Want A Healthier Heart? Change Your Oil!

Dr. Adam Hughes

By Dr. Adam Hughes, DC, IHS

Over the last 10 years, many doctors and researchers have come to find that changing the type of fat and oil in an individual’s diet is perhaps the most important issue in health care. We now know just how terrible trans fats are for your health, but it wasn’t so long ago that cardiologists were advising patients to eat margarine (made with trans fats) instead of butter. However, many people are still following the “low fat” and “no fat” diet trends of the past. Our bodies are dependent on good fat sources, therefore avoiding all fats in general in order to lose weight is not the healthiest choice.

Avoiding trans fats and consuming omega-3 fatty acids benefits so many aspects of health. Consuming the right kind of oil can mitigate inflammation. Research the harm caused by trans fats, and that they promote inflammation. Research appearing in the Journal of Nutrition (2005; 135(3):562-6), the Journal of Cardiac Failure (2005; 11(8):613-8), and theAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition(2004; 79(4):606-12) all support this. Omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand are anti-inflammatory. Omega-3 Fatty acids are found in fresh water fish, such as salmon, walnuts, almonds, and leafy green vegetables. Other good sources include high quality extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and organic butter, or better yet grass-fed organic butter. When using supplementation, choose High Quality fish oils, cod liver oil, and flaxseeds. Do your homework when choosing supplements. Many of the “bargain” supplements found in most drugstores are of poor quality and often contain harmful synthetic chemicals. Work with a health care provider who is trained in clinical nutrition when searching out supplementation.

The benefit of omega-3 fatty acids to the heart, and the harm to the heart caused by trans fats is also very well researched. Research appearing in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2005; 14(4):307-12), the Journal of Nutrition (2004; 134(4):874-9), the American Journal of Medicine (2002; 113(4): 9B:9S-12S), and the European Journal of Nutrition (2003; 42(4):188-94) are just a few of the research articles that support this idea.

Omega-3 fatty acids can help with cognition, the immune system, and the integrity of the endothelial lining. They are beneficial to patients of Crohn’s disease, asthma and may even be protective against cancer. Taking the time to read labels to avoid hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils (a source of trans fats), avoiding deep-fried foods, and consuming omega-3 fatty acids may well be one of the most important things you can do for your health.

Dr. Adam Hughes is a Chiropractor at Kingen Chiropractic Wellness Center in Brentwood. He can be reached at 314-646-0013 or at KingenChiropractic.com.

Stop by our booth at the Healthy Planet Natural Living Expo, March 30 in Webster Groves.