My Lipid Profile on a Mediterranean Diet, a Plant-Based with Olive Oil & Nuts Diet, and a Plant-Based No Oil & Nuts Diet
To read my 15 month follow-up to this post (8/23/11), be sure to read: Fifteen Months Into the Esselstyn-Style Plant-Based No-Oil Way of Eating - The Healthy Librarian Spills the Beans - And It's All Good! Can't Wait to Compare Notes with Bill Clinton on Saturday.
Sorry for the delay in posting my Esselstyn trial results. I just haven't had a chance to post until today--between visiting my sister & brother-in-law in HOT HOT Cincinnati--and of course, going to work!
So there you have it! No earth-shattering changes in the numbers to my non-cardiologist's eye.
Except for one big change that doesn't show itself on lipid tests! According to Dr. Esselstyn, the most important change is in what I am eating, and how it affects my blood vessels. When you eat plant-based without added oils or nuts--that are also high in inflammatory omega-6s--your blood is no longer sticky.
The no-added oils along with the high anti-oxidant content of the 9-11 fruits & vegetables I'm eating daily is keeping my LDLs "fluffy & puffy", and keeping them from embedding themselves into my blood vessel linings, laying down plaque, and creating foam cells--the "Darth Vader" of heart disease. It's as simple as that---well, maybe that's not so simple.
The changes not shown on the lipid profile: A 5 lb weight loss that I never expected; my clothes are much looser; my blood pressure is a consistent low normal; and my energy level is higher than ever! I don't need to count calories and I eat whenever I'm hungry. My GI system is amazing! And I hesitate to mention this very subjective benefit--but any subtle stiffness I sometimes have in my lower back has disappeared, and as a result I'm now able to do yoga poses I've never been able to do--like under the leg binds--and there is an improved hip flexibility that allows me to make deeper seated forward bends and more fluid position changes. Could it be the anti-inflammatory effect of lowered omega-6s now that I've ditched the oil & nuts? I know, now this really is sounding like snake oil! But, hey, a recent article in the American Journal of Physiology showed a correlation between trunk flexibility & arterial health, as strange as that might sound. Click here for an explanation.
Calling Dr. Esselstyn - So, What about My LDL That Didn't Budge?
As soon as I got my test results I emailed Dr. Esselstyn to get his opinion. So, my HDLs went down. I didn't want that to happen. My LDLs were basically unchanged, my triglycerides went down, all together bringing my total cholesterol to under 200 for the first-time in my life. But I still was slightly disappointed. I had expected more. Like giant drops in my LDLs. Because I was a 100% no-cheating perfect research subject. Where was the reward for my efforts?
L-R Nephew, Brother-in-law, Me, Hubby, & Sis About to Order Dinner at a Cincy Veg-Friendly Restaurant When Dr. Esselstyn Called to Discuss My Test Results
The Chef Recommended the Poblano Black Bean Mole on Rice--no oils, all plant-based!
So there I am sitting in a Cincinnati restaurant about to order my no-oil heart healthy dinner, when my husband says, "I think your phone is ringing!" It's Dr. Esselstyn, just back from Costa Rica, calling to weigh in on my lipid results.
Bottom Line: I'm doing a great job. As long as I'm not eating any animal protein, oils, or nuts that can damage my blood vessels, and I'm eating plenty of vegetables & fruits (along with legumes & whole grains) that are nipping any free-radicals in the bud, my over-100 LDLs are just not relevant! I'm not putting anything into my body that will cause those nasty "Darth Vader" foam cells to form, and wreak havoc.
Some people just have higher LDLs. It's my genetics--so I just need to eat the kind of foods that will continue to keep them "fluffy & puffy" and out of my "sub-endothelial space" (blood vessel linings). Dr. Esselstyn said, "Sure, if I cared about numbers I could take a small-dose of a statin (and he wouldn't recommend it) and lower them further, but it's not necessary, as long as I continue to eat as I have been." So there, you have it!
What about the HDL drop? As for the drop in my HDLs, Dr. Esselstyn isn't bothered by that either. Eating olive oil & nuts can cause HDLs to rise--and it doesn't translate into healthy blood vessels. Dr. Lawrence Rudel found that out when he fed African green monkeys olive oil with their meals for 5 years. Their HDLs were nice and high, and he expected beautiful arteries as a result. Not exactly. When he autopsied the monkeys, they had just as much plaque formation and artery disease as their saturated fat eating counterparts. A few years back there was a statin being tested that drove HDLs up and lowered LDLs. The perfect drug. Turns out it was never marketed because some patients died. The numbers looked good, but it never touched the heart disease.
