There are many ways to get healthy Omega 3 fat into your diet. One is fresh wild fishes like salmon, mackeral, and sardines. If you don’t like fish, you can take a fish oil supplement in summer and cod liver oil in the winter, just like grandmother used to give.
Another source of healthy fat is from nuts (Walnuts are particularly good) and seeds (especially Flax). Another is from pasture raised grass fed milk, eggs, butter and poultry in small amounts. Other healthy oils high in Omega 3 include coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado and walnut oils.
Unhealthy oils to avoid, because of their poor ratio of Omega 3 to 6: corn, sunflower, soy, canola and safflower, and of course margarine and veg oil shortening, which are hydrogenated, so essentially like eating lard, but probably worse.
I don’t believe it is debatable that human beings evolved to eat wild foods. The agricultural revolution of the Neolithic period is only 10,000 years old, and before this revolution humans consumed about equal amounts of Omega 3 and 6, and far lower amounts of saturated fat, but even this saturated fat was of much higher quality than what you get in the normal store or restaurant. As hunter gatherers yes we ate meat, I have no doubt about that, but how much and of what quality?
The problem of unhealthy saturated fat in flesh foods is a function of two things:
Hunter gatherers did not eat meat every day. They had to work hard even to get nuts. Each nut had to be cracked out of its shell. But what is even worse is the fact that thanks to factory farming of fish and livestock, even the unsaturated fat in these foods is overly high in omega 6 and low in 3. That is one of several reasons I avoid farmed fish like the plague. (Another is the use pesticides in the water to kill parasites, and the fact that, like chickens raised in cages, the animals don’t get to exercise, so their meat is full of toxins and lacking in healthy fat. Of course it is also cruel.
On the other hand, buffalo, ostrich, venison, goat, and grass fed beef are lower in saturated fat and high in omega 3 fat. This comes closer to what we evolved to eat as hunter gatherers. Having said that, red meat even of these kinds once or twice a month is probably plenty, especially if you also consume fish, eggs, and dairy.
On the other hand, to eat closer to what our ancestors ate, wild greens like dandelion and nettle are really valuable. I am a strong advocate of nettles, and they grow wild all over the world in spring and early summer. Dandelion greens, ditto.
Which leads me to the product I would like to mention. For those of us that don’t eat chips, and miss the crunch factor, Mauk Family Farms Organic Raw Wheat Free Crusts are a tasty, grain-free cracker type thing, an excellent snack rich in healthy fat and fiber, along with a decent amount of protein. I often start my day with a chunk of this stuff along with a little dried fruit like mulberry, apricot, or goji berry. I also like to take on hikes with a few almonds as dried fruit, rather than those protein bars that I find indigestible.
And its the fiber of the flax seed that is high in lignans, which are a cancer fighting chemical, so I try to get my flax oil from the seed. I find the Mauk Family Farms crusts, which I believe are available at most health food stores quite delicious. Be careful if you are on a low sodium diet, as they are salted, although half the container is still only7% of the DV for sodium.
And chew them very very well. You cannot wolf these down, you want to break down the husk of the flax so they don’t leave your body undigested. This is great for weight loss, too, as it gives your brain the chance to notice that your stomach is getting full. P.S. Probably not a good food for denture wearers. They do get stuck in your teeth. But its well worth it. Just rinse your mouth really vigorously after eating, which is basic Ayurvedic dental hygiene anyway.
Try them and see what you think!
copyright eyton shalom, aug 2012, all rights reserved, use with permission