Heart disease is still the number 1 killer in the US, and that is the number 1 reason to follow the Oil Change Diet. The following graph of heart death rates vs the % omega-6 in the tissue of people around the world that was published by Dr Bill Lands is the primary reason I started following this diet.
The key to understanding the significance of this graph is knowing that the remaining % in this graph is the omega-3. Together, these two fats make up 100% of the highly unsaturated fats in our cell membranes. They compete for position in our membranes, therefore when the omega-6 in our cell membrane is 80%, that means that the omega-3 in our cells is only 20%. When our cells need to make a hormone from these essential fats, it does not choose which one to use. It is simply a probability based chance of encounter that determines which one of these essential fats will be used to make the hormone. The result of that chance encounter does matter! When our cell uses an omega-6 to make a prostaglandin, thromboxane or leukotriene, the result will be inflammation, clotting or allergic reaction–all of these contribute to heart disease. However, when our cells use an, omega-3 to make these hormones, the result will be anti-inflammatory, clot busting or allergy blocking. In addition, a higher percentage of omega-3 in our nerve cells, helps to stabilize heart rhythm. Heart rhythm is an important factor in heart disease and heart death.
Understanding the function of these hormones and the processes that cause heart disease made it clear to me that omega-6 was increasing my risk of heart disease. I knew that I needed to increase my intake of omega-3 and reduce my intake of omega-6 to reduce my chances of heart disease. I was already taking prescription medications for blood pressure, heart rhythm and cholesterol and anti-inflammatory pills for my arthritis. Based on what I knew, I expected to see some reduction in blood pressure and arthritic pain by reducing inflammation as well as the reduced risk of heart disease, but I did not expect the results I got. I got way more benefits than I ever expected. To be off all medications in just 3 weeks and losing 15 pounds–that was beyond my wildest dreams!
The research that Dr Lands published was paid for by you and I as taxpayers and in my opinion, it was money well spent. I feel like he has added years to my life and I write this blog as a way to pay it forward. Thank You Dr Lands!
Here is a link to an article showing a reduction in aggression and anti-social behavior in children who were given omega-3 supplements for 3 months. Positive results remained after a 3 month follow-up survey but were no longer evident at the 6 month follow-up. Omega-3 is important in brain health, especially the DHA which is important in development of neurons, but omega-3 also affects serotonin receptors and nerve transmission. It is important to maintain a sustained intake of omega-3 in developing brains, but we also need to understand that we need to balance omega-3 and omega-6 in our diet. Omega-6 competes with omega-3 for incorporation in our cells. High levels of omega-6 increase aggressive tendencies and are associated with bipolar disorders.
As far as I know there is still only one way to loose weight–you have to burn more calories than your body gets from the food you eat. There is some evidence that the microbes in our gut may increase or decrease the calories we actually get from our food but changing the microbes in our gut is not that easy and science has not yet worked out which microbes can help.
I started following the Oil Change Diet 3 years ago, I lost 15 pounds in 3 weeks, 40 pounds in the first year and 10 more the following year and kept them off the 3rd year. That first 15 pounds was not fat loss–that loss was fluids from swelling and water retention. The remaining 35 pounds was fat that I lost was due to the age old process of burning more calories than I ate. In my case it was due to eating fewer calories since I did not change my activity level. I promise you–I had been trying to do that for over 20 years–trying to eat less so I could lose weight. I would have some short term success, loosing 5 to 10 pounds over a few months of starvation, but then gaining the back slowly over the year (or fast over the holidays) only to end up a pound or 2 heavier a year later.
So, what is the difference this time? I actually asked that question of Dr Bill Lands, the biochemist whose research got my attention and lead me to following this diet. He pointed out a paper that had just been published by Dr Hibben in 2014 that found omega-6 lipids turn into endo-cannabanoids that increase our appetite. That is what really seemed to be happening, I was not going hungry as I had many times before, but I was also not stuffing myself at meals. I was able to eat a reasonable plate of healthy food and be satisfied. I would eat frequently, often just a snack of fruit and cheese, but the weight just kept dropping off– a pound or 2 each month.
To lose a pound a month (which is healthy weight loss) you only need to burn about 120 calories a day more than you eat or only 40 calories per meal–less than one slice of bread per meal. You can also do that by your choice of foods, which is what I do now. When I find myself up a pound or so, I cut back on the cheese– which is generally the highest calorie food in my diet. Like most people, I do gain a few pounds over the holidays, to get that weight off after the holidays, I do choose to eat more green veggies and salads. I do not eat very many high carbohydrate foods except during the holidays (and that is probably why I gain weight during the holidays). I eat lots of veggies, (often sauteed in a little butter or coconut oil) and moderate portions of seafood or lean meat.
Recently, I have added green smoothies to my list of choices for a meal. They are a great way to get a delicious low calorie meal that is healthy. My favorite is a mango and beet-green smoothie, but blueberry and kale is not far behind.
This article explains how omega-3 reduces inflammation and heart clogging clots and plaque.
Replace the omega-6 in your cells with omega-3 and you will have less pain, lower your heart attack risk and protect your brain. Learn about what foods to avoid to reduce your omega-6 with the Oil Change Diet