The Lemonade Diet, HollywoodDiet, Low Fat Diet, 3-Day Diet, The Chicken Soup Diet – we have heard it all, and each one promises the key to a happier, healthier body. The problem is there is a reason these so-called diets are fads, and come and go with the change of the seasons. If we truly dissect the components of these fad diets, you will see that the mission is not to strive for better health, but to starve our body of the necessary nutrients to survive – which is why no one could sustain any of these “diets” for a long period of time because we would start to break down. The biggest misconception of all is FAT. We have come to associate fats with being “fat,” but not all fats are created equal, and while most of society believes removing it from their diet is healthy, it may be slowly killing them.
Essential Fatty Acids come in two forms, which our bodies cannot make on its own – omega-3s and omega-6s. These good fats are essential for our bodies to function properly and it is important to have a ratio of around 2:1 omega-3s to omega-6s (2). According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a neurologist from the United Kingdom, essential fatty acids (EFAs) have been helpful in “autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, diabetes, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, infections, cancer…(etc)”1. According to research, EFAs have also been successful in treating bipolar disorder, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, asthma, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation, and preventing heart attacks2.
A new study out of the University of California found that people with high levels of omega-3s in their blood had slowed the normal brain shrinkage by about two years compared to normal aging. The study also found that individuals higher in omega-3s scored higher on neuropsychological tests of visual memory and executive functions such as problem-solving, multi-tasking and abstract thinking3. This gives insight that we can preserve our brain health and memory as we age and lower the risks of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias3.
So why are we so gung ho on avoiding fats at all costs? Because we have been brain washed into thinking that natural, healthy animal fats and oils are bad for our health because of “saturated fats.” But do you know what these saturated fats actually do? They are heart protective! And they “lower the Lp(a) [a harmful substance which initiates atherosclerosis in blood vessels] in the blood, reduce calcium deposition in the arteries and are the preferred source of energy for the heart muscle”1. It is the processed BAD fats that we want to avoid because processing “changes the chemical structure of the natural oils”1. Processed fats, hydrogenated fats and cooking vegetable oils cause “atherosclerosis, heart disease, and cancer”1. The best sources of good healthy fats are natural animal fats, coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, nuts/seeds, eggs, cod liver oil, and fish oils. The next time you go to the grocery store throw your low fat diet list out the window and fatten up to save your health!
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1Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride M.D. 2010. Pgs. 255-272
2 http://www.mercola.com/beef/omega3_oil.htm Omega 3 Oils: The Essential Nutrients
3 http://www.helpingyoucare.com/18272/omega-3-in-fish-may-keep-your-brain-sharper-new-study-finds Omega-3 in Fish &
Other Foods May keep Your Brain Sharper, New Study Finds