Omega-3 Fatty Acids

As I mentioned, if there is a "magic bullet" for health, it may well be omega-3 fatty acids.

Scientific studies show a diet rich in this long-chain fatty acid helps support the health of our brains, hearts, immune systems, joints and kidneys. They can also help fight depression and give us more of a sense of well being, help maintain our strength and stamina, and even keep our cholesterol levels from rising (assuming they are in the normal range to start with).

You can get more omega-3 in your diet in a number of ways:

  • Eat meat that is finished on grass. Most of the beef raised in North America is finished in feedlots on a corn or barley diet, which decreases the amount of omega-3 in their meat. Again, the best website I know of for all kinds of information on grass-finished meat is eatwild.com . You can find farms that sell this kind of product by clicking on 'shop for food'. Another bonus of eating grass-finished meat is it is higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which has been shown in a number of studies to reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Eat a wide variety of dark green leafy vegetables, such as kale, collards, dandelion greens, and broccoli.
  • Eat cold-water fish regularly. It is best if it is not farm-raised, as farm-raised fish are given a diet of manufactured feed that causes them to have lower levels of omega-3 in their oil. I like sardines, so I eat them at least once a week.
  • Avoid partially hydrogenated fats, such as shortening, margarine, non-dairy creamers and pre-packaged baked goods. Margarine is no longer thought to be as healthy as butter, and besides, butter tastes better. (Some of the new margarines that are free of trans-fat are said to be ok, but I say why eat that stuff when you can have butter?)
  • Take a fish oil supplement. Fish oils are high in omega-3. Many studies show that fish oils can help maintain health in a number of ways.
     Elizabeth and I take Usana Omega 3, as we know it is high quality, from a dependable company.

    If you are interested in using Usana Omega 3, contact me, and I will help you order some. . 


If you want more details, here are some places where you can find reports of research studies about fish oil:

WebMD information on fish oil 

National Library of Medicine fish oil studies

Medscape fish oil studies

Doctor's Guide fish oil studies

Dr. Barry Sears, who developed the best-selling Zone Diet, has studied fish oil extensively.

Zone Diet

Elizabeth and I began eating 'in the Zone' in January 1997. Within five months later we had each lost twenty pounds, and my blood cholesterol level had dropped by 50%. (Elizabeth did not get her cholesterol measured.) Neither of us has experienced any unusual hunger while eating in the Zone, which is the really neat thing about this approach to nutrition. It is not a 'dieting program', but rather a scientifically-based approach to eating that balances the intake of carbohydrates, fats and protein. When you get it right, your insulin levels are not elevated when you have digested your food, so your body automatically switches to burning fat without triggering a hunger pang.

We have recommended The Zone to many friends, some of whom have had excellent results, and some who have not. Among those for whom it did not seem to work so well, there seem to be a couple of common factors:- They are blood type A or AB, or - They make the whole process so complicated for themselves, thinking they have to cook special meals and so forth, that they find it too hard to follow.

We just eat the normal food we always have, which is mostly organic and made from scratch, and just keep the carbohydrate/protein/fat ration right, as well as eating the right quantity. We don't worry about complicated recipes and other stuff like that.

It may seem like more work for people who eat a lot of prepared foods, which are invariably high in carbohydrates, as they will have to switch to more wholesome foods.

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