Eating the Right Fats For Your Bones
You’re living a healthy lifestyle, but why are you still losing bone? Maybe you have cut down on the so called “bad” fats in favor of consuming more “healthy” fats. You must consider the kinds of healthy fats you are eating.
Saturated fats have a negative effect on bone, whereas consuming unsaturated fats can benefit bones. However, not all unsaturated fats are created equal when it comes to bone health. One fat in particular, omega 3 fatty acids, seems to be a winner when it comes to better bone mineral density.
Human beings evolved by eating a diet with close to equal amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Over time, there has been an increase in the consumption of omega 6 fatty acids. This is due to the increased intake of vegetable oils from corn, sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, cottonseed, and soybeans.
Coinciding with this increase, there has been a decreased intake of omega 3 fatty acids from foods such as fatty fish, flax and chia seeds, walnuts, and grass fed animal products. An over-abundance of omega 6 fats acids can lead to inflammation associated with many diseases as well as having a negative impact on our bones. Omega 3 fatty acids have the opposite effect, helping to reduce inflammation, and appear to improve bone mineral density.
How Do Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Support Bone Health?
• Influences calcium balance by augmenting the absorption of calcium from the intestines and decreasing calcium excretion.
• Inhibits the re-absorption of bone cells and prevents bone loss by reducing the production of inflammatory proteins.
• Positively affects cell membrane function in all tissues of the body, including the cells of bone tissue.
• Supports osteoblast activity, the cells that make new bone.
In contrast to the above, excessive intake of omega 6 fatty acids have been shown to inhibit the development of new bone cells and promote inflammation. They have numerous important roles in the body. So we just need a better balance of these two important fatty acids.
Optimizing Your Omega 3 To Omega 6 Fatty Acid Balance
• Avoid vegetable oils such as corn, soybean, cottonseed and sunflower
• Avoid processed foods: candy, cookies, crackers, popcorn, granola, dairy creamer, margarine, frozen pizza, and other snacks
• Eat grass fed animal products.
• Eat wild caught fatty fish 2-3 times a week
• Eat more flax and chia seeds, and walnuts
• Cook with butter, coconut oil and olive oil instead of vegetable oils