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Four 'Smart Fat ' Steps to Total Health

  1. Omega-3 Supplementation
  2. Eat 3 tablespoons of flax meal every day (for children: 1 to 2 table-spoons). Try flax seed meal on cereal, in smoothies, in soup (my favorite is to thin refried beans with water and pour in the flax meal---this provides the whole 3 tablespoons in one pleasant sitting). Use a coffee bean mill or blender to grind the seeds into meal. Note: the meal keeps well, even unrefrigerated, because it is loaded in anti-oxidants. However, flax oil goes bad very quickly and doesn't have the very beneficial lignans found in meal. If you do use flax oil, keep it in the freezer and throw it out if it goes rancid (i.e. starts to taste fishy). After you've gotten the good habit of taking your flax every day, or if you want to see results sooner, supplement with zinc and vitamin B because omega-3s use these nutrients up; about 50 mg of zinc and 200 mg of B6.

    Alternatively, you can take fish oil capsules. They contain "longer chain" omega-3 oils which are more bio-available. The most recent research suggests that it is hard for the body to make longer chain omega-3s from shorter chain omega-3s. Take with a meal to avoid fishy burps. (If you still experience fishy burps, get some digestive enzymes that contain lipase, which digests oil.) Molecular distilla-tion cuts out PCBs and mercury. Vegetarians can consume algae, which is where the fish get omega-3s in the first place. "Omega-3 eggs" are from hens fed algae. Lately I've been just swigging a gulp (one tablespoon) of liquid fish oil right from the bottle---no messy spoon to clean---because it's easier than swallowing 6 to 8 fish oil capsules. I just breathe through my mouth for a while afterwards and chase it with something like some pumpkin seeds.

    The top three fish oil capsule companies Dr. Andrew Stoll lists:

  3. Avoid Hydrogenated Fats
  4. Margarine and Crisco are bad for us! Hydrogenated fats are not merely lacking in nutritional value but neutralize omega-3s! Hydrogenation turns good cis oils (i.e. liquid at room temperature) to bad trans fats (solid at room temperature). It will be difficult to quit entirely because hydrogenated fats are in most factory-made foods---crackers, cookies, muffins, cakes, pies, chips, fries. The craving for these foods abates as your body gets the real lipids it has been needing, so even the most feeble start will take you in the right direction faster than you'd think possible. When buying vegetable oil, get unrefined oil because modern oil extraction uses solvents and high heat. It's worth the extra cost to buy expeller extracted, solvent-free oils. And since pesticides accumulate in plant oils, buy organically grown.

  5. The Ratio Is Important
  6. The best ratio of omega-3 oils (canola, walnut, flax) to omega-6 oils (corn, safflower) is 1:1, and should never exceed 1:4. Most Americans are at 1:25 ! Read labels! Choose the least omega-6 foods. For instance, most salad dressings contain corn or safflower oil; make your own. Olive oil helps because it is low in both Omega-3s and 6s so it doesn't affect the ratio. Use non-genetically modified canola because the GMO kind has been designed for longer shelf life by greatly reducing the omega-3s.

    Soy is high in both omega-3s and 6s however we do not recommend it as a food because about 95% of all soy in this country is genetically modified. In tests, some of them suppressed by corporate interests, test animals developed lesions from eating GM foods. Wild geese during annual migrations will avoid fields that have grown GM seeds. Even organically grown soy often has inadvertently been contaminated with GM strains.

  7. Food Preparation Tips
  8. Don't heat oils past 300°. The healthful cis form of oils is changed to the bad trans from when heated past that temperature. Deep fat frying is out. Sauteing should be OK but steaming is better; add the oil after you've put the food on the plate. Salad dressing is good on nearly every veggie, from asparagus to zucchini. Good Seasonings dressing mix is an easy way to insure that it contains the best oil because you make it yourself (and their Italian mix has no MSG). Omega-3-rich foods: greens, oily fish, purslane, algae, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, non-GMO canola, flax, some beans. Avoid insulin resistance by replacing rice, potatoes, and pasta with veggies.

    Want to know more ?

    The Omega Diet, by Artemis Simopoulos, M.D., head of the NIH Nutrition Committee for nine years, and Jo Robinson, $14.
    The book covers the five main problems caused by omega-3 deficiency: heart disease, cancer, syndrome-X/diabetes/obesity, mental illness, and auto immune problems. Concise, plus great recipes!

    The Omega-3 Rx Zone, by Barry Sears, Ph.D., $25.
    Clinical studies have shown EPA to be nearly 10 times more effective, gram for gram, than the shorter chain omega-3s found in plant sources (ALA) such as flax and canola. He also explains insulin resistance.

    Food & Behavior, by Barbara Reed Stitt, Natural Press, $9.95, (ISBN 0-939956-09-8).
    Barbara Stitt, a former Chief Probation Officer, supervised the nutrition analysis and nutrition education of over 5,000 probationers. While 70% of kids on probation typically end up back before the judge, usually for more serious crimes, only about 20% of her clients returned to court! The book includes the questionnaires used, lists the lab tests given (which include analysis for heavy metals), and has a variety of case histories.

    The LCP Solution, by Jacqueline Stordy, Ph.D. & Malcolm Nicholl, $14 (LCP means long chain polyunsaturates).
    Edward Hallowell, M.D., co-author of Driven to Distraction, says, "This is an excellent book. . . [that] offers a most persuasive, and potentially dramatically helpful, approach to improving the lives of people who have ADHD, dyslexia, and dyspraxia [clumsiness]."

    The Omega-3 Connection, by Andrew Stoll, M.D., $14.
    Dr. Stoll is on the Harvard faculty and his book amounts to a tutorial on omega-3s, covering the evolutionary basis for why humans need more omega-3s than other primates, the correlation between the rise in mental illness and the decline in omega-3 consumption, the various mental health problems that these lipids help, and explanation of neurotransmitors, and much more (also has recipes).

    Comments or questions? Contact: Lauren.Ayers@sbcglobal.net


Lauren Ayers

James Curiel, PhD
Professor, Sociology

Don Glines
Educational Futures

Hasan Hanks

Jeanie Keltner, PhD
Editor, Because People Matter

Michael J. Kwiker, D.O.

William Mora, M.D.
Health Associates Medical Group

Susan Montoya

Cynthia Mulcaire

Carlina Nowrocki

Robert OÂ’Brien, MA

Suiying Saechao
Member LEAF at Hiram Johnson HS

Charity Smith
President Youth Congress at Sac High