Are you still afraid to eat high fat foods? Do you know the importance of Omega 3 fats? Why do we fear fat as a society in the first place?
In the 1950’s, the nation began to fear heart disease as it was the leading cause of death. It became a public health problem.
During this time, Ancel Keys, an American physiologist who studied the influence of diet on health, hypothesized that dietary saturated fat causes cardiovascular heart disease and should be avoided. He was able to get his beliefs into the hands of the American Heart Association and this became the beginning of the “low fat diet craze”.
Guidelines for “heart-healthy eating” became: “eat low fat, skinless poultry, non-tropical vegetable oils, whole grains, nuts and legumes and fruits and vegetables”.
We now know that this is il-advised! But why?
Since then, billions of dollars have been spent on trying to prove that saturated fat cause heart disease, and not 1 study could prove Ancel Key’s hypothesis. Today, the 2nd leading cause of death in Canada is still heart disease. This low fat way of eating for over 50 years is clearly not working.
Where did his study go wrong?
This ONE STUDY, formed by Mr. Keys, looked at people’s diet and of these people, who died of heart disease. His study showed that low saturated fat intake was ASSOCIATED with low rates of heart disease. Problem? Association does not = CAUSATION. For example, just because people who wear purple more often get cancer, does not mean that wearing purple CAUSES cancer. In fact, the study revealed that the strongest correlation to cardiovascular death was SUGAR/Refined Carbs.
More and more literature today reveals high fat, low carb diets to be PROTECTIVE against modern day illness such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes!
So what SHOULD you eat for a heart-healthy diet?
Definitely more fats, particularly Omega 3 fats! These have been shown to be effective at lowering blood pressure by improving blood platelet fluidity, which help to reduce the risk of blood clots, hypertension, and strokes. omega 3's are also nature's most powerful anti-inflammatory - and heart disease is an inflammatory condition. Omega-3s are essential fats, meaning our bodies cannot make them and we need to consume them in our diets. Good sources of these fats include fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines as well as nuts and seeds like walnuts, flax seeds, hemp seeds and my personal favourite, chia seeds!
If you're not eating at least 2-3 servings of fatty fish/omega 3 sources per week, I highly recommend supplementing with a fish oil supplement containing a high concentration of EPA and DHA. Make sure that the source of fish oil is coming from wild-caught fish, not factory-farmed. Smaller fish such as anchovy and sardine will also contains less heavy metals and contaminates, so these are preferred. My personal favourite brand is Genuine Health's Omega 3+ from Healthy Planet. Click here to learn more.
It contains high amounts of EPA, which has been shown to help boost mood and reduce seasonal affective disorder.
In addition, make sure you eat the rainbow and eat a variety of plants! This will provide adequate fibre in the diet which helps to reduce cholesterol and provide an abundance of antioxidants to protect your blood vessels.
Some of my fatty food sources for health include: whole eggs, avocados, full fat, organic cream, GHEE, coconut oil, and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. Do you still fear fat?
Until next time,
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