How Fat Makes me Fit

I am a naturopathic physician with nearly 20 years of experience developing breakthrough nutritional products.I also have extensive television and radio experience and have lectured widely to health professionals, the military and the public on all aspects of natural health.

Dr Myers, an expert who holds a doctorate in naturopathic medicine

Stephen Fry in my surgery during the making of the BBC TV program

Me with Lord Bragg, accepting my "Champion of the Year" award

After graduating, I was recognised as being the 'best young neurosurgeon in Britain'

I’m not talking about any old fat, but the kind of fat that is pulled out of fish and seeds. Particularly a fat called Omega 3.

Amazingly, taking this kind of fat can make you fitter.

Your brain functions at a higher rate, your immune system is boosted, cardiovascular disease is reduced and a lot more, simply by eating oil from a fish.

People much more intelligent than me, the kind who wear white coats and hang out in laboratories, tell me that if I take Omega 3 fatty acids as part of a balanced diet it will make me more healthy and fit than if I did not.

Benefits of Omega 3 fish oil

  • Increased brain function
  • Improved immune system
  • Reduction of cardiovascular disease
  • Controlling cholesterol
  • Increasing metabolism
  • Looking after the skin
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Maintaining water balance

It will even increase brain function. Now that really caught my attention as I’m always interested with increasing my brain function.

Omega 3 oils are extremely fashionable these days Health magazines rave about the benefits of omega 3 or tell you to chug down gallons of this super fat each day.

But what’s the reality? I confess, I knew relatively nothing about fish oils and omega 3’s before writing this article. But as I researched I was shocked. Let me explain.

Well I was shocked. Let me explain.

Omega 3 is an oil, a polyunsaturated fat, or alpha-linolenic acid. The shocking fact is that they are essential for the brain, nervous system, immune system, cardiovascular system and even our skin.

When I say essential I mean parts of our body would basically shut down or be function with less capability without omega 3. I don’t know about you, but I like to have my brain operating at full function.

When omega 3 is in the body it is converted into DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Both DHA and EPA perform essential jobs for the body.

Here’s the problem. The body cannot create the essential acids by itself. It needs the omega 3 oils to do that. Actually it’s a little more complex than that, but I’m simplifying what could be a 10,000 word article.

Basically, we need omega 3 fats. Other fats like saturated fat and monounsaturated fat are not needed. You could very easily live a healthy, happy and productive life without those fats. They do offer energy, but unless you are going to burn off those fats they will soon move in and take up home in your gut or thighs. Evicting them will prove a lot harder in the long run.

Omega 3 in it’s simplest form, is a fat which is essential for the correct functioning of our body. If our body cannot create it, then where can we find it?

Most people in the modern world are deficient in Omega 3 oils, which means they are not performing to their potential, unfortunately there has been an explosion in saturated fat consumption. Compounding that, a lot of polyunsaturated fat has had the goodness stripped from them and become what is known as trans fats, or processed fats or perhaps you know them as hydrogenated fats.

These hydrogenated fats started out being full of natures goodness, containing omega 3 oils and other nutrients. But because exposure to heat and oxygen stamps natures goodness out of these oils the end product is nothing we really need apart from the calories.

Huge machines will process healthy oils like sunflower oil into hardened lumps of calories, devoid of anything we really need. Think about that when scoffing your favourite chocolate bar, which is basically chocolate flavoured vegetable fat with all of the good stuff stripped out.

So where can we find natural sources of Omega 3?

In descending order of concentration.

  • Salmon
  • Anchovy
  • Sardine
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Trout
  • Swordfish
  • Tuna

One of the most convenient ways of getting omega 3 is with a supplement in capsule form. Not everyone wishes to eat fish everyday.

I don’t know about you, but I’m about to change my diet to a more omega 3 rich diet. Hopefully it will improve my game of chess.

Lyndon Antcliff

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