If you want to fight disease and be healthy, it is important to consume the proper ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. That ratio is essentially 1:1. Once you switch to a monounsaturated rich diet, and follow the Hamptons protocols, you will be improving your ratio without even having to remember all of this fatty acid research.
If you want to fight disease and be healthy, it is important to consume the proper ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. That ratio is essentially 1:1. Once you switch to a monounsaturated rich diet, and follow the Hamptons protocols, you will be improving your ratio without even having to remember all of this fatty acid research. When you look at the Japanese diet, one which is considered extremely healthy by most of the world, they consume about a 2:1 omega-6 to omega-3 diet. The closest of any studied population. It is no wonder that they also have far less heart disease and have the longest life expectancies.
The 1:1 diet is how our ancestors ate – eating more greens, nuts, meats, fish and seeds; and far less grains. Our reliance on grain based sustenance – breads, cereals, pastas, cakes – and our minimal intake of vegetables and fruits are one of the main reasons why our diet is so overloaded with omega-6 fatty acids.
We are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids because the animals that we do consume have their fatty acid ratios changed by the way we harvest the fish, and feed our chickens and cattle. For example, store bought commercially raised eggs will have a fatty acid ratio of approximately 16 – 20 times more omega-6 than omega-3; as compared with a free range chicken egg where the chicken consumes its natural diet of greens, insects, and worms and the ratio is the prefect 1:1. The same will hold true for any farm-raised meat or fish that we consume. We change the organic molecular composition of anything we eat when we manipulate what it is eating. Keep this in mind when shopping for groceries. Our ancestors, by eating naturally, were consuming many more omega-3 fatty acids than we do. In fact, it is estimated that we are eating one-tenth the amount of omega-3 fatty acids that we need for good health.
It is easy to see why:
- Increased consumption of poor, nutrient-less, degraded oils; high in the wrong polyunsaturated fat
- Hydrogenation of the oils we consume
- Decreased fish consumption
- Consumption of a food supply that has been radically altered to produce more omega-6 fatty acids
- Dramatic increase in trans-fatty acid consumption – interferes with fatty acid synthesis
- Dramatic increase in sugar consumption – interferes with fatty acid synthesis
Essential fatty acids play several vital roles in our body. One of the most important is their conversion to eicosanoids, hormone-like substances. There are two eicosanoids that are important in our health: arachidonic acid (AA) from the omega-6 family and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from the omega-3 family. These have opposite functions in our bodies. These eicosanoids are involved in every aspect of our lives, and they influence the level of inflammation in your body.
Omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory and an excess of these can lead to common diseases, including: asthma (15 million people), allergies (100 million people), arthritis (45 million people), heart disease (leading cause of death in the United States), irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue and many, many more.
Omega-3 fatty acids may cause opposite effects than those of the omega-6 fatty acids. They are considered anti-inflammatory. It has been estimated that 175 million Americans suffer from a chronic inflammatory condition. Given that our diets are so high in the omega-6 fatty acids, it is not surprising to me. That is the main reason why the Hamptons diet is the right one for you. It is monounsaturated rich, has a good amount of healthy saturated fats, and encourages a ratio of 1:1 omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore it is anti-inflammatory at its very essence, while letting you lose weight in the process.
Omega-3 fatty acids in many studies have shown cardiac benefits. This is most likely due to their effect on inhibiting platelet aggregation.
Since omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of the diet, below is a table that shows you where to get them. Most of the animal sources are fish. (Keep in mind that pregnant women, those who are nursing, or those who plan on becoming pregnant within a year are advised not to eat so much fish because they may contain high levels of mercury and other pollutants. They are especially advised to stay away from bluefish, striped bass, tilefish, swordfish, king mackerel, tuna steaks, white and golden snapper and any freshwater fish. Canned tuna should also be limited to 5 ounces per week).
Additionally, in order to get the benefit, the fish should not be eaten battered and deep fried.
I recommend about 3000 mg per day of omega-3 fish oils in the form of DHA and EPA. The federal government is now recommending 7 grams of these oils per week or one gram per day. It is a good first step for them, considering a few years ago, they didn’t believe there was any health benefit to fish oils.
Foods High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
|Fish – DHA and EPA||Plants – mostly ALA|
|Atlantic Herring||Butternuts (dried)|
|Albacore Tuna||English Walnuts|
|Chinook Salmon||Soybeans (raw)|
|Atlantic Mackerel||Pinto Beans|
To give you a better understanding of how much you would have to eat, here is another graph which lists the amount of omega-3 oils in grams per cooked 4 ounce serving of each. Notice how the most popular fish have less omega-3 fatty acids in them:
|Fish||Grams per 4 oz||Fish||Grams per 4 oz|
|Pacific Herring||2.4||Red Salmon||1.4|
|Atlantic Herring||2.3||Coho Salmon||1.2|
|Canned Pink Salmon||1.9||Clams, fresh or canned||0.3|
|Pacific Oysters||1.6||Whiting (hake)||1.0|
|Atlantic Mackerel||1.4||Freshwater Bass||0.9|
|Fish||Grams per 4 oz||Fish||Grams per 4 oz|
|Rainbow trout||0.8||White canned tuna||0.8|
|Canned sardines||0.7||Flounder or sole||0.6|
|Haddock||0.3||Light canned tuna||0.3|
|Yellowfin tuna||0.3||Atlantic cod||0.2|
*Sources: Center for Science in Public Interest, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Academy of Science
Since I know this can be a very confusing topic, here is a quick chart that explains the oils you most commonly use and which category they fall into.
