Omega 3s Can Save Your Life

Over the years, there have been dozens of studies and thousands of articles written about how eating fish high in Omega 3 fatty acids is good for our health. These studies have shown us how diets high in salmon and herring and even tuna are good for our hearts and lower our risk of dying from heart disease.

But up until now, there haven’t been any studies which conclusively prove that individuals who ate a diet high in Omega 3s actually lived longer and better than the rest of us.

A new study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows us that “older adults who have higher levels of blood omega-3 levels are able to…

  • lower their overall mortality risk by as much as 27%
  • and their mortality risk from heart disease by about 35%

Researchers found that older adults who had the highest blood levels of Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish lived, on average, 2.2 years longer than those with lower levels.

Not only will your doctor be happy with your blood tests and your ECG scans, you will actually live longer…and that is pretty darn cool.

The Science

The researchers examined 16 years of data from about 2,700 U.S. adults aged 65 or older. Participants came from four U.S. communities in North Carolina, California, Maryland, and Pennsylvania; and all were generally healthy at baseline. At baseline and regularly during follow-up, participants had blood drawn, underwent physical examinations and diagnostic testing, and were questioned about their health status, medical history, and lifestyle.

The researchers analyzed the total proportion of blood omega-3 fatty acids, including three specific ones, in participants’ blood samples at baseline. After adjusting for demographic, cardiovascular, lifestyle, and dietary factors, they found that the three fatty acids—both individually and combined—were associated with a significantly lower risk of mortality.

One type in particular—docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA—was most strongly related to lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) death (40% lower risk), especially CHD death due to arrhythmias (electrical disturbances of the heart rhythm) (45% lower risk). Of the other blood fatty acids measured—eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA)—DPA was most strongly associated with lower risk of stroke death, and EPA most strongly linked with lower risk of nonfatal heart attack.

Overall, study participants with the highest levels of all three types of fatty acids had a 27% lower risk of total mortality due to all causes.

And how much fish & Omega 3s do you need to consume to get these amazing life-extending benefits?

  • 400 mg or two servings of fatty fish per week.

But what if you’re worried about high mercury levels found in some fish?

  • Consult this chart and eat fish high in Omega 3s and low in mercury
  • Or buy quality fish oil supplements (my second choice)

fish-omega3-mercury

Reference

Would You Eat Genetically Modified Salmon?

image: AquaBounty

As I write this, the FDA is holding a hearing in an attempt to decide if:

  1. Genetically Modified Salmon are fit for the tummies of American consumers, and
  2. If producers of GMO Salmon will be required to label GMO Salmon as GMO Salmon.

What do YOU think?

More Info

FDA Hearing on GMO Salmon live stream – CNN

USDA Labeling Info

Want to Yell at Someone?

Mmmmmm….Genetically Modified Fish

image: AquaBounty

Combining the DNA of a Chinook salmon and an Ocean pout, U.S. biotech firm AquaBounty has engineered an Atlantic salmon that grows twice as fast as farmed salmon.

And, according to the Washington Post, the FDA is poised to approve the first of these AquAdvantage® Fish to be fit for human consumption.

In a briefing document released last week, FDA staff concluded that “Food from AquAdvantage Salmon . . . is as safe to eat as food from other Atlantic salmon.”

Public meetings are scheduled for September 19-20 to present information on animal health, food safety, environmental concerns, and data supporting the claim that AquAdvantage Salmon grow faster than conventionally bred Atlantic salmon. (meeting agenda)

On September 21, the FDA will hold a public hearing at which it will present the relevant legal principles for food labeling and describe information made available prior to the hearing about AquAdvantage Salmon.

And although it will be FDA’s responsibility to determine if any special labeling is required in accordance with federal law, the hearing will offer the public an opportunity to comment on the application of the relevant food labeling principles to foods that might be made from the AquAdvantage Salmon.

Note: if you wish to make an oral presentation at this meeting, today is the last day to register.

Let’s Recap

  • The FDA is poised to approve the sale of genetically modified fish for human consumption
  • The FDA will also decide if special labeling is required

This leads me to a couple of questions.

