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The Good Fats

Sep 1, 2008
Fats that Decrease Inflammation in the Body and Can Help Prevent Heart Disease and Alzheimer's Disease

Certain fats, namely unprocessed monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, have been shown to decrease inflammation in the body. The body easily recognizes and uses these fats.

Monounsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated fats are the simplest of fats. They are anti-inflammatory if they have not been processed.

Some sources of monounsaturated fats include:

* olives and olive oil
* avocados
* canola oil
* palm fruit
* peanut oil

Polyunsaturated Fats

Polyunsaturated fats are also anti-inflammatory, as long as they have not been processed. The essential polyunsaturated fat groups are primarily the omega-3s and 6s.

What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats the body cannot do without. They are a good source of long-term fuel and need to be included in the daily diet. When you move from a diet of saturated and trans fat to a diet of unprocessed polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, the body becomes much more efficient at using fat and produces a lower cholesterol level. When you change to a diet of unprocessed monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, you need to consider eating good fat at most meals. Why? Since your body is now able to recognize and use these essential fats, they get used more quickly, hence the need to eat the correct fat percentages for your Apo E genotype with most meals.

Omega-3 fats come mainly from fish and meats. Additional food sources include:

* canola
* walnuts
* soybeans
* flaxseed
* ocean-borne algae
* whole grains
* very dark green leafy vegetables

If you take it in supplement form -- capsule or liquid -- know the quality and source. Consider only a fish oil source from wild fish and avoid highly processed supplements. Always follow a medical provider's dosage recommendations for omega-3 fatty acid. I currently recommend omega-3 supplements in dosages ranging from 0.133 grams per day to just over 2 grams per day, but prefer that people get their omega-3s directly from fresh food. Further, I recommend a customized combination of epa and dha. Your customized dosing should be discussed with your medical provider.

What Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids?

Just like omega-3s, the omega-6 fatty acids are vital to health. They are usually found in our diet in large amounts and are really not difficult to obtain from common food sources.

Sources of omega-6 fatty acids include:

* nuts
* seeds
* corn
* soy
* safflower
* palm fruit
* canola
* cottonseed
* meats

What Are Omega-9 Fatty Acids?

Omega-9 (oleic acid) is another form of important fatty acids also vital to health. Omega-9 is a monounsaturated fat and can be found in safflower, pumpkin, flaxseeds, and black currants.

The optimal balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids appears to be a ratio of 1:1 to 1:3-4. Practically speaking, it can be difficult to translate those ratios into our daily food consumption. However, if you stay with nonprocessed foods, you will get a more balanced ratio of omega-3 to 6s since higher amounts of omega-6s come from processed foods and cooking oils.
About the Author
Pamela McDonald is a leading Integrative Medicine Nurse Practitioner, who specializes in the prevention of heart and Alzheimer's disease, and chronic illness. To learn more about her groundbreaking book, and program - visit APO E Gene Diet. To subscribe to her free APO E Gene Diet Health Notes - send a blank email to Info@ApoeGenediet.com.
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