Queen of Fats: Why Omega-3s Were Removed from the Western Diet and What We Can Do to Replace Them Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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A nutritional whodunit that takes listeners from Greenland to Africa to Israel, The Queen of Fats gives a fascinating account of how we have become deficient in a nutrient that is essential for good health: the fatty acids know as omega-3s. Writing with intelligence and passion, Susan Allport tells the story of these vital fats, which are abundant in greens and fish, among other foods. She describes how scientists came to understand the role of omega-3s in our diet, why commercial processing has removed them from the food we eat, and what the tremendous consequences have been for our health.
In many Western countries, epidemics of inflammatory diseases and metabolic disorders have been traced to omega-3 deficiencies. The Queen of Fats provides information for every consumer who wants to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and obesity and to improve brain function and overall health. This important and compelling investigation into the discovery, science, and politics of omega-3s will transform our thinking about what we should be eating.
Includes steps you can take to add omega-3s to your diet. Shows why eating fish is not the only way, or even the best way, to increase omega-3s. Provides a new way to understand the complex advice about the role and importance of fats in the body. Explains how and why the food industry has created a deadly imbalance of fats in our foods. Shows how omega-3s can be reintroduced to our diet through food enrichment and changes in the feeding of livestock. The book is published by University of California Press.
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|Listening Length||5 hours and 12 minutes|
|Audible.ca Release Date||November 15 2010|
|Publisher||University Press Audiobooks|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #180,543 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#527 in Diet Therapy in Holistic Medicine
#530 in Diet Therapy
#642 in Food & Wine (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from Canada
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It matters not only how much fat you eat but, more importantly, which fats you eat. If you think that a diet that switches to vegetable oils and eating more seed and grain products, while shunning animal fats to avoid cholesterol and saturated fats is a great idea to protect your heart, well, think again.
The Greenland Inuit consumption of fatty fish, seal meat and blubber resulted in far lower death rates from cardiovascular disease than was seen in North America and Western Europe. That was back in 1972. Scientists collected blood samples from the Greenland Inuit and found some very surprising results, showing very healthy lipoprotein balances. Nowadays, these same Inuit have had increased access to the foods we eat and deaths from cardiovascular disease among them is on the rise.
There are many other examples in the book what scientists have been finding out about why your balance of omega-3 to omega-6 is so important to your health.
Here is a surprise to me! It turns out that plants store mainly omega-6 fatty acids in their seeds and use mainly omega-3 fatty acids for photosynthesis in their stalks and leaves. It's not that omega-6 fatty acids are bad and omega-3 are good. It's a wrong balance between the two in our diet that is bad. Seeds, grains, nuts, vegetable oils and beans may be mainly omega-6, although there are some important exceptions.
The claims in this book are well-supported by the findings of outstanding researchers from around the world. The book is well-documented with references to the compelling groundbreaking findings. The book is a fascinating read as it goes through the history of these findings, bringing out the thinking and research at a personal level. It reads like a fascinating story, but grounded in fact, not fiction.
Like many major breakthroughs, it is hard to lift out the implications of such breakthroughs and clearly present them in the public domain. This is partly because of the difficulty for the public to understand the science, and partly because of the entrenched beliefs defended by those who for various reasons want to maintain the status quo (government, food industry, even some influential scientists who choose to defend their outdated thinking).
Biochemistry is a very complicated subject and research in the field is always ongoing. Susan Allport has focused on an important part of the biochemical findings that will soon change how we understand the fatty acids in relation to human health. How it relates to the health of everyone of us.
As useful companion book to Susan Allport's excellent book, I purchased "Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils and Cholesterol" by Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.
I suggest people read Susan Allport's book first to get the important message of the book and change your eating habits for the better. Use Dr. Enig's book as a helpful handy reference where needed, then read Dr. Enig's book. Dr. Enig has some useful tables in the appendices and she also answers questions about fats and oils on her website.
Top reviews from other countries
One small word of caution: in the 11 years or so since the book was published in 2006, views on saturated fats have changed and I believe that comments such as those on the association between heart disease and saturated fat along with the advice to cut down on saturated fats would now be presented in a rather more nuanced way and perhaps the advice would be quite different.
Accessible and easy to read, I warmly recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject matter.
You'll learn such things as:
* How omega-3s got their name
* How they were discovered and by whom
* Why omega-3s are removed from processed foods
* Disease that can occur because of fatty acid deficiencies
* Why reducing omega-6s in the diet is as important as increasing omega-3s
* Why grains are rich in omega-6s and greens are rich in omega-3s
* The difference between omega-3s found in flax seeds and those found in fish
* Why Eskimos eat a lot of fat but are free of heart disease
* The role of fatty acids in promoting or reducing inflammation
* Why some important research findings never gets published
* The role of fatty acids in metabolism
* Where and why the various fatty acids are found in high concentrations in humans and animals
* How to incorporate more omega-3s in your diet and find a healthy balance between omega-3s and omega-6s.
Allport writes, "Trying to undertand health and diet without an appreciation of these fats is like trying to understand earthquakes without knowledge of plate tectonics, or motion without knowledge of physics. Until we revise our food and guidelines to incorporate all that has been learned about omega-3 fatty acids in the past fifty years, our diet will be lacking in a very important way."
To address the hubbub regarding Atkins, Allport claims that the Atkins diet (or any low-carb diet, it seems) is dangerous, because the weight lost on such a diet is really muscle loss due to the body breaking down muscle proteins to create glucose for the brain that supposedly cannot rely entirely on ketones. Also, the increased intake of protein can lead to organ failure and a wasting condition known as "rabbit starvation."
From my understanding, the brain actually prefers ketones, and rabbit starvation occurs when too much protein and not enough fat are consumed (rabbits are very, very lean). The low-carb diet I followed involved replacing carbs with fat-not protein. And anyone who's lost weight on a low-carb diet can tell you they lost fat. It's no "illusion," as Allport claims. I suggest that if you want to learn about low-carb diets, that you read books specific to them, not books on the history of fatty acids.
The low-carb issue aside, I love this book (I've read it three times) and recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about fatty acids and the history of fatty acid science. Allport's writing is exceptional, and The Queen of Fats remains a valuable addition to my health library.