  1. If the FDA approves the sale of AquAdvantage fish, and if the FDA decides that special labeling is not required….how will you be able to tell the difference between wild salmon, farmed salmon and genetically modified farmed salmon?
  2. What will you do? ….will you eat genetically modified fish?

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Note: We should also keep in mind that  the FDA were the ones who gave the green light to factory farmed egg production, and we know how that turned out.

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deep fried pizza is super high in omega 6 fatty acids

Omega 6 Fatty Acids ….and the Genetic Obesity Timebomb

deep fried pizza is super high in omega 6 fatty acids
Original Image: http://fxcuisine.com

Back in the day, your ancestors used to eat

  • Meat -i.e  beef, pork, chicken, fish, seafood, etc…
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Seed Oils
  • Water

Today, in addition to deep fried pizza,  we eat oodles of:

  • Processed meat
  • Processed vegetables…mostly deep fried potatoes of some variety
  • Processed fruit – mostly juice
  • Processed seed oil
  • Processed grains
  • Processed corn
  • Processed sugar
  • Next to no fiber
  • Next to no enzymes
  • and gallons and gallons of sugary soda

The result: An increasingly unhealthy & overweight population that would get it’s collective butt kicked by our ultra-fit Paleo ancestors.

And, according to the latest research, one of the worst aspects of our modern diet is our imbalance of Omega 6 fatty acids to Omega 3 fatty acids.

Omega 6 Fatty Acids ….and the Genetic Obesity Timebomb

According to this latest study, eating a diet that is high in linoleic acid (omega 6), and low in alpha-linoleic acid (omega 3) will result in the genetic inheritance of obesity & insulin resistance.

In other words…Continue eating those deep fried pizzas and your kids will be born fat & insulin resistant.

The Science

In this study, the researchers exposed several generations of male and female adult and young mice to a modern “Western” style diet high in Omega 6 and low in Omega 3 fatty acids, and then assessed the consequences of such a lipid environment in the human diet.

The test diet had an Omega 6 : Omega 3 ratio of 28:1.

With no other restrictions, the mice were allowed to go about their business. And four generations later, with no additional interference from the researchers, the great-great grandmice were compared to their ancestors.

And the comparison didn’t go well.

  • the researchers saw a gradual increase in fat mass over the four generations
  • they also observed the onset of  insulin resistance….
  • the expression of inflammatory genes associated with obesity, and….
  • the development of type 2 diabetes.

Conclusion

In a genetically stable population, exposure to a “Western” diet (high in Omega 6 : low in Omega 3) results in the emergence of transgenerational obesity, insulin resistance, systemic inflammation and a higher likelihood of becoming diabetes.

the human in the movie wall-e were victims of their own diet - they should have gone paleoSo, where do we go from here?

Option 1

  • Optimize your Omega 6 : Omega 3 ratio by going Paleo

Option 2

Option 3

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,

Reference

Slow Roasted Seabass with Swiss Chard

This is a dish I made recently for a dinner party I catered and it went down a treat, so to speak. It’s protein packed & Paleo friendly. This one is really for the guys but you ladies can also give it a go if you want, if not just pass it on to your fella. Guys, if you’re looking to impress your missus or simply find yourself one, this dish will do the trick. It’s fool proof. I promise you. You’ll definitely get some good brownie points and to finish off why not make the dessert I also made for the same party here. If this all goes according to plan you might get breakfast in bed. I have that covered too.
Happy Days!

Have a great weekend guys and happy trails.

To see the full recipe head over to GavanMurphy.com where you’ll also find a bunch more healthy recipes.

Make sure you sign up for my newsletter to get my FREE Entertainment booklet.

You may find even more Paleo friendly recipes.

Chipotle Salmon Burgers with Stone Fruit Salsa


If you’re on the US East coast you’re getting your ears scorched right about now as a massive heatwave continues to burn things up. So what do you eat when you’re trying to beat the heat?
I can’t seem to get enough of all summer fruit myself right now. Berries are amazing as are melons, mangoes, pineapple and all kinds of stone fruit. I actually got these apricots and nectarines from locally sourced Tenerelli Orchards for an event I catered last weekend. I had a few leftover so that’s where this little beauty came from. Served chilled as a snack or as I did make something delicious with them, either way you’re sorted.
The contrast of the smokey flavour of the burger against the sweet fruit relish works brilliantly.

