Omega Fats: The Simple Fuel That Drives Our Engine
A guide to eating the right fats
Life without fat is about as enjoyable as air without aromatherapy.
Because like a whiff of Yankee Candle makes the air we breathe a little fresher, so fat can make our edibles a little tastier… and it’s healthy for you!
Well, not ALL fat…
Trans and saturated fats—and what I call, “conversion fats” are bad for you. Conversion fats mutate into that damnable fat stored in the jiggly rolls of your stomach, thighs, and chin(s) among other unflattering areas. These three bad fats, like refined sugars, grains, and starches—drain you of your health like chubby little vampire bats sucking the life out of cattle in the night…
So yeah… you’ll do much better without those fats for sure…
But you will almost certainly experience chronic illness if you overlook the importance of taking in the now legendary fat, omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to our health and wellbeing. In fact, we can’t live without them!
You see dear reader, your brain (mine too), your central nervous system, and your very cells are built with omega-3 fatty acids.
These little guys also form the foundation upon which our hormonal and immune systems develop. In short, we would not be here enjoying each other right now (assuming you’re enjoying me) without the presence of these miraculous fats.
But even omega-3s are not enough… because for your ultimate health (AND beauty, I might add), your body needs omega-3’s heroic 1st cousin…
Yes it’s… Omega-6!
But here’s the kicker—your body does NOT produce either one on its own.
Which is why they’re called EFAs or, Essential Fatty Acids (clever, right?).
But what’s interesting is that omega-3s are not nearly as common. You have to work to get omega-3s. And let me tell you—if you don’t have a near perfect balance of 3s to 6s, you could find yourself in a world of hurt.
Wherefore art thou omega-3?
You’ll find omega-3s hanging out in chia, flax, and pumpkin seeds… and of course cold-water fish.
Walnuts, krill oil, eggs, and peanut butter also contain a fine dose of these healthy little goodies.
For a more complete list of omega-3s, check out this WebMD page…
Omega-6 and -3 fats rely on the same enzymes for their synthesis, and since they work on a first come, first served basis, if there is an excess of omega-6s the result is an overproduction arachidonic acid in the cell membrane.
What… did I lose you?
Okay. Without using any more scientific jargon, let’s just say this is how Chronic Inflammatory Disease begins.
But you see, our paleo ancestors didn’t get that memo…
Because they were blessed with living off the organic fat of the landwith a 1:1 ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s. Whatever they could hunt and gather seemed to keep their omegas in check. But the average ratio in our western diet today is 16.7:1 and as high as 30:1… YIKES!
That is no good, my friend.
It’s due to the overuse of omega-6s in vegetable oils and grain fed meat.
Our ancestors may have also dined on game, fowl and fish but they were acquiring their omega-3s through the natural diet of the animals they ate, whereas today the majority of farm raised fish, chicken, cattle, and hogs are using grains as the primary source of feed.
So in essence we are what our food ate!
What do you do?
In short, you make sure that what you eat ate right!
Grass-fed beef… free range chickens and hogs… and of course, wild-caught, cold-water fish.
If the label says farm raised (usually followed by 2 skin crawling words: “color added”), walk away. It’s a bit more expensive for the “real” stuff, but well worth it.
And speaking of expensive…
Even shopping at Whole Foods requires a keen eye on most of what they offer.
You will continue to be inundated with foods from the “do not eat list.” You will undoubtedly fall from omega fat’s grace and into the world of saturated and trans fats periodically at best, or maybe even daily if you eat at restaurants.
It happens so innocently: an ice cream cone here… a cheeseburger there… a little fried chicken-n-French fries. The amount of dangerous creatures in the vast sea of bad fats seems infinite…
Why do they use them?
Trans fats improve texture and convert liquids to solids at room temperature, and as I said earlier—can add a ton of flavor. But the trade-off is diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Can you hear me now?
Now hear this… the good old USA is the only country that has not banned the sale of products that contain trans fats. They are still for sale on your neighborhood grocer’s shelves.
Trans fats appear most prominently in the form of cupcakes, frosting, cookies, microwave popcorn, margarine, donuts and candies.
And about that “veganaise” and Earth Balance stuff?
These are loaded with pure, Omega 6 polyunsaturated vegetable oil!
So be sure to have your discernment radar on and locked-in!
Here’s a little list so you can easily remember the dos and don’ts for your best chance at optimal health:
EAT This—your body will use these fats to rebuild and repair:
- Grass-fed meats
- Wild caught Fish/seafood
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh vegetables
- Healthy oils (olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)
Please DON’T Eat these or else eat them in serious moderation (should be on your discernment radar) because your body will store them as fat:
- Cereal grains
- Grain fed beef/chicken
- Farm raised fish
- Refined sugar
- Processed foods
- Overly salty foods
- Refined vegetable oils
- Candy/junk/processed food
If you have any questions about your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio… or you feel unsure about what to eat for balance, read what omega 6:omega 3 ratio Dr. Saunders recommends. You can also talk to your doctor, or much better yet—a nutritionist (the average doctor gets less than a day’s worth of nutrition training!).
Saturated fats are in processed butter, dairy, beef, chicken, cheese, lard and can accelerate heart disease, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and increase your insulin resistance, priming the pump for diabetes and high cholesterol.
Worse are trans fats… they’re made in a lab by pumping liquid oils full of hydrogen gas (hence, hydrogenated oils… EVIL!). This inevitably alters the oils’ naturally occurring state.
Being that your body is “naturally occurring,” when you ingest chemically altered, unnatural fat you simply cannot synthesize it and it turns into a gunky, cloggy, fat-churning mess inside you.
And that’s BAD.
Omega 3s and 6s are EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids), but your body doesn’t make ‘em, so you have to carefully choose foods to eat that contain these building blocks of life.
Because you need to have a 1:1 ratio of 3s to 6s for optimum health and beauty (yeah… I said it—in the immortal words of Fernando Lamas (Billy Crystal) YOU look mahhhhvelous, darling!)
Omega 6s are nearly everywhere you look… so look wisely and be sure to eat enough foods that contain Omega 3s. For help, please refer to the “Eat and Don’t Eat” list above.
And that’s GOOD!
With a few simple steps and a little dietary discernment, you could be armed to the teeth (no pun intended) to enjoy a healthier and, in many cases, a more delicious life.
We harp about the dangers of processed foods all the time here at Home Cures That Work… as you can see, it’s for a very, very good reason!
Hungry for more?
Until we meet again, watch your fat ratio: good fats up and bad fats down. Use dietary discernment and keep your motor running… darling!
And if you’re wondering what to make in the AM, check out this omega-3 green smoothie recipe. While you’re tweaking your habits, check out the a very high omega-3 concentrated supplements that comes recommended by the independent testing lab.