHA algae content was extracted without hexane
  • Both oils are pressed using state-of-the-art methods in low-heat, light-free and oxygen-free environments
  • The oils contain 100% plant ingredients, and are vegan
  • The oils are certified kosher
  • The oils come in dark glass bottles
  • The oils can be easily purchased in North America

Cons

  • The nature of oil is that it is an extracted, isolated, 100% fat food source (not whole food), which will always have some downsides where our health is concerned
  • The cost of these oils may not be a deterrent for many as a sustainable or regular option

Price (at time of this posting)

The price of the product ranges from $20 to $30 for a 500ml/17oz size. We should keep in mind that this is about double compared to the same size bottle of flax or hemp oil, which typically cost around $15. Based on the ingredient blend and care during the production of Udo’s oils, it can be argued that the cost is justifiable. Whether that will be the case for you, will depend on your personal health and dietary needs, finances, and priorities.

Udo’s Oil Organic 3-6-9 Blend:

  • around $12 - $14 for the 250ml size
  • around $20 - $25 for the 500ml size
  • around $35 - $40 for the 946ml size

Udo’s Oil DHA 3-6-9 Blend:

  • around $15 - $18 for the 250ml size
  • around $25 - $30 for the 500ml size

Availability

  • Widely available in local health food stores in Canada and the US — see the store locator. (Look for them in the refrigerated sections in your local health food stores.)

  • In the US, there are numerous deal options on these oils via online stores like:

  • In other parts of the world, check your local or online health food stores