Have a great weekend guys and happy grilling.

To see the full recipe head over to GavanMurphy.com where you’ll also find a bunch more healthy recipes.

Make sure you sign up for my newsletter to get my FREE Entertainment booklet.

You may find even more Paleo friendly recipes.

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Grilled Salmon with Curried Cauliflower Puree

Wild Salmon with Curried Cauliflower PureeI always try to cook seasonal foods as much as possible which is why I shop at farmers markets. I know everything I get there will be in season and local. I actually got this cauliflower in my CSA box so I knew it would be perfect with some simple grilled salmon so as you can see that’s what you’ve got. This is definitely Paleo friendly and is loaded with the good Omega 3 fatty acids.
Simple, healthy and delicious. Brilliant.

Serves 2

Recipe:
2 x 4-5 oz wild Pacific salmon
1 head organic cauliflower – roughly chopped in florets
2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp agave/honey
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Continue reading the Full Recipe Here and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the HEALTHY IRISHMAN Newsletter!

When you do you’ll receive a FREE Entertainment Booklet with recipes and tips for your next dinner party.

Fueling your body with healthy food. Fueling your mind with the wealth of health.

Copyright © 2010 The Healthy Irishman. All rights reserved

Seafood Stew

Mardi Gras Seafood Soup

Growing up in Ireland most people assume it’s all meat n veg but being an island we have amazing seafood and a lot of my training as a chef was in seafood restaurants. This is my simplified version of a bouillabaisse. Typically, and according to tradition, there should be at least five different kinds of fish (not including shellfish) in a proper bouillabaisse. That can get pretty pricey so I thought I’d use some key seafood ingredients saving money yet without compromising flavour (which I may have used for a (my) six-pack). This version is light, fresh and brothy… just the way I roll!

If you do have a craving for some good ol’ fashioned meat try my Tomato marinated Flank Steak or Citrus Fennel Crusted Pork.

RECIPE:
Serves 4

20 mussels – rinsed
20 Manila clams – rinsed
1/2 lb large locally caught wild shrimp – P&D’d (peeled & de-veined)
1 lb white fish (Pacific cod, Tilapia, Pacific halibut) – 1″ cubes
3 cups leeks (whites only) thinly sliced, washed
1 red bell pepper – small dice
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 x 15 oz can diced tomatoes – drained
1 cup white wine (whatever’s in your glass will work) OR an 8 fluid oz bottle of clam juice*
3 cups water
about a handful of fresh basilchiffonade
2 sprigs fresh thyme (for steaming mussels & clams)
2 tbsp olive oil

*TIP: Bottled clam juice is easily found in the States though it might be hard enough to find across the pond. Steaming the shellfish in the white wine is a great alternative for making your own clam juice.

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat large soup pot on medium heat for 1 minute. Add olive oil along with leeks, red pepper and chili flakes. Saute, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Cover with lid while they’re sauteing. This will keep in the moisture and help prevent them from going brown. You don’t want any colour on the leeks, just softened.
As leeks and pepper are cooking, preheat a large saute pan on high heat for 1 minute. Very carefully add mussels and clams to pan along with the wine and thyme or bottled clam juice and thyme. (Be careful of splashing the liquid.) Cover with lid and cook until all the shells are open. Give the pan a shake after 30 seconds or so to move them around. Cook for 2 minutes approx or until all the shells have opened.
NOTE: If there are any unopened or cracked shells when the majority are cooked, discard them.

Holding a colander over the soup pot drain the shellfish into the colander. This steaming liquid will be the base of your soup and it’s delicious. Add the water, bay leaves and chopped tomatoes to the soup pot and bring to a boil.
Next remove all the mussels & clams from their shells. Set the meat aside and throw away the shells or even better you could use them with your saved veg and the shrimp shells to make a seafood stock.

