Remember the 80s? Mullets were the rage, Michael Jackson’s music video Thriller invaded the airwaves, and low-fat diets were the biggest – and newest – nutritional craze.
Fast forward to today. While mullets are harder to come by, low-fat foods still crowd supermarket shelves, new fad diets continue to spring up, and fats are generally considered unhealthy.
Yet fats are necessary to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as CoQ10 and vitamins A, D, E, and K. And guess what, vitamin E and K are bone-healthy Foundation Supplements.
You probably know that Essential Fatty Acids or EFAs are not made by the body. Plus EFAs are an important component of cell membranes and the brain. As it relates to your bone health…
Essential Fatty Acids Help Increase Bone Density
In my blog post titled ‘Eat This Nut, Build Your Bones’ I write that:
“…EFA omega-3 increases calcium absorption, reduces urinary calcium excretion, increases calcium deposition in bone, and improves bone strength by enhancing collagen synthesis.1 Also, omega-3′s inhibited osteoclast activity and enhanced osteoblast activity.2 Osteoclasts are the cells that resorb bone; osteoblasts are the cells that assist with bone formation.”
Another reason to not skimp on the right kind of fats is that studies have linked low-fat diets to a decrease in calcium absorption by as much as 20%.3
Keep ’em Balanced
The two EFA categories are omega-3 and omega-6, and like everything else in your body, there needs to be a good balance between the two. The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is 1 to 1.4
It is estimated that today that ratio is typically 10 to 1 thanks in part to the widespread use of corn, soy, canola, safflower and sunflower oils.5 While these oils are alkalizing, it’s best you use bone-smart oils that don’t tip the scale in favor of omega-6 EFAs. You see, excessive levels of omega-6 can open the door to a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular and immune issues.
But there’s more to this story, because…
The Most Abundantly Used Oils are Genetically Modified
The same oils that cause the omega-3 and omega-6 imbalance are derived from genetically modified seeds (GMO). They are also processed using high heat and in some cases, industrial chemicals.
Here’s the list of the GMO oils that are currently available and widely used in processed foods:6
- Canola Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Corn Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Linseed Oil
- Peanut Oil
Luckily, the solution is very simple… as I write in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program…
Olive Oil is Your Best Choice
Besides its naturally alkalizing properties (it’s a fruit juice!), olive oil is a rich source of bone-smart polyphenols. In the Osteoporosis Reversal Program I explain that these plant pigments increase the production of osteoblasts.7
I make my favorite salad dressings with olive oil, and use it to sauté delicious dishes with plenty of alkalizing veggies. I sometimes cook with extra-light olive oil because it has a more neutral flavor.
And for the champagne of olive oils, try the extra virgin kind. It contains the most polyphenols and it is minimally processed. So get ready to prepare my delicious…
Sweet’n Citrus Salad Dressing
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon water, distilled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey, (adjust to desired sweetness)
1/4 teaspoon parsley, dried or fresh
Mix all ingredients and enjoy.
Stay healthy and have fun in the kitchen!
1 Kruger M., Horrobin D. “Calcium metabolism, osteoporosis and essential fatty acids: A review.” Progress in Lipid Research. Volume 36. September 1997.
2 Griel A., Kris-Etherton P. et al. ”An increase in dietary n-3 fatty acids decreases a marker of bone resorption in humans.” Nutrition Journal. January 2007.
3 Wolfe, R. L. et al. “Factors associated wit calcium absorption efficiency in pre and perimenopausal women.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 72, No. 2, 466-471, August 2000.
4 Simopoulos AP, Leaf A, Salem N, Jr. “Workshop statement on the essentiality of and recommended dietary intakes for Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids.” Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2000;63(3):119-121.
5 Kris-Etherton PM, Harris WS, Appel LJ. “Fish consumption, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and cardiovascular disease.” Circulation. 2002;106(21):2747-2757.
6 Hazebroek J.P. “Analysis of genetically modified oils.” Progress in Lipid Research 39 (2000) 477- 506.
7 Trzeciakiewicz, A. “When nutrition interacts with osteoblast function: molecular mechanisms of polyphenols.” Nutrition Research Reviews. (2009), 22:68-81.