Remember what Dr. Esselstyn told me two weeks ago, before I ever received my test results?
From Dr. Lawrence Rudel of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Rudel ran a five year study feeding olive oil and saturated fat to African Green monkeys. The monkeys metabolize fat in the same way as humans, so they're good stand-ins.. At the end of five years, their autopsies showed that the monkeys who were fed olive oil had higher HDLs (the good cholesterol) and lower LDLs (the bad cholesterol) than the ones fed the saturated fat diet. The big surprise here: Both groups had exactly the same amount of coronary artery disease. The higher HDLs & lower LDLs of the olive oil group were meaningless. Rudel later repeated the study on rodents, and got the same results. Read more about the olive oil paradox here. "I'm Going to Miss My Olive Oil - Who Knew It Wasn't So Healthy After All? Drs. Esselstyn, Ornish, Rudel, and Vogel Did."
So what if my numbers don't go as low as I'm hoping they'll go?
Dr. Esselstyn stressed that the health of my blood vessels is dependent upon what I'm eating--in spite of the numbers. If I'm really eating 100% plant-based, no-oil, all whole grain, very heavy on the greens, beans, fruits, & legumes--no problem! He says my blood vessels should be thanking me by now.
Turns out, even the Tarahumara Indians, who had no heart disease to speak of--had LDL levels from 80-115--and some had HDLs as low as 26--the kind of numbers that might make a cardiologist pull out a prescription pad. They were eating only beans, squash, & corn--not a bit of oil. Their LDLs were the light fluffy kind and they weren't causing a bit of damage. And their lower HDLs weren't a problem either, because the Tarahumara's weren't eating anything that was going to turn their LDLs into the small dense dangerous bad guys. If you aren't eating any inflammatory endothelial-damaging foods like fats, oils, and animal products---and you're loading up on high anti-oxidant greens you've reached the most important goal of all! Your numbers will probably reflect this--but don't worry if they don't.
If you'd like to learn more about the day-long session I attended with Dr. Caldwell & Ann Esselstyn in June 2010 and my Esselstyn-style cooking adventures visit the following posts:
Oops! Take It From Me - Half Dietary Measures to Lower Your Cholesterol Will Result in Half Measure Improvements
The Great Kitchen Cholesterol Clean-Up - Parchment Paper, the No-Oil Saute, and Munching on the Top Cholesterol-Cutting Foods
Week Two on Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's Heart Disease Prevention/Reversal Diet Challenge. The Rules, Tips, and Tricks to Enjoy Plant-Based Oil-Free Eating
Can a Plant-Based No-Added-Fat Diet Survive "Real Life"? My Fourth of July Trial on the Esselstyn Diet - House Guests, Restaurants, Road Trips, and Dinner with Friends. Let the Numbers Speak for Themselves.
Everyone Can Do This! Breakfast & Lunch on the Esselstyn Plant-Based No-Oil Diet Challenge. Fast, Hearty, Healthy and Delicious.
Some Q & A about the Esselstyn Diet Challenge. Why Do It? What about Oil & Fat-Soluble Vitamins? What About Omega-3s? And My Top Recipe Picks of Week Three
Plant-Based Eating Confusion! Omega-3s, Omega-6s, Glycemic Index, ORAC Index and More. A Picture, a Chart, and the ANDI Rankings Help Clear the Confusion.
Final Week on the Esselstyn Plant-Based No-Added Oil Diet Trial. What's Changed? What Have I Learned? Tips and This Week's Favorite Recipes
My Esselstyn Plant-Based Diet Trial Results Are In. Understanding the Numbers and Why No Oil or Nuts Makes Sense. Think Weight Loss, Lowering the Omega-6s, Healthy Arteries, and Energy
More from the Healthy Librarian's Plant-Based Kitchen Lab: The Restaurant Scene, Staying Fueled, PB2 the Nut Butter Substitute, and Chia Fresca for Omega-3s
Wolf Blitzer's Interview with Bill Clinton's Diet Gurus, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and Dr. Dean Ornish - What the Interview Didn't Have Time to Explain about How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease with a Plant-Based Diet
Painless Calorie Restriction for People Who Love to Eat - Lessons for Health, Longevity, and Disease Prevention from the NIH CALERIE Study
Follow One of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's Patients - Q & A on the First Three Months of a Diet to Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease
My Light Bulb Moment - Why Oil & Nuts Are Out of My Diet
I've written about this on earlier posts but now more than ever it's clear to me that all the vegetable oils (including olive & canola oil), all the nuts (yes, even almonds, peanut butter, & walnuts), and all the animal proteins (especially grain-fed) are our highest sources of omega-6s--a key factor that's responsible for creating heart disease, obesity, and a whole host of other diseases. How had I missed this important fact?