Making Seafood Soup

Add the white fish and shrimp to the soup and stir. (They’ll cook in the broth.) Once soup comes to a boil reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes on medium low heat.
Just before serving add all mussels, clams and fresh basil. Stir and taste. Season with S&P.

Mardi Gras Seafood Soup

All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.

Continue reading the full recipe here and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the HEALTHY IRISHMAN Newsletter!

When you do you’ll receive a FREE Entertainment Booklet with recipes and tips for your next dinner party.

Fueling your body with healthy food. Fueling your mind with the wealth of health.

Copyright © 2010 The Healthy Irishman. All rights reserved

Chipotle Lime Catfish

Chipotle Lime Catfish

I remember as a young fella going fishing with the boy scouts (ahh, I was Angelic looking as you can imagine) and on occasion catching a catfish. We’d always just throw them back in as we were told they were inedible, though the people in Texas would beg to differ! There are Catfish Parlours all over the map there. According to Wikipedia, the most commonly eaten catfish species in the States are the channel catfish and blue catfish, both of which are common in the wild and increasingly widely farmed. Farm-raised catfish became such a staple of the diet of the United States (I’m pretty sure Texas played a substantial role in it) that on June 25, 1987, President Ronald Reagan established National Catfish Day to recognize “the value of farm-raised catfish.” Catfish is eaten in a variety of ways; in Europe it is often cooked in similar ways to carp, but in the United States it is typically crumbed with cornmeal and fried. Now, how ’bout that for some good info?

I think usually catfish is one of those fish that we don’t always gravitate to in the store because some people just don’t know what to do with it but once you get the hang of it, you’ll really enjoy it especially since it’s not expensive and it’s sustainable. I’ve made some delicious fish tacos with catfish and most recently Cajun spiced with Chard & Leek Saute. This is another tasty way to whip up a quick n’ easy dinner. How times have changed!

Continue reading the full recipe here and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the HEALTHY IRISHMAN Newsletter!

When you do you’ll receive a FREE Entertainment Booklet with recipes and tips for your next dinner party.

Fueling your body with healthy food. Fueling your mind with the wealth of health.

Copyright © 2009 The Healthy Irishman. All rights reserved

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Did You Take Your Vitamin D This Morning?

  • Winter is on the way people.
  • And along with the frigid temperatures and slushy sidewalks, winter means less sunshine.
  • And less sunshine means less Vitamin D.

And, according to this study, less Vitamin D means you have an increased risk of stroke, heart disease and death.

vitamin-D

 

The Study

For more than a year, the Intermountain Medical Center research team followed 27,686 patients who were 50 years of age or older with no prior history of cardiovascular disease. The participants had their blood Vitamin D levels tested during routine clinical care. The patients were divided into three groups based on their Vitamin D levels – normal (over 30 nanograms per milliliter), low (15-30 ng/ml), or very low (less than 15 ng/ml). The patients were then followed to see if they developed some form of heart disease.

Researchers found that patients with very low levels of Vitamin D were 77 percent more likely to die, 45 percent more likely to develop coronary artery disease, and 78 percent were more likely to have a stroke than patients with normal levels. Patients with very low levels of Vitamin D were also twice as likely to develop heart failure than those with normal Vitamin D levels.

The researchers concluded “that among patients 50 years of age or older, even a moderate deficiency of Vitamin D levels was associated with developing coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, and death,” she says. “This is important because Vitamin D deficiency is easily treated.

If increasing levels of Vitamin D can decrease some risk associated with these cardiovascular diseases, it could have a significant public health impact. When you consider that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America, you understand how this research can help improve the length and quality of people’s lives.”

So, did you take your Vitamin D today?

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Reference

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Grilled Tuna Burger

Ahi Tuna Burger

I got some pictures the other day of my niece’s first day at big girl school (what a dote!) and then it hit me–summer is almost done, or for those of you across the pond it never really got started. Sorry ’bout that.
Here Stateside we celebrate Labor Day on Monday, meaning it’s a bank holiday weekend and our last official Summer hoo-ha before Autumn starts creeping in. We’ve been suffering a heat wave here this past week, so I made some refreshing ‘burgers’ that are a great idea for your last ‘summer’ weekend.

