May 22

Good Fats, Bad Fats

Every one of our trillions of cells are made of fats and we can’t be alive without fats. Omega 3 fats from fish and tree nuts are healthy and protective, whereas omega 6 fats from vegetable oils and trans fats from hydrogenated oils are bad. The ratio between good fats and bad fats does matter a lot.



The Evidence

Omega 3 fatty acids are protective against insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome: Perez-Martinez P et al. Insulin receptor substrate-2 gene variants in subjects with metabolic syndrome: Association with plasma monounsaturated and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels and insulin resistance. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2011 Dec 7. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201100504. [Epub ahead of print][Abstract][Report]

Omega 3 fats reduce diabetes risk: Two studies have reported that consumption of omega 3 fats reduces teh risk of diabates mellitus [Brostow DP et al. Omega-3 fatty acids and incident type 2 diabetes: the Singapore Chinese Health Study.. Am J Clin Nutr July 2011 ajcn.009357. doi: 10.3945/​ajcn.110.009357 | Djoussé L et al. Plasma omega-3 fatty acids and incident diabetes in older adults. Am J Clin Nutr July 2011 ajcn.013334. doi: 10.3945/​ajcn.111.013334]

Baked fish reduces and fried fish increases the risk of heart failure in post menopausal women: A 10-year follow-up of more than 84 000 postmenopausal women, who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative–Observational Study (WHI-OS), has found that eating baked or broiled dark fish such as salmon five times a week may prevent heart failure in older women, whereas having fried fish only once a week may increase this risk. [Belin RJ, Greenland P, Martin L, et al. Fish intake and the risk of incident heart failure: The Women’s Health Initiative. Circ Heart Fail 2011; DOI:10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.110.960450. | Report]

Fish Oil protects against macular degeneration: Regular consumption of fish and omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a significantly reduced risk for the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in women. [Christen WG et al. Dietary -3 Fatty Acid and Fish Intake and Incident Age-Related Macular Degeneration in Women Arch Ophthalmol. March 14, 2011. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2011.34 Full Text | Report]

Fish oil shows beneficial effects in metabolic syndrome: A review published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, reports that omega-3 fatty acids may promote metabolic changes in visceral (adipose) tissue, leading to significant improvement in metabolic syndrome. [Abstract from Puglisi MJ, Hasty AH, Saraswathi Y. The role of adipose tissue in mediating the beneficial effects of dietary fish oil. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.2011;22(2):101-108. doi: 10. 1016/ j.jnutbio.2010.07.003 | Report]

Fish Oil May Reduce Psychosis in High-Risk Individuals: G. Paul Amminger et al., Arch Gen Psychiatry February 2010 | Report

Evolutionary aspects of omega-3 fatty acids in the food supply. Simopoulos AP. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1999;60(5-6):421-9. [See]

Trans Fats Linked to Increased Endometriosis Risk and Omega-3-Rich Food Linked to Lower Risk: A study involving 70,709 American nurses followed for 12 years, published in Human Reproduction, revealed that Women who ate the highest amount of long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids (mostly in oily fish) were 22% less likely to be diagnosed with endometriosis than those who ate the least and that those who ate the most trans fats (major sources were fried restaurant foods, margarine and crackers) had a 48% increased risk, compared with those who ate the least. [Stacey A. Missmer et al. A prospective study of dietary fat consumption and endometriosis risk. Human Reproduction 2010;1–8 [Full Text] | Science Daily Report

Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Disease.  Kris-Etherton PM et al. Circulation. 2002;106:2747. [See]

Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and inflammatory mediator production.  James MJ, Gibson RA, Cleland LG. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;71(1):343S-348s. [See]

Essential fatty acids in health and chronic disease.  Simopoulos AP. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70(3):560S-569S. [See]

Coconut: In Support of Good Health in the 21st Century.  Enig MG. [See]

The Oiling of America. Enig MG, Fallon S. [See]

Fish Oil Improves Metabolic Syndrome [Report]

Healthy Nuts:

Consumption of nuts prevents metabolic syndrome: [O’Neil CE, Keast DR, Nicklas TA, Fulgoni VL. Out-of-hand nut consumption is associated with improved nutrient intake and health risk markers in US children and adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004 Nutrition Research March 2012;32(3 ):185-194. Abstract | O’Neil CE, Keast DR, Nicklas TA, Fulgoni VL. Nut Consumption is Associated with Decreased Health Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease and Metabolic Syndrome in U.S. Adults: NHANES 1999–2004. J Am Coll Nutr. December 2011;30(6):502-510 Abstract]

Eating nuts may enhance mood. [See]

Nuts in Place of carbohydrates Helps Control Blood Sugar and Serum Lipids: Two ounces of nuts daily as a replacement for carbohydrate foods improves both glycemic control and serum lipids in type 2 diabetes.[Jenkins DJA. Nuts as a Replacement for Carbohydrates in the Diabetic Diet. [Diabetes Care August 2011;34(8):1706-1711. Full text]

Eating nuts every day helps control Type 2 diabetes and prevent its complications: New research from St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto has revealed that two ounces of nuts daily as a replacement for carbohydrate foods improved both glycemic control and serum lipids in type 2 diabetes. [Jenkins DJA. Nuts as a Replacement for Carbohydrates in the Diabetic Diet. Diabetes Care June 29, 2011 doi: 10.2337/dc11-0338 Full Text | Report]

Almonds may help reduce risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease: Studyshows that consuming an almond-enriched diet may help improve insulin sensitivity and decrease LDL-cholesterol levels in those with prediabetes. [Michelle Wien et al. Almond Consumption and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Adults with Prediabetes. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2010;29(3):189-197. Abstract | Report]

A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. The Adventist Health Study.  Fraser GE et al. Arch Int Med 1992;152(7):1416. [See]

Nut Consumption and Decreased Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death in the Physicians’ Health Study.  Albert CM et al. Arch Intern Med. 2002;162:1382-1387. [See]

Nut consumption, vegetarian diets, ischemic heart disease risk, and all-cause mortality: evidence from epidemiologic studies. Sabaté J et al. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70(3):500S-503S. [See]

Nuts and their bioactive constituents: effects on serum lipids and other factors that affect disease risk. Kris-Etherton PM et al. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70(3):504S-511S. [See]

Trans Fats:

Consumption of Trans Fatty Acids Is Related to Plasma Biomarkers of Inflammation and Endothelial Dysfunction. Lopez-Garcia E. J. Nutr. 2005;135:562-566. [See]

Health effects of trans fatty acids.  Ascherio A, Willett WC. Am J Clin Nutr 1997;66:1006S-1010S. [See]

Trans fatty acid isomers in human health and in the food industry.  Valenzuela A, Morgado N. Biol. Res. Santiago 1999;32(4). doi: 10.4067/S0716-97601999000400007. [See]

Revealing trans fats. FDA.[See]

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