Yes, we need a healthy balance of omega-6s, but they are so plentiful, the trick is to lower them as much as possible, so the healthy omega-3s have a chance to "enter" our cells. The goal is an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 1:1 or 2:1. Most of us in the U.S. are about 17:1.
OK enough of the explanation! A big thank you to the readers who have recently sent me some eye-opening links to bring the point home---too many omega-6s can slow your metabolism, cause belly fat to accumulate, make you sluggish, and cause you to gain weight! Who needs that?
Susan Allport (I've written about her research here & included her totally cool video) is a science writer on a mission. To prove her point that omega-3s rule, and too many omega-6s don't--she set out to eat a diet loaded with omega-6's for thirty days. It looks like anyone's idea of a healthy diet--oatmeal & low-fat milk, tuna salad with mayo, almonds, peanut butter, salad with dressing, grain-fed chicken & fish. Read her fascinating story below. Thanks to M.L. for sending it my way!
Also, read Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD's summary of Allport's experiment. Case Study: 30-days of High Omega-6 Diet Stiffens Arteries and Increases Belly Fat.
I recommend you explore Allport's website, read her book, The Queen of Fats, and her article in Prevention Magazine. I don't agree with her use of canola, olive oil, walnuts, grass-fed milk & meat, but I agree with the principle of lowering omega-6s. When you see the chart below, and look at the spreadsheet link to the omega-6 content of common foods you can come to your own conclusions.
To give you a better idea of the high omega-6 content in oils & nuts, take a quick look at this chart and the link to the spread sheet sent to me by a reader. Be sure to check out these 2 very helpful posts on the Fanatic Cook. The author, Bix Weber, has created a clear graph that helps you to see where omega-6s lurk. These 2 posts of his will explain the negative effects of a diet too high in omega-6, and how vegans can get enough omega-3 without eating fish. Thanks to H.R. for pointing out this site. For a more complete spreadsheet that compares the Omega-3 and Omega-6 content of common foods, created by the Fanatic Cook, click here.
Important Note: Not all tofu's are created alike. NaSoya's Low-Fat extra firm tofu is very low in omega-6s & in other analyses grain-fed farmed fish comes out very high in omega-6s.
Click on the graph to enlarge it.
Omega-6 Me: One woman’s journey to the dark side of the American food supply.
Why would anyone put herself on a diet associated with weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and depression? by Susan Allport
That’s the question I asked myself as I sped east on Route 84, on my way to the University of Connecticut. There, I would spend the night and undergo a series of tests before beginning this experimental meal plan.
For the next month, I was planning to eat a diet with a gross imbalance of the two essential fats: omega-3s and omega-6s, fats that are called leaf fats and seed fats because omega-3s originate in the green leaves of plants and omega-6s are much more abundant in seeds. These two fats, both of which are polyunsaturates, are currently grouped together in most health recommendations, including the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. But evidence is mounting that a balance between them is critical for good health.
The leaf fats, omega-3s, are the more dynamic of these fats. They speed up the activity of cells and are concentrated, not surprisingly, in all our most active tissues: brains, eyes, hearts, sperm. They originate in green leaves -- including phytoplankton, the microscopic green leaves of the ocean -- and accumulate in animals that eat green leaves: fish, of course, as well as grass fed cows and other animals.
Omega-6s, the seed fats, are slightly less dynamic and much more inflammatory. They help animals fight infections and store fat for the winter. In excess – as in the American diet and the diet I was planning to go on – they’ve been implicated in everything from obesity to heart disease; cancer to Alzheimer’s and other mental disorders.
And that was what was worrying me. How much damage would I do to myself in a month? How much weight would I put on? I’ve spent much of my adult life trying to find that happy combination of foods that keeps me slim without dieting; healthy and energetic without an unhealthy obsession with food. Now, I would be throwing all that hard earned knowledge away.
