Sunday, 24 March 2019

How Too Much Omega 6 is Bad for Health

The Dangers of Excessive Polyunsaturated Fats in the Diet

An anti-saturated fat campaign has been waging for years, but perhaps consideration ought to be given to other dietary fats, which in some ways exceed the health risks.

The conventional view is that any unsaturated fat is better for health than saturated fat. Subsequent research has proved that it is not so simple.

What is Unsaturated Fat?

Saturated fat is solid at room temperature, and derives from animal sources such as meat and dairy. Unsaturated fat is mostly liquid at room temperature. Most unsaturated fats are derived from vegetables, nuts and seeds.

The Question of Polyunsaturated  or Monounsaturated Fat

What is Polyunsaturated fat?

Unsaturated fats can be further divided into two types:

Monounsaturated fat. This fat is derived from nuts and seeds. Examples include olive oil, flaxseed oil and walnut oil.
Polyunsaturated fat.  This fat is known as vegetable oil. Examples include sunflower oil, soybean oil and corn oil.

Although both types of fats are liquid at room temperature and are therefore classed as oils, they both have very different impacts upon health.

The Dietary Fats That Raise Cholesterol and Encourage Heart Disease

All fatty acids consist of carbon chains of fatty acids. These fatty acids are linked together by “double bonds.” The monounsaturated fats are linked by a single double bond, hence, “mono.” These links are stable and are therefore not highly reactive within the body.

Polyunsaturated fats are linked together by multiple double bonds, hence “poly.” This means that the chains are less stable and could react within the tissues of the body like free radicals.

Fats That Oxidizes Cholesterol
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The danger to the body is the instability of the polyunsaturated fat, which is highly reactive within the cells. The effect this has is akin to the oxidizing effect that oxygen has upon metal, turning it to rust. Oxidized cholesterol causes the platelets of the blood to stick together and the LDL cholesterol to “rust.” It is this that damages the arteries and hardens the walls, so hindering blood flow.

How Too Little Omega-3 and Too Much Omega 6 Causes Inflammation in the Body

Because polyunsaturated fats are highly reactive, it causes inflammatory reactions within the body too. According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, the traditional Western diet contains far too much omega 6, which is present in polyunsaturated oils. In small amounts, omega 6 is beneficial to health. However, too much in the long run will contribute to heart disease, arthritis, cancer and depression. The inflammatory effect of too much omega 6 also suppresses the body’s immune system.

Vegetable Oil That is Not a Healthy Alternative to Saturated Fat

Not so long ago, vegetable oil was thought to be a healthy alternative to saturated fat. Subsequent research has painted a very different picture. Sunflower oil still is a popular choice for cooking. However, using olive oil at a low temperature is a healthier alternative. In the long run, this will help prevent heart disease, strokes and raised cholesterol.