Fat – The New Skinny!

Fat … is the new skinny! Recent reports by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM 359-3 July 17,2008)  studied 322 moderately obese adults whose  mean age was 52. Some were given a low-fat diet, some Mediterranean diet and others a low-carbohydrate one. Those on the low carb, high fat diet lost the most weight, had increased levels of HDL (good), lowered their levels of LDL and triglycerides. There was also a drop in the C-reactive protein, the marker for inflammation, the cause for many degenerative diseases including dementia and Alzheimer’s.

fat-213x300 245470 The point in these findings is, should you wish to alter your diet to include a higher content of “fats”, you are not risking your health in other ways. In fact, because these diets seem to reduce inflammation, and inflammation is the cornerstone to many diseases, it can only serve to be a positive experience. “Over a mean of 8.1 years, a dietary intervention that reduced total fat intake and increased intakes of vegetables, fruits, and grains did not significantly reduce the risk of CHD, stroke.” JAMA, February8, 2006-Vol. 295,No.6

The type of fat incorporated into your diet is key here. Omega 6 fats are undesirable and according to Dr. Perlmutter, are somewhat pro-inflammatory compounded. There is also  evidence indicating that the higher consumption of these being related to brain disorders. In his book, Grain Brain, our hunter-gatherer ancestors consumed omega-6 and omega-3 fats in a ratio of roughly 1:1, but now we consume ten to twenty-five times more omega -6.

Flaxseed, Coconut and Virgin Olive Oils are good sources of Omega 3’s whereas many vegetable oils, including safflower, corn, canola, and sunflower are high in Omega 6’s. Other wonderful sources of Omega 3’s include “wild caught” seafood, wild meat e.g. venison as well as beef and lamb. But make sure these “domesticated” sources of meat have been grass fed. Animals fed grains such as corn and soybeans do not have adequate omega 3 in their diets that their meat will be deficient in it as well. Good Fats are also found in nuts, avocados and are highly recommended by Dr. Perlmutter.Unknown-1

Perlmutter recommends in the book, Grain Brain, restocking our shelves and use liberally items such as extra-virgin olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, grass fed tallow and organic or pasture-fed butter.  Also included in his recommendations are  ghee, almond milk, avocados, coconuts, olives, nuts and nut butters, cheese (except blue cheese) and seeds such as flaxseed, sunflower, pumpkin sesame and chia seeds. The point is the brain is 60 to 70 percent fat and is made from the fats you consume in your diet.

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“No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat. Without a brain, you may look good, but all you could do is run for public office.” George Bernard Shaw

 

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