Six years ago, when I began writing about omega-3s and paying attention to the balance of omega-3s and omega-6s in my diet, the pounds fell off and I could maintain a healthy weight without any effort. Now, I would be shifting the balance of those fats in my diet – and my tissues.
To the casual observer, the foods in my experimental diet would look just like my normal fare: lots of whole grains, nut butters, vegetables, fruits, lean meats, fish, and salads. But they would differ in a small way that I, and a growing number of scientists, know to be very important: the fats I would cook with; the oils I would dress my salads with would be vegetable (or seed) oils that are very rich in omega-6s, oils such as safflower, sunflower, corn, and soybean oil, oils that constitute most of the added fats in the American food supply.
Omega-3s and omega-6s compete for positions in our cells, as scientists have known since the 1950s, such that anyone consuming a diet too rich in omega-6s (and that would be me) would have fewer omega-3s in all of her tissues – no matter if she continued to eat fish. Americans consume 10 times as many omega-6s as they do omega-3s, according to the Agricultural Research Service. And it is that imbalance – not the amount of fish we eat—that is causing us to be deficient in omega-3s, the scientists who study these fats realize. A healthy balance is on the order of 4:1.
So why was I doing this? Because no one, as far as I know, had ever done it before – and the results might just convince a few skeptics that the balance of omega-6s to omega-3s is really important. No one has ever taken an individual with healthy amounts of omega-3s in her tissues, and then switched her to a diet high in omega-6s – while monitoring the results.
This is very different from putting people with large amounts of omega-6s in their tissues on a high omega-3 diet – something researchers do all the time by giving fish oil to average Americans. Because we store large amounts of omega-6s (but not omega-3s) in our fat tissue, it can take years to see the benefits of those omega-3s. So the results of many of those studies have been equivocal or confusing. And it is very different from giving omega-6s to someone whose diet – and tissues are already laden with these fats (the case with most Americans), a change that would have very little effect.
But going in the opposite direction might be very quick, I hypothesized. If animals, as I have suggested in my book The Queen of Fats, use the differences between omega-3s and omega-6s to prepare for the changing seasons—for periods of activity and reproduction when the faster fats of green leaves are available and periods of hunkering down and survival when the slower fats of seeds are more abundant, then the response to a high omega-6 diet would have to be pretty quick if it was going to be useful. This is why I volunteered to omega-6 myself for 30 days, and this is what I thought I might show.
The scientists I told about this project were enthusiastic (it was my body, after all, not theirs’!). Doug Bibus, a worldwide authority on fats at the University of Minnesota, agreed to test my blood on a daily basis with his home omega-3 kit (www.omega3test.com) and monitor how the omega-3s and omega-6s changed over the course the month. Bibus also put me in touch with Jeff Volek, an associate professor in the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Connecticut, who offered to measure my resting metabolic rate, the amount of energy my body expended at rest, before and after the diet. He suggested running a number of other tests that his lab performs routinely, as well.
And so I was driving up to the University of Connecticut on the night before the diet would begin. Volek has all his subjects spend the night on campus, and fast for 12 hours, in order to minimize the noise, or day-to-day variation, in the resting metabolic test. The next morning, I was woken at 6:15 am by a call from one of Volek’s graduate students, Dan Freidenreich, who drove me the short distance from the inn to the Gampel Pavilion, which houses Volek’s lab, as well as the stadium where the indomitable Huskies play. Dan left me in the car while he fetched a wheelchair to transport me to my first stop: a cot in a small, darkened room. The idea was that I should exert myself as little as possibly before the test of RMR, or resting metabolic rate. By these careful measures, Volek has greatly reduced this test’s day-to-day variation.
Dan weighed me and then I lay down and fell promptly back asleep. In half an hour, he woke me and covered me with a plastic tent-like contraption that would measure all the oxygen I would consume over the next thirty minutes, in a relaxed but wakeful state. Each liter of O2 consumed, Volek later explained, was the equivalent of about 5 calories. A woman my weight and height might be expected to have a resting metabolic rate of about 1367 calories a day.
Next up was the blood draw – five vials that would be divided at the end of the month between Volek and Bibus. And then a body composition scan using a state-of-the-art dual-energy X-ray machine to determine the amount, and distribution, of fat and lean tissue throughout my entire body. (I was dressed in a hospital gown for this test, but had never felt so naked.)
