Are we the oils we eat?

Are we what we eat?

Every cell in our body, has layers of fat (lipid); a phospholipid bilayer. Our body gets this from the food we eat.

The best types of fat seems to be unsaturated fat, and in particular Omega 3 (in good ratio to Omega 6). Omega 3 can make cells soft, flexible and unsticky, and can help the immune system too.  The immune system’s “T” helper cells can help calm inflammation in our body. Omega 3 is a helpful type of fat that helps T cells too. The best way to get Omega 3 into our systems is to consume foods such as salmon, sardines or flaxseed oil (linseed oil), or other foods that have a high omega 3 levels. Many take away foods do not have a good ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 and can have far too much Omega 6 in our diets. It is not that Omega 6 is bad but it competes with Omega 3 for the receptor sites in our body. We want to have about a 1:3 ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 but many of us can have even a 1:21 ratio!  Takeaway foods can be high in trans-fat or saturated fat. This can cause our immune system to become inflamed. Perhaps we could see flaxseed as being a bit like a magic potion with it’s high amounts of Omega 3. It is a reactive oil, so we want to keep the magic all for ourselves, so keep it airtight and make sure to keep it in the fridge.


References:

Swank RL, Dugan BB. Effect of low saturated fat diet in early and late cases of multiple sclerosis. Lancet. 1990 Jul 7;336(8706):37-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/0140-6736(90)91533-G


Swank RL, Goodwin JW. Review of MS patient survival on a Swank low saturated fat diet. Nutrition 2003;19:161 2. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0899-9007(02)00851-1

Michael Kadock Letter to the editor at:  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0317167100022241

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Fiona Clarke