Omega 6 Fats Don’t Cause Inflammation?

I’ve written about the Nutrition Action Healthletter several times before. The Healthletter is a publication of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a non-profit health watchdog organization. Anyway, in the June 2012 Healthletter, it was clearly stated that one of the top nutrition myths today is that omega 6 fats cause inflammation. The Healthletter clearly stated that omega 6 fats don’t cause inflammation and they actually are heart protective (read more from the CSPI here).

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The Omega 6 Question

Saying that omega 6 is good for you and not to be cautious about consuming it disagrees Continue reading

The Beans Cooketh Nicely

Today, we got more nutrition info in our morning lecture, and afternoon cooking lab had us working with the beans we cooked yesterday.

Nutrition Lecture with Radhia Gleis

Today was another lecture with Radhia Gleis, a local nutrition expert with 26 years of experience practicing clinical nutrition from a certified and highly educated, yet non-mainstream perspective. Radhia covered a ton of topics today – protein, fats, genetically modified food, antioxidants…  Some highlights that stuck with me:

  • Certain amino acids are linked to performance of specific body functions (neurotransmitters, blood sugar maintenance, immune responses, muscle development, etc.)
  • Radhia believes that saturated fat is not as bad as commonly thought. She says that saturated fat and cholesterol are not the primary causes of heart disease, but rather inflammation caused by consuming processed food.
  • The ratio of omega 3 fats to omega 6 fats can improve or harm health as it varies within your diet. Higher ratios of O3 to O6 (i.e., more flax oil, more omega-3 rich fish, more good oils) are associated with less body inflammation, a major cause of disease. (Read more on fat ratios.) What are good oils? Flax oil is the best. Canola, walnut, and olive oils are not great, but far better than corn oil, cottonseed oil, and safflower oil. Those oils are very high in omega 6 compared to omega 3, and consuming lots of those oils can wreak all kinds of inflammatory havoc in your body. Incidentally, the best oils are also the least stable – they require refrigeration, protection from light, and avoidance of oxygen exposure. This also makes the BEST oils the MOST expensive. So, they aren’t very useful for processed food applications, which must be shelf stable AND cheap. The lesson – minimize consumption of processed foods and good food costs more money.
  • Rancid oils contains lots of free radicals, which are very harmful to the body.

Lab Kitchen

Below: Moroccan chickpea stew – it was quite hearty, with warm cinnamon and creamy chickpeas. 

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Below: We do occasionally pan-fry in the kitchenyum yum!

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Below: Some pan-fried black bean patties I cooked.

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Below: Plating some hummus.

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Below: Chef Alex leads us through our cooking de-briefing discussion.

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Below: A lovely savory bean puree.

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Today’s Dietitian

I’ve been subscribing to Today’s Dietitian for several months and have found an occasional article useful. This month’s magazine, in addition to being delicious, had an article about how low levels of omega-3 fats can result in memory problems. How topical, considering today’s lecture. This month’s issue had a couple of decent-looking recipes, too.

On the back cover, Today’s Dietitian shows its true colors – a full-page color ad for no-calorie, processed dressings and sauces. Ugh!

Remember kids, real food is more than calories. It’s even more than carbs, fats, and protein.

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