Body and Soul: Heart-Healthy Oils


You know that these fatty acids are good for your heart and can ward off diabetes and dementia—and you should eat more fish to get them.

But did you know you could get more by simply cutting back on certain foods? Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in highest concentrations in plant leaves, battle for dominance in our cells with omega-6s, which are predominant in most seeds and can cause an increase in blood pressure. “If there are too many 6s in your diet, then there arent going to be as many 3s in your tissue,” says Susan Allport, author of Queen of Fats. “And right now, the 3s are being outnumbered.” This is partly because our diets have become richer in omega-6s, thanks to changing eating habits and the fact that livestock are now fed grains instead of grass.

Get more omega-3s by substituting seed oils (corn, sunflower, safflower, soybean) with canola or olive oil. Also, read food labels and try to avoid items made with omega-6-heavy oils, and try to buy omega-3-enriched eggs (look for those that have 300 milligrams of omega-3s and at least 100 milligrams of DHA, which is vital for babies brain development), grass-fed meat, and wild-caught fish.



 



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Allison Avery
Last Updated: June 03, 2008

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