|Omega-3 Oils||Omega- 6 Oils|
|Fish Oils||Corn Oil|
|Walnut Oil||Peanut Oil|
* These are healthy despite being high in omega-6
Use monounsaturated rich foods such as macadamia nut oil when cooking and either macadamia nut oil or olive oil for cold uses
Consume more fatty fish, flaxseeds, and green leafy vegetables
Take a good omega-3 fatty acid supplement
Avoid hydrogenated fats
Avoid oils high in omega-6 such as corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, or cottonseed
Avoid trans fats by cutting down on processed foods, deep fried foods and fast-foods
Omega-3’s = good; Anti-inflammatory
Omega-6’s = bad; Pro-inflammatory
Maintain as close to a 1:1 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids as possible
The Dangers of Polyunsaturated Fat
For the last twenty-five years, we have been fed the notion that saturated fats will kill us and that we should switch to polyunsaturated fats in the form of highly processed vegetable oils. This is the only thing that will save us from heart disease. While this has been a godsend to the food manufacturing industry, it certainly has not decreased our incidence of heart disease.
If you examine the science a little more closely, it has been shown that excess consumption of polyunsaturated oils can lead to increased cancer and heart disease; immune system dysfunction; depressed learning ability; and weight gain, to name a few.
One reason the polyunsaturated fatty acids cause so many health problems is that they tend to become rancid very quickly when subjected to heat, oxygen and moisture, either in cooking or when they are being processed. When an oil becomes rancid, there is a lot of free radical formation. These free radicals attack cell membranes and cause cellular damage on a genetic level which can lead to amongst other things, cancer cell formation, and plaque formation in the blood vessels.
Lancet, published in 1994, a startling report showing an evaluation of the fat in arterial plaques and found that only about 26% is saturated fat whereas the rest were unsaturated, of which more than half were polyunsaturated fats – highly processed vegetable oils, not animal products.
Cholesterol – You’ve been so Misunderstood
If I was cholesterol, I’d be standing on the rooftops shouting – I told you so. Now that you want to let me back into your club, I wouldn’t go, if I was cholesterol that is. Actually, cholesterol still has a way to go to win over the hearts of the public again. It is starting to make some headway, so it bears mentioning since a diet high in protein and lower in carbohydrate will always be a diet higher in external cholesterol. The Hamptons diet is one such diet. Here’s why it is okay to eat cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is made primarily in the liver and in the cells lining the small intestine. It is an essential and very necessary constituent of every cell membrane in our bodies and nerve fibers. It is also the building block of certain hormones and is found in all body tissues. These hormones include steroids which protect against inflammation and cancer; and sex hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone.
Cholesterol is also a precursor to vitamin D, a vitamin needed for healthy bones and mineral metabolism, and insulin production. Cholesterol is the precursor to bile salts, which are vital for digestion and assimilation of fats in the diet. And, cholesterol acts as an antioxidant, and is part of our body’s natural repair mechanisms.
Heart disease is one example, when our arteries are inflamed with plaque buildup caused by free radical damage, cholesterol increases because it is part of the natural defense mechanism. There is a problem and the body wants to fix it so it produces more cholesterol. The problem is the inflammation, not the cholesterol. If we fix the inflammation, the cholesterol level will come down.
Cholesterol is also important in another area of modern medicine – serotonin. Cholesterol is necessary for proper function of serotonin receptors in the brain. Several studies link low cholesterol levels to aggressive and violent behavior, depression and suicidal tendencies.
Cholesterol is found only in foods of animal origin: meat, eggs, fish and dairy products including butter. Fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes contain no cholesterol. That is why no vegetable oil contains cholesterol.. Every oil has roughly the same amount of calories per serving, no matter what the source. The fatty acid concentration and the type of fats in the oil will be different, but not the amount of calories.
There are several different types of cholesterol, but the ones to be most concerned about are the high density lipoprotein (HDL) and the low density lipoprotein (LDL). These are both transport molecules for the body’s fat. The LDL’s are considered the bad ones because after they do their job, they deposit any excess cholesterol in arterial walls and other tissues. The HDL’s are known as the good guys. They pick up cholesterol deposits and bring them back to the liver to be used again or eliminated through the bowel tract.
Our body makes about 2000mg per day of cholesterol. This is significantly higher than the amount we ingest. Assuming the average person adds 100 mg of available cholesterol per day from dietary sources, (this means an average ingestion of 400 – 500 mg) even if you reduce the amount of cholesterol you eat to zero, that is a 5% decrease at best in the amount of cholesterol available to the body to use for many important functions. There is no way this could even put a dent into reducing heart disease if in fact, lowering cholesterol is the key to improved cardiac health.
In closing this section and to keep things in perspective for you, please consider printing out the following chart.
|Saturated Fats and Oils||Monounsaturated Oils||Polyunsaturated Oils|
|Butter||Macadamia Nut Oil||Corn Oil|
|Coconut Oil||Olive Oil||Peanut Oil|
|Palm Oil||High Oleic Sunflower||Sunflower|
|Palm Kernel Oil||High Oleic Safflower||Safflower Oil|
|Animal Fat||Avocado Oil||Cottonseed Oil|
|Cocoa Butter||Canola Oil||Walnut Oil|
|Margarine||Pumpkin Seed Oil|