Too Much Omega-6 May Be Bad For Your Brain

Twenty years ago, former Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher Dr. Barry Sears didn’t buy into the high-carb/low-fat nutritional mantra of the day, and instead championed a diet that would reduce cellular inflammation — and the world’s rising obesity rate.

Fast forward to today: diabetes diagnoses have risen nearly 180% over the last 3 decades thanks in part Sears says to the continued adherence to the high-carb/low-fat diet dogma. And now Sears thinks it’s not a coincidence that new Alzheimer’s Disease cases have risen dramatically over the same period.

In Sears’s new book, The Mediterranean Zone, he makes a strong case that a pro-inflammatory diet can be directly linked to diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

According to Sears, almost all chronic diseases can be tied to cellular inflammation which over time can negatively impact the brain.

Sears says the best approach to beating the odds of developing many diseases ranging from cancer to heart disease is to keep your cells as healthy as possible through an anti-inflammatory diet.

While Sears recommends a Mediterranean diet, and I’d say Paleo is the best way to go, the end goal is similar. Both diets promote consuming balanced meals of protein, low glycemic carbs (such as fruits and vegetables) and moderate amounts of fat that are low in omega-6 fatty acids (such as found in vegetable oils) and rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Sears points out the typical American diet includes way too much omega-6 fatty acids…up to 20-times more than omega-3. It’s no surprise fast food meals loaded with vegetable oils are one of the biggest offenders.

Due to the inflammatory properties of omega-6, Sears speculates this 20:1 fatty acid imbalance may explain many psychological and emotional issues people experience today, and omega-6 rich diets may even raise an individual’s propensity for violent behavior.

Sears cites studies that seem to indicate high doses of omega-3 fatty acids may help in the treatment of depression, ADHD and anxiety.

The point in Sears’s assessment is you need to cut way back on omega-6 and other foods that may cause cellular inflammation, and make a conscious effort to work more omega 3 fatty acids into your diet.

Wild salmon is one of the best natural sources for omega-3. Stay away from farm raised salmon – producers are increasingly using vegetables oils rich in omega-6 to feed the fish.

Sears also says only the Japanese eat enough fish to properly balance the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, and the best solution for most people is enhancing their anti-inflammatory diets with high-quality omega-3 supplements made from anchovies and sardines.

Read “What Our Diet Is Doing To Our Brains” via Forbes online for more.

Want To Lower Inflammation? Experience Something Awesome!

If you’re sticking to well-balanced paleo meals, congratulations – you’re doing great things for your body.

One of the big benefits of eating paleo is the diet naturally reduces chronic inflammation at the cellular level thanks to its emphasis on consuming real, healthy food rather than processed foods and excessive omega-6 fatty acids that can cause inflammation.

According to a new study published January 2015 in the journal Emotion, there’s yet another way to keep cell inflammation in check – experience awe more often.

Seeing the world with a child-like sense of wonder may be tough in our busy lives with our to-do lists filled with a million and one mundane things to accomplish every day.

Do your cells a favor right now and watch some of this amazing video of the aurora borealis filmed in Scotland.

But according to the study, healthy subjects who said they experienced feelings of awe in some form on a fairly regular basis had lower markers (as measured by the presence or absence of an inflammatory protein) for cellular inflammation.

Unfortunately for most of us, experiencing something vast that transcends our understanding of the world probably isn’t something we’re going to stumble upon every day.

But if you make a conscious effort to seek out those less-than-grand, but still awe-inspiring moments in everyday life, the benefits to your mental and physical health just might be awesome.

Read the Science of Us/ article about awe here.


10 Reasons You Should Be Crazy For Carrots

Think of carrots as the vegetable world’s “healthy junk food”…they’re sweet. crunchy, neon orange, ideal for dipping, and if you’re munching from a bag of baby carrots, there’s no way you can eat just one.

