There is a lot of research coming out showing that the recent ideas about the dangers of saturated fats and the need for low-fat diets have actually contributed to the prevalence of obesity, diabetes and other diet-related health problems. An article on NaturalNews.com the other day talks about a heart surgeon openly admitting that low-fat diets recommended for years by mainstream medicine actually cause heart disease and that consuming healthy fats (including saturated fats) is vital for good health.
Mike Adams from Natural News has written many articles about this over the past few years. In "The Great Fat Debate - Why Virgin Coconut Oil is best" (2009) he talks about the origin of much of the confusion over fats and that coconut oil - being made up of two-thirds medium-chain fatty acids - helps us lose weight, reduce cholesterol, improve diabetic conditions and lower the risk of heart disease.
In another article, he compiles a list of expert research findings on the role of the essential fatty acid Omega-3 in preventing diseases of inflammation.
Essential fatty acids are those fats that the body cannot produce on its own. Your body gets these fatty acids directly from food. There are only two EFAs: alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, and linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid.
Almost all the polyunsaturated fat in the human diet is from EFA. Some of the food sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are fish and shellfish, flaxseed (linseed), hemp oil, hemp nuts, soya oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables, and walnuts.
Omega-3 fatty acids, such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are important for enzymatic pathways required to metabolize long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Low plasma concentrations of DHA is associated with depression and suicide.
To Optimise your omega 3 essential fatty acid levels on a vegetarian diet -
- Have a daily intake of nuts, seeds and their omega 3 6 9 oils.
- Include an algae / alga (AFA, spirulina or chlorella) drink 4 times a week.
- Include good sources of the nutrients which aid essential fat conversion – zinc, magnesium, calcium, biotin and vitamins B6, B3 and C.
- Avoid things that inhibit conversion; alcohol, trans fats (from animal foods and processed foods), smoking, caffeine, viral infections, stress and excess intake of vitamin A and copper.
- Balance your intake of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Due to the widespread use of sunflower oil in food manufacturing and grain fed livestock we tend to have a much greater intake of omega 6 to 3 fats in our diets. This imbalance can lead to the conversion enzymes getting used up for omega 6, restricting omega 3 conversion. The ideal balance is around 3 to 4 parts omega 6 to one of omega 3.
- Buy your seed oils cold-pressed and from the fridge in your health shop. Also buy in small quantities so it remains fresh. At home store them in the fridge and use them cold. If heating oils use butter, ghee or even better coconut oil.
- Some people may have less of the conversion enzymes and may need to be strict with the above nutrient supporters and inhibitors. These people include those with atopic allergies (asthma, eczema and hay fever which run in the family) and those with diabetics.
- Increase your algae intake when planning a pregnancy, pregnant or breast-feeding.
- Have an essential fatty acid test to determine your specific needs and if your diet is meeting these.
Do you need oily fish?
If you optimise your intake of essential fats, and their conversion, the majority of people can achieve good health without fish. Oily fish also has a number of drawbacks in addition to the ethical considerations such as the overfishing of our oceans. The seas are increasingly polluted and unacceptable levels of toxicity such as dioxins and PCP’s as well as mercury have often been found in fish destined for the food chain. Farmed fish is also not the answer as this unnatural method of rearing fish not only relies on a processed diet which may not convert to the same nutrients in the fish, but also requires the uses of antibiotics and other harmful agents to prevent the spread of disease.
Algae sourced DHA supplementation is however recommended in pregnancy as studies have shown lower levels in babies born to vegan mothers. Finally if you have a health condition such as diabetes or atopic allergies or even if you are mildy stressed you may be limited in your ability to convert your own fats so you'll need to consider an algae based DHA EPA supplement such as Klamath Lake blue green algae.
Chocolate Nests with Eggs
by Pamela Vinten
- Melt cacao butter in a basin over very warm water. (You can use coconut oil instead of cacao butter however your nests may melt if it is warm weather)
- Combine with cacao powder and agave and mix well.
- Add coconut and mix to combine
- Line small bowls with cling wrap and place in freezer for half an hour to chill down
- Create nests in the bowls with the chocolate mixture
- Place in fridge to set.
- Turn out nests and remove cling wrap
Multi Colour Eggs Ingredients
- Combine all ingredients except food dyes until smooth.
- Divide the mixture into 3 bowls and add a few drops of food dye to each bowl to give pink, green and yellow eggs. Start off with a little dye and gradually build up until you reach the desired color. If desired add a little peppermint essence to the green egg mixture for a mint flavoured egg.
- Place in fridge to set but still pliable Roll into egg shapes and place back in fridge
- Arrange eggs in nests
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge
Yours in wonderful health,
Valerie & the team at Raw Power