Good & Bad Fats

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Thu, 06/24/2010
Good & Bad Fats

Popular people derailed the nutrition policy for over half century because of their ambition, worst science, politics, business, and bias.

Fats from nature are always right and health-supportive. Fats made or modified by a human (industrial) is mostly adverse and health detrimental.

Good & Bad Fats: Misleading dietary guidelines

The US Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Need released its Dietary Goals for the United States. They said overconsumption of fat, particularly saturated fat linked to six of the ten leading causes of death. The report urged Americans to reduce their fat consumption. They insist on using polyunsaturated in place of saturated (from animal sources). Additionally, they suggest margarine and corn oil in place of butter, lard, and tallow.

Time has come to end the old low-fat myth.

In the 1960s, Americans consumed about 45 % of calories from fats and oils. During that period, only about 13 % of adults were obese, and less than 1 % had type 2 diabetes. Today, Americans are talking about 33 % of calories from fats and oils. In spite, 34 % of adults are obese, and more than 11 % have diabetes.

Why lowered fat consumption did not provide the expected benefits?

You know, a fatty acid type is more significant than quantity. For example, the above said dietary guideline to use margarine instead of butter. Grass-fed cow's butter is healthier than humanmade margarine.

People start replacing fat with refined carbohydrates in their diet. These carbohydrates are bread, rice, potatoes, and sugary drinks. Today’s health deterioration may be due to this reason. High carbohydrate intake leads to sugar and insulin spikes. This sugar/insulin spikes may increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes risk.

Food manufacturers use excess sugar in the place of fat to increase the palatability of the foods. Do you know! Sugar is highly dangerous to your health compared to fat.

Unsaturated fatty acid – Good when within limits

A fatty acid with at least one double (-C=C-) bond in the carbon chain is an unsaturated fatty acid. They are generally from vegetables and seeds, less stable and high in omega 6. Unsaturated fats are of two types; they are mono and polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fatty acids have only one double (-C=C-) bond in the carbon chain. Whereas polyunsaturated fatty acids do have two or more double bonds (-C=C-C-C=C-).

Clinical studies have shown dietary intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid reduce pain.  It reduces pain from rheumatoid arthritis, dysmenorrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, and neuropathy. Additionally, levels of n-6 series fatty acids are high in patients with chronic pain. These shows polyunsaturated fatty acids play a vital role in pain regulation. Reference: “Unsaturated fatty acids and pain,” published in Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 2011; 34(8):1174-8.

Omega 6 produces the inflammatory hormone. This hormone is necessary for the immune system and healing wound or injury. Omega-3 has the opposite function that is precursors to the anti-inflammatory compounds. Many researchers established the ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the diet is between 1:1 and 4:1. Reference: “Evolutionary Aspects of the Dietary Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio: Medical Implications.” Published in World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics 100 (2009): 1–21.

The polyunsaturated oils have been of concern in recent times. The researchers learned the high level of omega-6 is not desirable as once thought. So it is recommended to decrease the intake of the omega-6 polyunsaturated oil.

The omega number indicates the position of the first double bond.

High temperature and oxygen during extraction processing make the polyunsaturated fatty acids become reactive and form free radicals. Free radicals can cause heart disease, stroke, and even cancer. You should strict in avoiding industrial processed polyunsaturated oils corn, safflower, soy, and sunflower.

Omega 6 is pro-inflammatory and Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory.

Omega-3 is an “essential” fatty acid cannot synthesize by your body. These fatty acids reduce your risk of coronary heart disease. Additionally, it boosts your immune system. Omega 3 fatty acids are available in certain fish, grass-fed animal meat, flaxseed, walnut, chia seeds, and hemp seeds. Eat wild salmon twice a week; it is the best source of omega 3; farm-raised salmon should avoid at any cost.

Omega-6 fatty acids are in vegetable oils corn, canola, safflower, and soybean. Omega-6 is pro-inflammatory, thus reduce its consumption. You cannot necessary to avoid, instead increase the use of omega-3, which is anti-inflammatory.

A less common omega-6 fatty acid, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) has anti-inflammatory effects along with other disease-fighting powers. GLA sources are rare oils such as black currant, borage, and hemp oils.

Polyunsaturated oils corn, soy, safflower, sunflower, and canola, are the worst choice for cooking. Since these oils are oxidized while heating and thus removes these omega-6 oils from your grocery list. Additionally, most of these vegetable oils are from GMO products.

Omega 3 to Omega 6 balance

The ideal omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is 1:1, but the American's ratio is 15:1 to 50:1!

Omega 6 produce inflammatory hormones, part of the immune system, and healing wound. Omega-3 has the opposite function, precursors to the anti-inflammatory compounds. Researchers have established the ideal ratio of omega6 to omega-3 in the diet is between 1:1 and 4:1. Reference: “Evolutionary Aspects of the Dietary Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio: Medical Implications.” Published in World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics 100 (2009): 1–21.

Omega-6 fats are pro-inflammatory and contribute to insulin and membrane resistance, altering your mood, and impairing learning and cell repair. To avoid high levels of omega-6, you can stop all vegetable seed oil use.

If you do not lower your omega-6 fats to acceptable levels, you will not get wonderful benefits of omega-3 fats such as reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer's, arthritis and many other degenerative illnesses.

Daily needs of Omega3 & Omega6 fatty acids

Recommended daily intake is about 6 g/day (5 g omega6 + 1 g omega3) for women and 8 g/day (6.4 g omega6 + 1.6 g omega3) for men.

Cold-pressed Vs. Industrially processed oils

Traditional, cold-pressed unsaturated vegetable oils extra virgin olive oil, peanut oil, and sesame oil have been in use for hundreds of years. Cold-pressed process of oil extraction from seeds and nuts does not use chemicals or heat to extract the oil.

The modern processed oils such as soybean, sunflower, corn, canola, cottonseed, and safflower oil are usually GMO crops, as well as use high temperature and toxic chemicals to extract the oil from GMO seeds. Industrial processing damages the vegetable oil and converts fatty acids into harmful trans fat.