Tag Archives: PUFA

Insane medicine – Replace saturated fats in your diet with Vegetable oils (Linoleic acid) to lower cardiac risk!

Replacing saturated fat with vegetable oil is associated with lower coronary artery disease risk based in a study in Circulation recently released (Circulation. 2014;130:1568-1578).

  1. Exchanging 5% of consumed calories from saturated fat sources (red meat and butter) with foods containing linoleic acid (an n-g fatty acid that is polyunsaturated and found in vegetable oil, seeds, and nuts) can decrease coronary heart disease events by 9%. So swap out your saturated fat sources with polyunsaturated fat to help out your heart!
  2. Linoleic acid (polyunsaturated fat) intake was inversely associated with heart disease, such that the more linoleic acid taken in, the lower the risk of heart disease. At the best outcomes, there was a 15% lower heart-risk and 21% lower death rates in those who consumed the most linoleic acid sources.
  3. Replace butter, lard, and fat from red meat with liquid vegetable oils when you prepare and cook foods.  By replacing saturated fat in this way, total and LDL cholesterol is reduced.
  4. Sources of Linoleic acid (an omega-6 polyunsaturated fat) include: soybean, sunflower, safflower, and corn oil, as well as nuts and seeds.
  5. Fats have 9 calories per gram. Use 1.5-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil daily to get 5-10% of calories from linoleic acid (100-200 calories total) It is important to replace saturated fat with these sources of polyunsaturated fats (linoleic acid) and not just adding this to the total fat intake.
  6. Linoleic acid does not promote inflammation based on a neutral effect on inflammatory markers or arachidonic acid levels (which increase in inflammation).

Cooking oil examples:

Safflower oil – 78 % PUFA (Linoleic acid)

Sunflower oil – 69% PUFA (Linoleic acid)

Corn oil – 62%

Soybean oil  – 61 %

Peanut Oil  – 34%

Canola oil  – 29%

Lard – 12 %

Palm oil – 10%

Olive oil  – 9%

Butterfat  – 4%

Palm kernel oil  – 2%

Coconut oil – 2%

 

General notes about fats:

  • Greater intake of trans-fats (hyrogenated oil for example) relative to polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) is associated with higher cardiac risk. N-3 omega fatty acids and alpha-linoleic (ALA), also an n-3 fatty acid) are associated with good cardiac risk. Linoleic acid (LA) , an n-6 PUFA most commonly eaten in the Western diets, also has been shown to be beneficial in preventing cardiac risk, but less investigation had been done regarding this fatty acid. Linoleic acid reduces LDL levels, which is a positive effect for decreasing cardiac risk. LA can be elongated into arachidonic acid, which is inflammatory and thrombogenic (blood clot forming). Studies have shown that LA is in fact not pro-inflammatory in the body. It does not increase C-reactive protein . It also has no effect on other inflammatory marker such as cytokines, fibrinogen, soluble vascular adhesion molecules, plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1, or tumor necrosis factor-α.
  • There appears to be a linear response to increasing LA intake – as one takes in more LA, there is less coronary events (heart attacks) and less death! Thus n-6 fatty acids (Linoleic acid) has cardioprotective effects! Increasing LA intake by 5% led to 9% less coronary heart disease and 13% less death!
  • It had been assumed that LA is converted to arachidonic acid (AA), which is inflammatory. AA  is the main precursor of eicosanoids with inflammatory and thrombogenic properties, such as prostaglandin E2, thromboxane A2, and leukotriene B4. It has been found, however, that the conversion of LA to AA is tightly controlled in the body, thus there is no increase in inflammation.

 

Insane Medicine – General health tips regarding fats, vegetables, fish, and whole grains.

Food Choices – General Information:

  • FATS: Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) in avocados, nuts, seeds, canola, olives, and peanut butter – are linked to lower cardiovascular risk. Polyunsaturated fasts (PUFA) found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds are also linked to lower cardiovascular risk. They also decrease the risk of type – 2 diabetes. Omega 3 fatty acids (fish, flax, soy, walnuts) decrease inflammation, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Decrease your saturated fats (meats, poultry with skin, some tropical oils (palm kernel/coconut) to help decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Trans fats (margarine and fried foods) also need to be cut out due to their bad effects as well.
  • Goal for Fat intake : Less than 30 % of your total calories from MUFA/PUFA (30-60 gm a day) and keep saturated fat to less than 10 % of your calories (22 gm a day).
  • Whole Fruits: Increase them as they are associated with less heart disease and stroke and lower blood pressure. They have fiber and phytochemicals as well.
  • Goal for whole fruits: 2 cups a day. Avoid high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, honey, and maple syrup that are present in processed foods. For men, less than 150 calories (38 gm) of added sugar a day is the maximum and 100 calories (25 gm) a day for women of added sugar.
  • Vegetables and Whole Grains: Increase them !They are rich in fiber, minerals, and phytochemicals and decrease cancer risk, cardiovascular risk, type 2 diabetes, and  cognitive decline. Aim for whole grains such as whole wheat, bulgur, corn, rye, oats, and quinoa.  Avoid refined grains that leave only the starchy endosperm present. These items with processed grains such as desserts, crackers, and breads and cookies increase obesity and other chronic illnesses.
  • Fish and plant proteins (legumes, soy, seeds, and nuts) increase life span and decrease heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Be certain to eat fish at least twice a week.

Other information worth mentioning:

  • Eat more Kale, a member of the brussel sprout and broccoli family, it is high in cancer-fighting antioxidants and flavonoids such as zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, and lutein. Chopping up kale releases sulforaphanes, which are anti-cancer compounds, Steamed kale can bind bile acids in the gut, thereby reducing cholesterol levels. Kale is high in vitamin A, K, and C as well.
  • Popcorn is a whole grain – eat popcorn as a way of increasing your whole grain intake. Avoid butter and movie-type popcorn.

 

Insane Medicine – Know thy fats! (Before they become fats!)

Insane Medicine - Good fat - Bad Fat - slice of salmon
Insane Medicine – Good fat – Bad Fat – A slice of salmon

 

There are some key facts to know when you are in the store about fats to avoid: No Trans-Fats! The FDA is planning to have these removed from processed foods in the near future.  Lean towards Monounsaturated fats (MUFA) which are heart healthy.

  • Avoid vegetable shortening, which is abundant in baked foods and also sticks of margarine, which have Trans-fats in them.
  • Tub Margarine may be free of Trans- fats, but be careful as they may have partially hydrogenated oil in it.  That is the same as trans-fats! If you see that on the label, chose another brand!
  • For your spreads used in baking, try to aim for those with at last 2/3 oil in them to get the best results.
  • Aim for more MUFA. Olive Oil and Avocado Oil are the best choices to use in baking, dressings, cooking. They have 65% MUFA content!
  • Extra Virgin Olive still has the polyphenol antioxidants and vitamin E in it,. This choice is even better as it is more healthful.
  • Canola Oil is another option for MUFA.
  • Soybean and corn oils are higher in Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFA) . They have higher amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, but too much of this can be unhelpful in that it can increase body inflammation.
  • Hazelnut oil, flaxseed oils, and walnut oils are also healthful. Flaxseed oil breaks down at temperatures of 225 degrees, so it is best used in marinades, salads, but not cooking. Likewise Walnut oil, which smokes at 320 degrees ( a rather low temperature for baking.)
  • As far as nuts are concerned, consider Macadamia nuts, almonds, and hazelnuts for MUFA content. Walnuts have more PUFA in the form of alpha linolenic acid ( ALA) , a form of omega-3 fat that converts to EPA, which is heart healthy. Flaxseed and Hemp both supply ALA as well and are beneficial to health.
  • Fish poducts, especially tuna, salmon, sardines and other oily fish are high in omega-3 PUFA ( EPA – Eicosapentanoc acid and DHA – docosapentanoic acid). They are excellent choices for food. Try to eat two- four ounce servings a week.
  • For meat, consider skinless, breast meat of chicken and turkey.
  • For red meat, which has more harmful saturated fats, aim for ones that have a higher stearic acid content that is found in grass-fed beef and has more omega-3 as well. Remember that eating fish protects against inflammation, arthritis, diabetes, decreases arrhythmias, lowers triglyceride risk, and decreases blood pressure. To avoid contaminated fish (that have mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, or dioxin), stay away form tilefish, shark, swordfish, and king mackeral. Instead, try tuna (bluefin, yellowtail, or skipjack), halibut, and salmon. Best choices for sustainable fish can be found at:  http://www.seafoodwatch.org/ and http://www.msc.org/ Other eco-friendly and healthful fish include pollack, haddock, albacore tuna, Barramundi, rainbow trout, and farmed shellfish such as blue mussels, oysters, and bay scallops. Farmed seafood offers excellent healthful and sustainable food.
  • Milk, cheese, and yogurt from grass-fed cows also have higher amounts of omega-3 FA content.