Continue reading the full recipe and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the NEW Healthy Irishman Newsletter!

Fueling your body with healthy food. Fueling your mind with the wealth of health.

Copyright © 2009 The Healthy Irishman. All rights reserved.

Your Omega 3 Prescription

By this point, you should already know that you need more Omega 3 fatty acids into your diet.

The question is: how much?

  • A teaspoon of fish oils?
  • A tablespoon?
  • 3 pills?
  • or a great big slab of smoked salmon?

Well, according to this study, researchers believe that “a 200 mg dose of DHA per day is enough to affect biochemical markers that reliably predict cardiovascular problems, such as those related to aging, atherosclerosis, and diabetes”.

This study is the first to identify how much DHA is necessary to promote optimal heart health.

The Study

To determine the optimal dose of DHA, the researchers examined the effects of increasing doses of DHA on 12 healthy male volunteers between ages of 53 and 65. These men consumed doses of DHA at 200, 400, 800, and 1600 mg per day for two weeks for each dose amount, with DHA being the only omega-3 fatty acid in their diet. (No EPA)

Blood and urine samples were collected before and after each dose and at eight weeks after DHA supplementation stopped. The researchers then examined these samples for biochemical markers indicating the effects of each dose on the volunteers.

They found that supplementation with only 200 mg/d DHA for 2 wk induced an antioxidant effect.

They concluded that “low consumption of DHA could be an effective and nonpharmacological way to protect healthy men from platelet-related cardiovascular events”.

Conclusion

If this study is correct, you need only 200 mg of DHA per day to reap the cardiovascular benefits of the Omega 3 fatty acid DHA.

And how do you get 200 mg of DHA?

Omega 3s, Allergies and your Immune System

Winter’s over, Spring is in full bloom and Summer is on the way.

That can mean only one thing. It’s allergy season.

  • Sneezing,
  • sniffling,
  • red eyes,
  • anaphylaxis…

Misery – pure unadulterated misery.

sneeze - calvin and hobbes

All brought on by an overcompensation of your immune system. And why has your immune system gone haywire?

One theory is that as our Western Diet evolved, the ratio of Omega 6 : Omega 3 fatty acids has shifted from a healthy 2:1 ratio to an unhealthy 10:1 ratio.

And because of that imbalance, our bodies have been flooded with inflammatory molecules, leading to “systemic inflammation and a higher incidence of problems including asthma, allergies, diabetes, and arthritis”.

However, according to this study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, there is hope.

The Science

In this study, researchers took 27 healthy human test subjects, and for 5 weeks, fed them a special diet designed to reproduce the Omega 6 : Omega 3 fatty acid ratio our caveman ancestors would have enjoyed.

They then looked at the gene levels of immune signals and cytokines (protein immune messengers), that impact autoimmunity and allergy in blood cells and found that many key signaling genes that promote inflammation were markedly reduced compared to a normal diet, including a signaling gene for a protein called PI3K, a critical early step in autoimmune and allergic inflammation responses.

Translation: Caveman diet lower inflammation…lower inflammation levels mean reduced allergies, asthma, diabetes & arthritis.

Conclusion: Increase your Omega 3s and reduce your Omega 6s.

It’s as simple as eating more fish, walnuts, flax seeds and eating less processed foods, less snack foods, less junk foods, less fast foods and less soy and other polyunsaturated oils.

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Reference

Red Snapper Veracruz

Veracruz is a central Mexican city on the Gulf of Mexico. Food is the passion of virtually everyone who lives there and seafood in particular, is eaten all through out the day. This sauce, although Mediterranean in style, is a classic dish from this area and goes down as a treat with all the locals. You’ll love how easy this is and the taste–man, outrageous!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

RECIPE:

Serves 4

4 x 5 oz Red Snapper fillets

1/2 cup white onion – fine dice
2 garlic cloves – minced
1/2 large Jalapeno – cut in 1/2 lengthwise
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup green olives – pitted, chopped
2 tbsp capers – drained & chopped
1/4 cup fresh oregano – chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat skillet on medium heat for 1 minute. Add olive oil. Saute onion for 1 minute, stirring. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add chopped tomatoes, olives, capers. oregano and bay leaves. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer on low until sauce begins to reduce and thicken about 25 minutes approx. Taste and season.