The scan was followed by an ultrasound of the artery in my arm (the brachial artery) and an assessment of how well this artery responded to an increase in flow—what scientists call sheer stress. This test, called Flow-Mediated Vasodilation, was developed in the 1990s and is a good measure of overall vascular health and a good predictor of the risk of developing atherosclerosis, hypertension and heart failure.
Omega-6s have been implicated in all these conditions (because of their inflammatory nature and because they also increase blood pressure and promote blood clotting and constriction of the blood vessels), and Volek thought it would be interesting to see if my month-long diet would produce a change in my arteries. I doubted it, but was impressed by how quickly I was taken through this, and all the tests. Each was conducted by a different graduate student, highly trained in his or her particular assay.
The morning ended with breakfast at the inn where I had stayed. I ordered scrambled eggs and whole wheat toast, something my omega-3 self would rarely ask for in restaurant. Eggs are high in omega-3s when they are laid by chickens that forage for greens and insects—or chickens that have been fed a high omega-3 diet, such as flax and fish meal. But commercial eggs, of the kind that would be served in a restaurant, are sure to be high in omega-6s. The chickens that laid them are sure to have been fed on corn and soy.
And thus this month of omega-6 eating began.
I won’t bore you with the details of every meal, but here are the kinds of changes I made:
Instead of my usual cereal (whole grain flakes with flax seed), I had either oatmeal or a whole grain cereal --without flax seed. Instead of the 1% milk I usually bought, from grass fed cows, I now bought 1% milk from grain fed cows. On those days when I didn’t eat cereal, I had either eggs (commercial ones, of course) with whole grain toast or toast with peanut butter. My omega-3 self would have always spread Smart Balance peanut butter on this toast, made with flax oil and peanuts. For this diet, though, I bought freshly ground peanut butter, which is high in omega-6s, from the health food store. The other foods I always had at breakfast, bananas, grapefruit juice, and tea, remained the same.
I often had a sandwich and a bowl of soup – or a salad of arugula from my garden. When it was a peanut butter and banana sandwich, I made it with the whole peanut butter. When it was tuna fish, I made it with a mayonnaise made with soybean oil, instead of my usual canola-oil based mayonnaise. Canola, like flax and walnuts, are three seeds that happen to be rich in omega-3s, and all play a big part in my normal diet. My usual salad dressing is made of lemon juice, mustard, and a mixture of canola and extra virgin olive oils. For this diet, though, I dressed my salads with a mixture of safflower, sunflower, corn, and soybean oils.
Dinner was usually lots of vegetables or salad, accompanied by chicken, fish, pasta, or a baked potato. When I ate at home, I always used my mixture of high omega-6 oils as the cooking fat. When I ate out, I made the assumption that the restaurant also used one or more of these oils—because they tend to be less expensive and more shelf stable than oils that are high in omega-3s. I also made the assumption that the meats and fish they served were from grain fed rather than wild or grass fed animals. These assumptions probably overestimated the amount of omega-6s in my experimental diet --because many restaurants do, in fact, use canola oil for cooking, but it allowed me to eat out during this month. Fish was on my menu, at least twice a week, as recommended by the AHA, and I usually had wine or beer with dinner. Dessert was often fruit, though sometimes ice cream or a piece of chocolate. I snacked throughout most days on fruit, raisins, and almonds --instead of my usual, omega-3 rich walnuts.
It wasn’t an unhealthy diet – by most people’s standards, and it certainly wasn’t a supersize me diet. I knew it would be easy to put on five pounds from a month’s worth of eating fast food, as Morgan Spurlock had shown. But I wanted to see what would happen if I just switched the balance of omega-6s and omega-3s in my diet. What would happen if I kept the quantity, and the kind, of food the same, but just changed the essential oils?
Most medical organizations, as I’ve said, wouldn’t see anything harmful in this change, but a large number of scientists believe that our reliance on cheap, high omega-6 vegetable oils is the underlying cause of many of our health problems. Both omega-3s and omega-6s are essential: we can’t make them ourselves and must consume them in our diet. But a balance between them creates tissues with just the right amount of speed and activity, inflammation and blood flow. Ever since vegetable oil consumption began to skyrocket in the 1950s (replacing butter and lard) so has the incidence of inflammatory diseases, such as heart disease, and metabolic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes.