Besides being fun to eat, carrots may offer an impressive array of health benefits. Here are the top 10 from a more detailed article you can read on organic…see link below.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Carrots

  1. Heart Disease Prevention: Studies show raw carrots can help lower bad cholesterol in the body which could in turn lessen the risk of a heart attack.
  2. Lower Blood Pressure: Carrots are a great source of potassium which can act as a vasodilator to relax blood vessels and arteries which can improve overall blood flow and circulation. Also, the coumarin in carrots may help reduce hypertension for even more heart protection.
  3. Immune System Booster: Carrots contain many antiseptic and antibacterial properties that give the immune system a big boost. Plus carrots are a great source of Vitamin C which helps maintain healthy white blood cells.
  4. Improved Digestion: Like most vegetables, carrots offer large amounts of dietary fiber which helps maintain good digestive health. In fact, some studies have shown eating carrots may help protect the colon and stomach from serious diseases including colorectal cancer.
  5. May Ward Off Cancer: Some studies have shown the beta-carotene in carrots may lower the risk of developing some cancers — possibly by as much as 40 percent just by eating a carrot a day. One study suggests women who regularly eat carrots may significantly lower their risk of developing breast cancer.
  6. Lower Risk of Macular Degeneration: Beta-carotene like that found in carrots (used by your body to make Vitamin A) may lessen the risk of developing macular degeneration – a very common debilitating eye disease of the elderly.
  7. Healthy Sight: While carrots may not help you see better at night, the tuber is a good source of Vitamin A which is essential for eye health.
  8. A Healthy Mouth: Carrots stimulate the gums and cause excess saliva which in turn helps combat harmful bacteria and foreign bodies in the mouth which might otherwise lead to cavities and bad breath.
  9. Reduced Stroke Risk: A carrot a day may keep strokes away. Studies show consuming beta-carotene (the Vitamin A precusor in carrots) regularly may reduce the risk of having a stroke by as much as 68 percent.
  10. Blood Sugar Regulation: The carotenoids in carrots help lower the body’s blood sugar, particularly helpful to diabetics who want to lead a more normal life.


Relax…Too Much Stress May Be A Recipe for Adrenal Fatigue

In a guest post on Chris Kresser’s excellent website, nutritionist Kelsey Marksteiner, RD, talks about how the modern world can be a hostile environment for your adrenal glands.

When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands pump the hormone cortisol throughout your body. Serious problems can develop when it’s difficult to put a cork in cortisol due to constant day to day stress.

You may be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome if you:

  • Wake up unrested
  • Find it difficult to handle stress
  • Experience brain fog or diminished cognitive abilities
  • Feel dizzy when you stand up or lay down
  • Have a low libido
  • Any allergic reactions you already have get worse
  • Have low blood pressure
  • Suffer from low blood sugar
  • Feel weaker than usual overall

So what can you do to lower your stress levels?

Kelsey’s top tips for reducing chronic stress include:

  • Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night
  • Limit your exposure to blue light (computer/smartphone screens) especially in the evening
  • Eat regularly without going too long between meals
  • Enjoy a breakfast that includes plenty of protein
  • Don’t skip the carbs – eat plenty of fruit and starchy tubers too
  • Always eat protein and fat along with your carbs
  • Try a de-stressor such as meditation or yoga



Bradley Cooper Bulked Up For Movie With 6,000-Calorie-A-Day Paleo Diet

To play the burley military SEAL Chris Kyle in the movie “American Sniper” heartthrob actor Bradley Cooper had to consume some crazy calories to look the part.

According to Men’s Health magazine, Cooper had just 10 weeks to transform his 6’ 1’’ body from 185 pounds to 225 pounds. How did he do it? Obviously with lots of food – reportedly a high-carb paleo diet – along with intense workouts supervised by top Hollywood trainer Jason Walsh.

Because Chris Kyle was more bulky than muscled, Cooper had to eat almost non-stop for the movie role…tough duty for anyone, especially when the diet isn’t pizza and beer.

Reportedly Cooper had been following a low-carb paleo diet prior to signing on to the American Sniper role.

In addition to consuming five special meals each day prepared by his personal chef, Cooper supplemented with plenty of pre- and post-workout drinks and energy bars.

Cooper had to quickly slim down for his next movie role, in which he ironically portrays a chef.