Preheat oven to 425F. Lay 4 tbsp of the cooked sauce in bottom of baking dish. Season each snapper fillet with S&P and place fish on top of sauce. Spoon remaining sauce over each fillet and bake uncovered for 15-18 minutes until fish is firm to touch.

Fresh, simple, healthy and muy delicioso! (says the Irishman)

THEHEALTHYIRISHMAN.COM

Fueling your body with healthy food. Fueling your mind with the wealth of health.

Copyright © 2009 The Healthy Irishman. All rights reserved.

Omega 3s protect men from heart failure

i-love-fish

Attention MEN!!!

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Eat one serving of fatty fish per week and reduce your risk of heart failure

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The Science

According to this new study:

  • Men who eat one serving of fatty fish a week reduced their odds of heart failure by 12%.
  • Men who consume 330 mg of omega 3 fish oils per day reduced their odds of heart failure by 33%

What this means to YOU

If you eat:

You will get your 330 mg of Omega 3s and lower your odds of dying from heart failure by 33%

omega3_fish

Pretty cheap insurance policy if you ask me.

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Roast Black Cod with Ulster Champ, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Roast Black Cod with Ulster Champ

Last week I made twice baked champ. This week, I’m making Ulster Champ (we Irish have many versions of potato dishes!) to accompany fresh roasted cod and blistered cherry tomatoes. Ulster Champ is named after the Ulster Provence in Northern Ireland. Traditionally homemade country butter was used as were leeks instead of peas. Personally I love peas, especially if I can find fresh peas to shuck, so it’s no surprise I love this champ version. I also love simple clean dishes and figured this would be a good one to try leading up to or after drinking your dinner of green beer.

Serves 4

RECIPE:

1 lb. Black Cod (4 x 4 oz portions)
Olive oil spray

3 white potatoes
1 cup fresh garden peas or frozen
1/2 cup fat-free milk
2 tbsp chopped parsley
S&P

15 cherry tomatoes
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tsp olive oil
S&P

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 420F.

Begin by preparing the mash potatoes as you normally would while boiling your peas (if using fresh) until tender.
While potatoes are cooking, preheat large saute pan on high heat for 2 minutes. Spray liberally with olive oil spray. Season fish with S&P. Sear for 3 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a foiled oven tray until ready to cook.

Once the potatoes and peas are cooked, mash the potatoes  first with skim milk. Then fold in the peas and parsley. Season with S&P to taste.

Toss the cherry tomatoes with the olive oil, thyme and S&P. Distribute tomatoes on a foiled oven tray and cook in the oven for 5-6 minutes until beginning to blister. At the same time, cook the fish in the oven for 5-6 minutes until firm to touch.

TIP: Cod in general has a lot of bones. Don’t try to remove them before cooking as the fish will fall apart. Wait until the fish is cooked and they’ll come right out.

This fish has a velvety taste and is really moist. One of the great things about cod is that is an oily fish so will not overcook easily. Always good to know!

Let me know how you get on with this recipe. If you have any requests or questions, please leave a comment! To see more of my recipes and learn about me and my healthy food philosophies head over to thehealthyirishman.com.

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The Healthy Irishman Fueling your body with healthy food. Fueling your mind with the wealth of health.

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Fat AND Healthy?

Image: Threadless: The Last Piece
Image: Threadless: The Last Piece

Fat and Healthy? Well, sort of.

According to a new study, these sumo wrestlers have got a great reason to fight for that last piece of sushi.

Researchers have found that diets rich in Omega 3 fatty acids helped to protect their obese test subjects from the liver damage and insulin resistance that goes hand in hand with their bulging waistlines.

More specifically, it was two specific Omega 3s – protectins and resolvins—that provided the protective effects.

In the study, the researchers studied four groups of mice with an altered gene making them obese and diabetic.

  • Group One was given an Omega-3-enriched diet
  • Group Two was given a control diet.
  • Group Three was given docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • Group Four received only the lipid resolvin.

