In addition to DHA and EPA omega-3s from whole food sources, the fatty acid omega-6 also included in whole food sources decreases inflammation, boosts brain function and helps the immune system. Omega-6 can be dangerous when extracted and consumed separately as an oil.
How to avoid Vegetable Oil High In Omega-6
Safflower, sunflower, rapeseed, and cottonseed are sources of omega-6 oil. Processed oil from these sources are typically made from genetically modified crops that are heavily treated with pesticides. The solids (fiber and nutrients) are removed from these plants with petroleum solvents and acids. The result is a distasteful liquid which is then heated, while more chemicals are added to improve the color and flavor and to deodorize the oil.
Most people don’t understand that this is done to meet population needs and demands of oil around the globe.
To make these oils solid for use as margarine or spread, they are processed further through a hydrogenation process. This causes a high concentration of trans fatty acids or triglycerides that are known to increase total cholesterol levels and reduce HDL levels, making this thicker substance one of the most dangerous forms of fat leading to heart disease.
Is Olive Oil a Good Replacement?
Olive oil has a very similar health profile to butter and is possibly worse than processed omega-6 oils. Despite what you may have heard from many experts, olive oil is not a cure for heart disease. This oil is processed from olives which are stripped of their fiber and phytonutrients. Consequently, disturbing the perfect balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. This separation or breakdown of the whole olive creates a product that can cause inflammation throughout the body.
Early studies were done to determine if a Mediterranean diet was associated with lower heart disease and a decrease in Alzheimer’s rates. These studies mistakenly concluded that the olive oil was providing the positive benefits they were seeing. As a result, people on a Standard American Diet increased their intake of olive oil and included it in basically everything they ate and have been doing it now for decades. The result is that though HDL levels increase, total cholesterol levels do not decrease, nor do heart attack rates. Further studies showed that while extra virgin olive oil retains a small number of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, the removal of most of the whole ingredients still significantly impair endothelial function, making olive oil only slightly better than butter.
More current expert data dismisses olive oil as the explanation for the positive benefits of a Mediterranean diet and instead attributes them to a higher intake of vegetables, including salads with whole olives, legumes, fruits, grains, and nuts with balsamic vinegar. Results show that these benefits are simultaneously associated with the lower intake of meat and dairy products and cited as the reasons for lower heart disease and Alzheimer’s rates.
The Side Effects of Fish Oil and Too Much Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Online and television marketing have been promoted fish oil containing DHA and EPA as good sources of prevention. As you probably already know, fish contains animal protein which causes inflammatory disease. Studies have also shown that fish can cause cancer, specifically prostate cancer. Men with the highest blood omega-3 fatty acid levels specifically from fish are at the highest risk for prostate cancer.
One of the persistent pollutants found worldwide in fish is called PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). It is one of many contaminants found in fish that are associated with a significantly increased risk of stroke. A single serving of fish per week increases your risk of hemorrhagic stroke. Salmon has high levels of contaminants, making it one of the worst.
A persistent pollutant can remain in your body for decades or forever. Supplements containing fish oil also contain many pollutants and contaminants. The contaminants found in fish oil supplements can cause neurologic damage including ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
It has been demonstrated that more than 80% of fish oil labeled as “pure” remains contaminated. Omega-3s from flaxseed and chia seeds perform better than fish oil at preventing a wide range of diseases.