Diabetes and Omega 3 Essential Fats
Here’s what the University of Maryland Medical Center says about Essential Fats and Diabetes
People with diabetes often have high triglyceride and low HDL levels. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can help lower triglycerides and apoproteins (markers of diabetes), and raise HDL, so eating foods or taking fish oil supplements may help people with diabetes. Another type of Omega-3 fatty acid, ALA (from flaxseed, for example) may not have the same benefit as fish oil. Some people with diabetes can’ t efficiently convert ANA to a form of Omega-3 fatty acids that the body can use. Also, some people with type 2 diabetes may have slight increases in fasting blood sugar when taking fish oil.
The Physicians Commitee for Responsible Medicine PCRM disagree that fish oil is the solution for diabetes
The high amounts of fat and cholesterol and the lack of fiber make fish a poor choice. Fish are also often high in mercury and other environmental toxins that have no place in an optimal diet.
Fish oils have been popularized as an aid against everything from heart problems to arthritis. The bad news about fish oils is that Omega-3s in fish oils are highly unstable molecules that tend to decompose and, in the process, unleash dangerous free radicals. Research has shown that Omega-3s are found in a more stable form in vegetables, fruits, seeds and beans.7, 8
A number of health organisations are now recommending eating a diet richer in plant foods to combat diabetes. There is a list of free resources on the One World Day website including a couple that specifically claim to fight the symptoms of diabetes.
In a study looking at Dietary fats and prevention of type 2 diabetes by Walter Willet et al in Collaboration between the Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Uppsala University, Sweden, and the the Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, Boston, they advise:
Improving fat quality should be considered part of a dietary lifestyle strategy to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes. In practice, replacing fats from red meats and butter with non-hydrogenated vegetable oils and margarines rich in MUFA and/or PUFA should be encouraged to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce diabetes risk. Such dietary fat composition also lowers cardiovascular risk by reducing the serum LDL/HDL ratio and triacylglycerols [33, 34].
Leading UK Nutritionist in London, Yvonne Bishop-Weston says vegetable oil and margarine is an unreliable way to to alter the balance of essential fats in the diet for a number of reasons:
- - Studies show that we not only have too much saturated animal fat in our diet but that the polyunsaturated fat that is readily available is usually heavily biased towards Omega 6. This makes it even harder for our bodies to process Omega-3 into longer chain cell building and repairing DHA
- - Polyunsaturated Omega-3 essential fats are very delicate and prone to deterioration from exposure to air, light and heat. Unless the fats are freshly pressed you could end up doing more damage to your health than good.
- - An Omega-3 oil can be cold pressed, virgin, fresh as grass but it is still a half food rather than a whole food. It’s missing many of the vitamins and minerals needed for your body to process those essential fats in to cell building compounds.
- - Consuming oil and margarine is an inefficient use of your daily calorie allowance.
- - Oil and margarine is not an adequate alternative to meat only an alternative to butter. Polyunsaturated fat rich combinations of vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, fruit and grains are an alternative to saturated fat rich meat, fish and dairy.
“If a reliable test shows you are deficient in Omega-3 long chain essential fats EPA and DHA then you should consider both dietary changes and supplementation with a sustainably produced toxin-free EPA / DHA algae product to help balance levels.” says Yvonne.