After five weeks, blood serum and liver samples from the test mice were examined.

The mice given the omega-3-rich diet exhibited:

And all of improvements were due to the formation of protectins and resolvins from omega-3 fatty acids.

Conclusion

If you are fat, you need to increase your consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids.

Man Eats Wild - Bear Grylls gets his Omega 3s
Man Eats Wild – Bear Grylls gets his Omega 3s

 

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Grilled Wild Salmon with Braised Lentils, Orange Balsamic Reduction

Wild grilled salmon with braised lentils

These days it seems as though Pescetarianism is on the rise amongst all ages. Perhaps this spike in interest is due to peoples’ awareness of what they should and shouldn’t be eating. Lucky for me Salmon is on the good list since I practically grew up on the stuff. Just as well there weren’t any bears around! Consuming salmon is considered to be healthy due to it’s high protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and high vitamin D content.

In general, studies show that the benefits of eating wild Pacific salmon outweigh those of eating farmed Atlantic salmon when the risks of chemical contaminants are considered. On the one hand farmed salmon has more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than wild salmon. Conversely farmed salmon also tends to have much higher levels of chemical contaminants that are known to cause cancer, memory impairment and neurobehavioral changes in children. What do you do?

An great article I read from Eating Well said it best: For some, taste trumps all. Others give weight to price or health or local economic or environmental impact. There are plenty of good reasons to eat salmon: It tastes good. It’s easy, fast and aesthetically pleasing to prepare. It’s incredibly healthy; no common fish delivers more of the omega-3 fatty acids that help keep arteries clear and hearts strong. The past decade has shown that these fatty acids may also strengthen the immune system and eyesight, and even improve mental health. As a chef and self professed health nut I definitely go for wild over farmed.

Grilled Salmon with Braised Lentils

SERVES 2:

2 x 6 oz wild salmon portions

BRAISED LENTIL RECIPE:

1/2 cup green lentils – dry
1/2 red onion – fine dice
1 cup carrot – diced
1 garlic clove – minced
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp.chili flakes
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups broth (approx)

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat medium saute pan on medium-low heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and saute onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Do not brown. Add curry powder and chili flakes. Cook for another minute. Add carrots to onions for additional 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finally add dried lentils and bay leaf and mix together. Saute everything for 3 minutes. This will ‘toast’ the lentils and intensify the overall flavor. Continue by adding 1/2 the broth. Cover and simmer on medium heat. Do not boil or broth will evaporate too quickly.

Braised Lentils
Once lentils have absorbed the broth check for tenderness and add more broth if necessary. Cooked lentils should be soft but not mushy. Taste and season with S&P.

ORANGE BALSAMIC REDUCTION:

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. orange juice
2 tsp. agave / honey
1/8 tsp. ground ginger

DIRECTIONS:
Pop all the above in a small saucepan and simmer on medium low heat until reduced by half. Be Careful not to walk away and forget about it as it will burn. That’s it!

If you’re joining Oprah’s ‘Best Life’ Plan this is right up your alley.

To see more of my recipes and learn about me and my healthy food philosophies head over to thehealthyirishman.com

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omega 3

Omega 6 Bad!…Omega 3 Good!!!

Anthropological research suggests that our ancestors thrived on a diet with an Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio of approximately 1:1.

Today, our Western diet, has skewed that ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) to between 15:1 and 16.7:1.

So what does that mean?

The Science

Current research tells us that Omega-6 fatty acids are the cause of many of our Western diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The researchers believe this for a few reasons.

1.    Because of how Omega-6 fatty acids are broken down by your body, they are more likely than the Omega-3s to produce pro-inflammatory ‘eicosanoids‘. In fact, many of the drugs used to treat and manage these conditions work by blocking the effects of the potent Omega−6 fat, Arachidonic Acid,

That’s Bad.

2.    The eicosanoids made from Omega-3 fatty acids are mainly anti-inflammatory.

That’s Good

3.    Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids have to compete with each other in order for them to be transformed from fatty acids into eicosanoids. So, when the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 was 1:1, it was a fair fight. Now that it is 15 or 16:1, the Omega-6s win the fight and the result is increased inflammation and disease.

