We have too much corn in this country, and we're subsidizing farmers to grow even more of it. Europe doesn't use it and South Americans grow their own. If we didn't feed it to cattle, but let them graze instead, eating meat would not raise our cholesterol levels. Corn, which seems so benign, could actually be considered evil. In the form of high-fructose corn syrup, which is the sweetener in soft drinks and fast and processed foods, it is one of the primary reasons for the type II diabetes epidemic in this country. Now scientists have learned that the fatty acids from corn, which raise "bad" cholesterol levels, actually FIGHT OFF the good fat we get from fish!
Researchers in Olmsted Country in Minnesota experimented with getting the 10,000 residents there to consume more Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in fish and fish-oil capsules. By doing this, they lowered the heart attack rate death by over 6%--more than they estimate it would have been lowered by placing a defibrillator in every home (this is the machine with the paddles you see in every hospital TV show. If the doctor using the paddles says "clear," he's using a defibrillator).
People can raise their omega-3 levels by eating fish or taking supplements. Researcher Dr. Thomas Kottke says that raising omega-3 fatty acids "would have about eight times the impact of distributing [defibrillators] and two times the impact of implanting ICDs, [internal defibrillators]." Three-quarters of the reduction in deaths from increased omega-3 fatty acid levels would come from raising omega-3s among the healthy portion of the population.
So we should all eat more fish and maybe even take fish oil capsules. But here's the problem: researcher Susan Allport has discovered that polyunsaturated fatty acids called Omega-6s, which have quietly permeated the Western diet in recent decades, CANCEL OUT the impact of heart disease-fighting omega-3s, meaning that Americans now have so many omega-6s in our bodies that eating fish to bolster our omega-3s may not do any good. Why? Because these two families of fats compete in our body's metabolism. In her book The Queen of Fats, Allport says, "It is not the fish we are NOT eating that is our problem, but the oils we ARE eating."
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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