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Prevent Cancer, Lose Weight by Cutting Fat Intake

July 23, 2010
(Article first published as Cut Fat, Lose Weight and Prevent Cancer on Technorati.)
There’s now yet another compelling reason to lose weight and cut consumption of unhealthy Omega-6 fats from vegetable sources. Research released from the Institute of Food Technologists indicates that as many as 1 in 3 cancer deaths could be prevented by reducing consumption of corn and vegetable oils and cutting calories.

It’s important to understand that fat itself is not the enemy, as it’s an essential nutrient required for normal cellular function. The problem arises when the balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats are disproportional in our diet.

Humans have evolved with a 1:1 ratio of the two fat sources, yet our modern diet is closer to 20:1 in favor of Omega-6 fats. This causes a hormonal imbalance in the body which leads to inflammation, weight gain and increased risk of heart attack and many cancers. Monitoring Omega fat intake is an important first step which will assist with weight loss efforts and lead to reduced risk from many diseases.

Evolution Controls Our Diet

More than 750,000 people die from cancer annually, and the results from this study indicate that a quarter million lives could be spared with a concerted effort to control calories and Omega-6 fat consumption. Our genes are the product of thousands of years of evolution during times when Omega-3 fat sources such as fish and many nuts and seeds were plentiful. Every cell in our body relies on the critical Omega-3 components, EPA and DHA for replication and cell wall construction.

It’s only been during the past half century that Omega-6 fats from corn and vegetable sources have become an ever increasing part of our diet, and have now distorted the natural evolutionary ratio we require for optimal health. Omega-6 fats are very stable, allowing food to sit on store shelves for extended periods, and are present in virtually all processed foods.

Lower Omega-6 Fats by Cutting Processed and Fast Foods
Omega-6 fats are present in virtually every processed food on store shelves, with up to 90% of fat calories in our diet coming from this health endangering source. Take a two step approach to reduce Omega-6 calories and improve the ratio with Omega-3 fats.

Eliminate or drastically reduce foods which are packed with Omega-6 fats, including all commercially baked products, fast foods and vegetable based cooking oils. Be especially mindful to cut any foods listing hydrogenated trans fats, as these increase the risk of heart disease by 25%.

Increase Omega-3 Fat Sources to Lower Inflammation

Replace Omega-6 laden foods with Omega-3 healthy options. The best Omega-3 source is fish, as it provides the perfect balance of DHA and EPA, the two primary Omega-3 fats. Fish Oil supplements are a good choice for people who don’t enjoy fish.

Nuts and seeds also have smaller amounts of Omega-3 fats, with walnuts, flax and chia seeds rising to the top of the list. It’s important to remember that food from any fat source still contains 9 calories per gram, so be careful when substituting and track your daily calories with nutritional software.

Research is beginning to uncover the hidden dangers in the unnatural processed foods which make up a large portion of the Western diet. We are continually reminded that the foods we eat have a direct and immediate impact on our future health and body weight.

Monitor your food choices carefully, paying close attention to the Omega fat ratios and switch to a reduced calorie lifestyle. You’ll enjoy the healthy benefits of dramatically lowered risk of cancer and many illnesses while you naturally maintain a healthy weight.

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