My temporary shift to a high omega-6 diet didn’t result in any of these diseases (I hope), but I did experience an almost immediate thickening in my belly area. I know from the literature that omega-6s promote the development of fat tissue; still I was amazed it was happening to me. I didn’t weigh myself during the diet since I feared that any weight gain might send me on a secret, subversive diet, but I felt sure that I was putting on pounds. Any other symptoms were more fleeting and hard to attribute to diet alone. My stomach felt on fire after several meals, and I flushed more and longer after drinking alcohol. My husband thought my body smell was different; and I was short of breathe on several of my daily walks.
Flash forward 30 days, and I was thrilled to be at the end of my diet. By the time I returned to the University of Connecticut, I had a large, unpleasant wad of belly fat that I could grab in one hand. I was certain I had gained at least 5 pounds. I was shocked, therefore, when Dan picked me up in the morning, and then weighed me, before the follow up tests began. I couldn’t believe it when he said that my weight was exactly as it had been a month before – 56 kilograms or 124 pounds.
Could I have been wasting everyone’s time? I wondered as I laid down on the cot to prepare for the test. And then I fell back asleep. My worries, apparently, were no match for the warmth of the room and the early hour.
Omega-6 Belly Fat Backlash. Later that morning – after all the tests were completed, I learned from Volek just how profound the changes to my body had been. Yes, my weight was almost the same, but what weight I had gained – 5.6 ounces or just under half a pound – was almost entirely fat and in my abdominal area, as the follow-up body scan showed – exactly as I had experienced it. Just as interesting, and the cause, perhaps, of this gain, was that my resting metabolic rate had fallen, by an intriguing five percent. This drop was within the day-to-day variation for this test (6.2%), but it was in the direction predicted by the diet and the magnitude to explain my small gain in weight.
Omega-6 weight gain. In just one month, it seems, I had reduced the number of calories I needed to maintain my body at rest by 5%, the equivalent of 76 calories. This may not sound like a lot, but over time, those calories – the amount in a one-ounce piece of mozzarella, for example, or eleven whole almonds—would add up. If I didn’t reduce my food intake in order to compensate for this decrease (go on a diet, in other words), I would put on a pound in about 46 days; 8 pounds in a year. And this 5% drop in metabolic rate was after just one month. What if I kept to this high omega-6 diet for six months? Or a year? A lifetime as most Americans do? Would my metabolic rate continue to fall?
Stiff Arteries. The change in resting metabolic rate wasn’t all. At the same time my RMR was falling, my arteries were becoming stiffer, or less able to expand and contract, as revealed by the follow-up ultrasound. In just 30 days, the amount of dilation my brachial artery was capable of had dropped by 22%, a change much larger than the day-to-day variation of this test. The direction of this change was also predicted by what is known about omega-6s, but the amplitude surprised everyone involved in this project.
In the coming weeks, these findings from Volek’s lab were backed up by the results of the blood tests, analyzed by Bibus in Minnesota. At the same time my metabolic rate was decreasing and my arteries were becoming stiffer, the omega-6s in my red blood cells (and therefore the rest of my body) were increasing and the amount of omega-3s were falling – dramatically and precipitously.
Omega-3 Drops. In just ten days, the total amount of omega-3s in my red blood cells had dropped from 10% to 6%. The amount of omega-6s had risen from 21% to 29%. The substitutions continued during the last twenty days of my diet, but the biggest change was almost immediate, as I thought it might be. The omega-3s in my cells were quickly being replaced by seed fats, as I find it helpful to think of them, fats that change with the seasons for most animals, but that Americans eat, and overeat, all year long.
I’m glad to be back on my normal diet and hope that my month-long experiment in high omega-6 living helps readers to understand these fats. It would be easy to poke holes in this experiment, I realize. I am only one subject and anything but random. It would be easy to wait until this experiment was repeated on a larger scale. But wouldn’t it be prudent to make the small changes in your diet that will lead to a healthy, year-round balance of these fats in your tissues. Your cells will know the difference – even if most doctors currently do not – and your body will thank you.
Susan Allport is a science writer and author of The Queen of Fats: Why Omega-3s were removed from the Western diet and what we can do to replace them (University of California Press, 1996).
My Three Favorite Recipes This Week - Recipes Tomorrow, Maybe!
My Oil-Free Adaptation of Veganomicon's Spaghetti and Italian Beanballs
From Dr. Neal Barnard's New Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook - Three-Layer Tortilla Casserole
Soba Noodle Cabbage Red Pepper Beef-Less Stir Fry