That’s Very Bad.

So What Do I Do?

Increase your consumption of Omega-3 foods and supplements and reduce your consumption of Omega-6 foods and supplements.

It would also not be a bad idea to discuss this plan with your doctor. Especially if you are taking drugs for any condition that may be affected by Omega-3s and Omega-6s.

Omega-3 Foods & Supplements

Additional foods high in Omega-6 from NutritionData.com

Omega-6 Foods & Supplements

It’s not hard to find foods high in Omega-6 in our Western diet. Here are some of the worst offenders.

  • Cooking Oils – sunflower, safflower, corn, cottonseed, and soybean
  • Egg yolks
  • Grain fed meats, particularly organ meats
  • Farm raised fish
  • All manner of processed foods

Additional foods high in Omega-6 from NutritionData.com

Keep in mind, Omega-6 is not all bad. The problem is that due to the type of foods we eat, we have thrown the balance between Omega-6 and Omega-3 completely out of whack.

What Happens If I Take My Fish Oils?

  • You may reduce your risk of the eye disease – age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • You may reduce your risk of asthma and allergies.
  • You may reduce your risk of clogged arteries, even if you have other risk factors for heart disease.
  • You may prevent diabetic complications such as: myocardial infarction and stroke due to atherosclerosis, retinopathy, end-stage renal disease, debilitating neuropathies, poor wound healing, enhanced risk of infection, and periodontal disease.
  • You may reduce your risk of memory loss and stroke in your old age.
  • You may improve your cognition and memory while helping to fight against such mental disorders as depression and mood disorders, schizophrenia, and dementia.

What Happens If I Don’t?

The opposite of above.

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News Flash! Caveman Diet Good…Your Diet Bad

Swedish scientists have just published a research paper that indicates that eating a diet rich in lean meat, vegetables, berries and nuts is effective in lowering YOUR chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

Keeping in mind that it was only a three week study, and additional long term research will be required, scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that the volunteers reduced body-fat, lowered their blood pressure and slashed levels of a blood-thickening agent (plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) known to cause deadly clots.

The results, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, support earlier scientific and real world findings that praise the health benefits of the Paleolithic/Caveman Diet.

The theory behind this way of eating is that prior to the advent of agriculture (10,000 years ago) our ancestors lived only on foods that could be speared or picked from trees and plants.

Some scientists argue the human genome has been unable to keep pace with our advances in agriculture and food preparation. The theory is that the modern human body is not genetically programmed to thrive on our modern diet. Our technology may be modern, but our bodies haven’t fully caught up and chronic ailments like obesity and type 2 diabetes are the result.

To that end, following the Paleolithic/Caveman Diet means no cereals, bread, milk, butter, cheese or sugar but plenty of lean meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and nuts.

To test its effect, the Swedish researchers recruited 20 healthy volunteers and put them on caveman rations for three weeks.

Each patient was assessed for weight, body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol at the beginning of the experiment.

They were then given a list of stone-age foods they could eat, including fresh or frozen fruit, berries or vegetables, lean meat, unsalted fish, canned tomatoes, lemon or lime juice, spices and coffee or tea without milk or sugar.

Banned foods included beans, salt, peanuts, dairy products, pasta or rice, sausages, alcohol, sugar and fruit juice.

However, they were also allowed up to two potatoes a day and a weekly treat of dried fruit, cured meats and a portion of fatty meat.

After three weeks, the volunteers were tested again.

Among the 14 who successfully completed the diet, the average weight loss was around five pounds. BMI dropped by 0.8. Systolic blood pressure fell by an average of three mmHg. And the levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 dropped by 72 per cent. Other favorable effects were the increase in antioxidants and a healthier potassium-sodium balance. One potential negative was the reduction of calcium. This effect should be addressed in further studies.

Official Scientific Conclusion:

This short-term intervention showed some favourable effects by the diet, but further studies, including control group, are needed. blah,blah,blah

My Conclusion:

Fruit, vegetables, lean meat – GOOD. Typical North American diet – BAD.
If you are interested in changing your diet, I have a pretty easy how-to post here.