Real Life Medicine Real Food. Real Weight Loss. Real Health.
We are three passionate doctors empowering patients to reclaim their health with lifestyle changes. Our patients are armed with knowledge and power. hi welcome to this episode of Mary's
Monday musings today we're gonna chat about fat specifically let's chat about essential fatty acids as we have mentioned many times at real-life medicine food is not just calories food is information it is like coding for our bodies if you could imagine that your genes and genetic makeup is like your hardware then food is like the coding for the software what we eat fundamentally changes ourselves either for good or for bad the food that we eat literally tells the cells in our bodies what to do and what to become so what is a fatty acid and how could they be essential I have to watch myself here because I could really really do it out on the biochemistry and I appreciate that not everybody has as deep and abiding love for biochem as I do but to put it simply fatty acids are the building blocks of all the fats both in our bodies and in the food that we eat when we eat that the fat is digested down into fatty acids the essential bit means that our bodies cannot make them and we need them we absolutely need them for health and we have to eat them because we can't make them and without them without essential fatty acids if we
got absolutely none we would eventually die there are two essential fatty acids they are called Omega 3 and Omega 6 and that really just talks about their molecular structure so Omega 6 fatty acids are cute with a double bond six carbon atoms from the end and omega-3s are kinked with a double bond three carbon atoms from the end and as many of you are probably aware generally speaking omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory but what is actually far more important than the total amounts that we consume is the ratios the ratio between the omega-3 and the omega-6 fatty acids our bodies process these fatty acids down parallel pathways and they compete with each other for the same cellular processes for the same enzymes and if we have too much of the pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids will go down into that inflammatory pathway so when the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 is optimal it promotes healthy cellular responses and anti-inflammatory effects that can protect against a whole host of chronic illnesses but when the omega-6 and omega-3 ratios are off
it causes pro-inflammatory changes that can precipitate many chronic diseases and these chronic diseases include heart disease strokes high blood pressure and all kinds of nasty things that you really want to avoid and we have known about the inflammatory effects of omega-6 fatty acids for a very long time indeed over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and aspirin they work by reducing the formation of inflammatory compounds which are derived from omega-6 fatty acids but a much better way to reduce your inflammation and your risk of heart disease and strokes is to reduce the amount of omega-6 fatty acids that you eat in the first place and to increase the amount of those anti-inflammatory omega-3s but by and large humans aren't getting it right right now ancestrally our ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids would have been about one to one that's what we evolved in evolved eating but for the last 140 years or so since the onset of the Industrial Revolution there has been a massive shift in the ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 used to be one to one now it's 30 to 1 sometimes even 60 to 1 for
people eating a standard Australian diet it has gone way off we are eating very pro-inflammatory diets and the high quantity of omega-6 is part of the reason why our diets are so inflammatory so this change this massive change in the ratios of the fatty acids that we've been eating is due both to the advent of the modern seed oil or vegetable oil industry they aren't made from vegetables by the way and also due to the increased use of cereal grains to feed domestic livestock when you a a grass-fed steak or eggs from pasture chickens that have been able to get out and eat grass then that meat and those eggs are rich in omega threes conversely if you're eating meat or eggs from grain fed animals then they are rich in omega-6 so in summary for a pro health and anti-inflammatory diet do not a processed vegetable oils that are rich in those pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and these vegetable oils include canola oil sunflower oil safflower seed oil these highly processed industrial seed oils are found in basically every processed food available today if it comes in a packet or it comes in a box chances are it contains seed oils that's
the unfortunate truth it's also important to limit the amount of meals you eat in restaurants because they frequently cook with seed oils because they check a limit the amount of meals you get from restaurants is that is a good way to optimize your fatty acid ratios especially fast-food restaurants because they definitely use cheap industrial seed oils choose grass-fed animals and eat eggs from grass-fed chickens and most importantly left this one to last eat plenty of fish and seafood this is by far the richest source of healthy anti-inflammatory omega threes available and for those of you who are vegetarian or vegan you need to be extra careful to ensure that you eat lots of plants sources of omega-3 and these include chia seeds algae and seaweed walnuts flax seeds you need to certainly make sure that you eat plenty of these if you're on a plant-based diet because our bodies are very inefficient at converting those plant-based sources of omega-3 into the active sources of omega-3 so it's even more important to make sure that you're getting enough of them and more important to ensure that you're not eating too much of those
omega-6 fatty acids from the highly industrialized processed seed oils that's all I hope this has been helpful and I look forward to seeing you next time bye bye