Prevent and Treat Heart Disease by Optimizing Omega-3 Fats

Tuesday, November 09, 2010 by: John Phillip
Tags: omega 3s, heart disease, health news

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(NaturalNews) Humans have evolved to consume Omega-3 fatty acids and rely on this essential fat for the construction of cell wall membranes and to ensure cardiac health. Our ancient ancestors ate a diet high in fish, nuts and seeds to yield an abundance of Omega-3 fats in blood circulation. The long chain fat has been shown to lower levels of inflammation, reduce triglycerides and prevent deadly clots. Our modern diet is heavily weighted toward Omega-6 fats from vegetable oils that induce inflammation and promote heart disease. Balancing your diet with the proper Omega fat ratio and supplementing as necessary will provide protection and dramatically lower the risk of sudden death from a heart attack.

Lowering Risk of Death With Omega-3 Balance
Information reported in the journal PLoS Medicine lists lack of proper Omega-3 fat in the diet as one of the ten leading preventable causes of death. The journal estimates that nearly 100,000 die each year due to Omega-3 fat deficiency while many more suffer debilitating heart attacks, strokes and cognitive damage as a result. Another study published in the Nutrition Journal provides evidence that men with the highest levels of the Omega-3 fat, DHA ran a 34% lower risk of developing heart disease. Older adults with the highest total Omega-3 concentrations ran a 70% lower risk of a fatal heart attack.

Processed Food Diet Leads to Skewed Omega Fat Balance
The ideal ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fats is ideally 1:1. Evolutionary scientists believe that this level provides effective blood saturation as it lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke and neurological damage that result from sub-optimal balance. Our modern diet includes excessive quantities of Omega-6 fat primarily from vegetable oils that have been used for frying. Processed foods such as chips and baked products frequently make use of hydrogenated oils to preserve taste and texture and skew the ratio of Omega fats.

A diet consisting of excess amounts of meat, refined foods and meals away from home result in typical Omega fat ratios between 20:1 and as high as 50:1. These levels create a cascade of dangerous metabolic alterations and lead to chronic inflammation and changes in the delicate endothelial lining of the coronary arteries. After years of dietary abuse, our vascular system begins to deteriorate setting the stage for atherosclerosis, blood clots and death.

Establishing the Proper Omega-3 Fat Ratio
Aside from fatty fish, very few foods provide a source of the two key Omega-3 fats. EPA and DHA are the pre-formed fats preferred by our body. Omega-3 fats can be found in walnuts and seeds such as flax and chia but must be converted by the body to EPA and DHA to be available for use. Due to excess body weight and metabolic dysfunction, many people are unable to complete this conversion and must either supplement or consume fish to achieve a healthy dose of EPA and DHA fats.

For some people eating fish is not an option due to mercury contamination of many species. Supplementation is a viable option that has been effective in raising Omega-3 blood concentrations. Research confirms that people taking between 2,000 and 4,000 mg of combined EPA and DHA daily have been able to achieve healthy ratios and experience significant reduction in all cardiovascular risk factors.

Humans have evolved on a diet rich in Omega-3 fats that have been critical to health and cognitive development. Lowering consumption of Omega-6 vegetable oils and supplementing with Omega-3 fish oil will provide documented heart health benefits.

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About the author

John Phillip is a Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your Free 48 page copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.

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