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At this point, and it feels odd to say it, I’ve been around for a while.
In Ecclesiastes, it says “there is nothing new under the sun.” I’ve been paying pretty close attention to diet for 30 years as nutrition was what really revolutionized my life and started me on this whole journey.
When I was 20, friends and critics alike would call me Vitamin Boy. Now, 32 years later, the ones that are still alive are asking me for advice. And what I’m noticing over the years is a recurring theme: Atkins, low-carb diets, the Paleo diet, the Mediterranean diet, the “this disease” and the “that disease” diets — there seems to be a common thread among all of these.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of bricks in the wall of a healthy lifestyle and diet, but fats seem to be the cornerstone, or at least a stone that has been beaten, abused, mutated and morphed in the last hundred years.
It comes down to too much Omega-6, and too little Omega-3. The historical healthy ratio should be 2 to 1, rather than the 26 to 1 that we currently consume. The big culprit in this is our grain-based diet. At the risk of over simplifying, grains are Omega-6 and fruits and vegetables are Omega-3.
Remember phospholipid bilayer from high school? It pains me to do such as Cole’s Notes version, but the fats that we consume become the membrane of every cell in our bodies. The membrane is the brain of the cell; it controls cell activity. A cell brain made out of Omega-6 fats is a retarded, schizophrenic neurotic brain that is highly inflammatory in nature. Most of the diseases of our culture are inflammatory, which is why it behooves us to look at the quality of the fats we consume. We need to start choosing foods for Omega-3 content.
As an example, ground flaxseed. My kids put it in smoothies, on their cereal, in anything that we bake. We also stock pumpkin seeds and walnuts in a bowl of dried fruit in our home; anybody can walk by and grab a handful. And yes, we take an Omega-3 supplement as well; one gram of the active Omega-3 content per 50 pounds of body weight. This is much more than the one-capsule-a-day that is recommended on the bottle. That’s because this is food, not a concentrated mineral or vitamin that is needed in tiny quantities.
This takes time and persistence; we’re rebuilding the cell membrane of every single one of our hundred trillion cells. We’re rebuilding a machine that is less reactive, calmer, and better able to thrive and live long in the stressful demanding world that we live in. Anybody up for that?