Happy March! I had an annual heart scan done (as many should do every year) and noticed my heart health improved DRAMATICALLY in the past year.
So, I wanted to share a little secret that helped me….
We absolutely need good fats in our diet. It is easy to make the case that many chronic health problems stem from not eating enough good fats or eating too many bad fats.
This is not what we were taught by the government, and various organizations over the last 50 years. They lumped all fats together.
Remember the out of date food pyramid with fats at the top?
Eating this way, especially with grains and carbs at the bottom has resulted in out of control heart disease and diabetes.
Now, there are other factors for sure, but the amount and kinds of fats you eat and supplement with have a major impact on these and other health problems.
Health problems like:
Male and Female hormone issues
Research is very clear that the ratios of good fats to bad fats in most people’s diet is completely out of whack.
There are many faces of good and bad fats, so a little explanation is necessary.
This is simple biochemistry which makes many people’s eyes glaze over, but I will do my best to make it simple and understandable.
Here we go:
There are many types of fatty acids, they are classified by the number of carbon atoms and hydrogen bonds that they contain. Your body needs all of these different types of fatty acids as they provide energy, make up the cell membranes, help absorb certain vitamins and minerals, and even produce important hormones.
Your body is able to make most of the fatty acids it needs from other dietary fats. However, there are two types of fatty acids that your body is unable to make on its own: Linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid) and alpha-linolenic acid (Omega 3 fatty acid). You need to get these from foods.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is converted in the body to the active forms of omega-3 fatty acids, known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). However, the rate of conversion is pretty low.
Because the rate is so low, many people gain tremendous benefit from just taking DHA and EPA .
How do you do that?
Eating fatty fish and taking fish oil supplements.
That ends the biochemistry part. That wasn’t so bad was it?
One crucial element in health is the ratio of omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids. As Americans, we far overconsume omega 6’s to omega 3’s. Remember, omega 6 fatty acids are not bad per se, they are important, but the balance of 3’s to 6’s is what creates so many health problems.
Current estimates are that the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 oils in America is about 20:1. It should be between 1-2:1. That is “out of whack”.
Where to get omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids?
Some common sources of linoleic acid omega 6’s include:
- Flaxseed and flaxseed oil
- Soybean oil
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
- Hempseed and hempseed oil
- Pumpkin seeds
Note: I am not a fan of soybean, sunflower and safflower oil due to the way they are made with high heat and solvents. Most if not all nutritional benefits are destroyed. Flaxseed oil is fine but easily gets rancid so you have to watch out for this.
A few good food sources of alpha-linolenic acid omega 3’s include:
- Perilla oil
- Flaxseed and flaxseed oil
- Chia seeds
- Brussel Sprouts
As I have noted before, these plant sources of ALA have very low conversion to EPA and DHA.
So, the best way we know to increase our intake of DHA and EPA, and to have a more optimal omega 6 to omega 3 ratio is to consume: Fatty Fish-Fish Oil. These are very high in EPA and DHA and have amazing, research backed health benefits.
–Heart health: decreases triglycerides in the blood, lowers blood pressure and slows down placqueing of the arteries
–Brain Health, decreases risk of depression and anxiety, improves concussion recovery, improves sleep, decrease risk for Alzheimers, helps ADD.
–Skin health: improves appearance and structure of skin
– Joint health: decreases stiffness and inflammation in joints requiring significantly less NSAIDS for pain. Aging: A 2010 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association discovered that individuals who had the lowest omega 3 index scores aged 65% faster than those with the highest omega 3 index scores.
– Weight loss: a study in the international society of sports medicine journal concluded that after 6 weeks of fish oil supplementation significantly increased lean mass and significantly decreased fat mass in healthy adults.
All told, there are more than 20,000 published scientific papers that support health benefits of omega 3’s.
It is getting increasing difficult for the health minded consumer to find “clean” fish to eat. Farmed fish are terrible for you and wild caught no longer guarantees low toxicity.
I am thoroughly convinced that high quality fish oil should be a part of everyone’s daily routine. The key is high quality and to take enough.
Can I explain what high quality means and how much to take?
Sure! So glad you asked! Take a minimum of 3000 mg per day.
Now, there is a dark side to fish oil. And it has to do with freshness and toxicity. You see, poor quality fish oil will not only fail to do the things listed above but will actually harm your health.
Many of the fish oils on the market are processed continents away from where the fish is harvested. When exposed to air and light fish oil degrades and becomes rancid. Longer transit times increases rancidity.
In a recent Canadian study, 50% of all omega 3 supplements purchased by researchers in Canada failed the tests for freshness exceeding limits for rancidity.
In addition, the toxicity levels in much of the fish oil on the market is not tested for pollutants like mercury and PCB’s.
To insure that you get the absolute best fish oil available, we now offer a brand new fish oil from Biotics, as our product of the month.
What is so great about this?
- Shortest transit time in the industry (from catch to gel cap) This matters! In many cases it is over a year from caught fish to gel cap. This promotes rancidity. Biomega 500 transit time is less than a month from the time the fish was caught to you taking the capsules because their processing facility is right next to their sustainable fishery. There is no other company that has this short of a time.
- Freshest raw material available and only anchovy, one of the smallest fish, with the least environmental pollutants verified by ORIVO, an independent Norwegian company that can verify marine species and region of catch with sophisticated MNR technology.
- Lowest TOTOX values in the industry. TOTOX is a measure of oxidation/rancidity. The lower the value the higher the quality of the oil.
- This product comes from a sustainable fishery of the coast of South America.
- This oil is in the triglyceride form which makes it about 70% more absorbent than the eythl ester forms which are very common cheaper forms of fish oil. It is also digested 12-15 times faster than the eythl ester forms of fish oil.
If you are going to make the commitment to a healthier body (and I believe fish oil should be part of that commitment), then you should get the best quality product available.
Your body deserves it!
To your health!