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Why We Should Avoid Sunflower Oil.

Onions in a frying pan with olive oil

Our brains are 60% fat. This means that the fat that you eat quite literally dictates the quality of your concentration level, working memory, and boosts your decision-making process. Of course, we don’t benefit from any type of fat. Like anything worthwhile, your brain needs the right building blocks to thrive. So, let’s break down what healthy fats are, why we should all be avoiding sunflower oil, and how to include more of the good stuff onto your plate.  

The fats we want:

Salmon on toast with walnuts

Omega 3 fatty acids

Found in:

  • Fish
  • Grass fed beef
  • Pasture raised eggs

Also found in plant sources:

  • Walnuts
  • Chai seeds
  • Flaxseeds.

Benefits of eating Omega 3’s

Omega 3 essentially makes it easier for your brain to send signals and messages through your body. This means that they literally help make your brain work more fluidly. This, in turn, improves your ability to make decisions, increases your attention span and helps your planning skills.

How to add more Omega 3 into your diet:

  1. The best source is to eat fish a 2 to 3 times a week
  2. However, if you’re like me and know you don’t eat enough fish, than its time to supplement with a fish oil, krill oil or plant-based algae oil.
  3. Once these bases are covered, keep eating plant-based sources of omega 3s like seeds and nuts.
Walnuts on a brown bread board

Omega 6 fatty acids:

This type of fat is important in the body, HOWEVER we need to be mindful of how much we’re getting in our diet. The truth is, in our modern-day lifestyle the average person is currently getting far too much Omega 6 in their daily diet.

Food being deep fried

Found in:

  • Vegetable oils
  • Sunflower oil
  • Canola oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Grapeseed oil

Why we want less Omega 6:

Omega 6 fatty acid is used in your body’s inflammatory pathways, which in the correct balance, is important in a healthy body.

We ideally need to be consuming Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids at a ratio of 1:1. However, the average person is currently consuming Omega 3 and 6 in a whopping ratio of 1:25. This means that we’re getting a lot more Omega 6 in our diets than we need to. This, unfortunately, comes with its own consequences.

Too much Omega 6 makes us age faster (gasp), and just as important, it’s also a huge culprit in brain fog and memory loss.

Lady holding a sliced avo

Very briefly, Omega 6 fatty acids are very delicate. Wholefood sources of Omega 6 come in nature’s perfectly packaged food.

This means that everything we eat as close to its natural source as possible is combined with the right nutrients, fiber, and vitamins to be beneficial to your system.

The problem comes in when these wholefood sources undergo heavy processing. During the process of creating the vegetable oils the Omega 6 fatty acids get damaged. So not only are we consuming large amounts of these fats, they are often also damaged fats. This has a knock-on effect on your body and spikes inflammation in your system.

  • Firstly, this inflammation directly impacts your cell’s ability to repair themselves which then speeds up the aging process, hello wrinkles.
  • Secondly, it impairs your cells ability to generate energy. Now, your brain is the biggest energy consumer in your body, less energy leads to poor concentration and brain fog.

YES, real life impacts!

Cooking dices veggies in a pan with olive oil

Action plan:

Make these small changes to your eating habits today:

  1. Eat fish 2 to 3 times a week. If this isn’t viable invest in a quality fish oil supplement.
  2. Stop using vegetable oils (sunflower oil, canola oil, soybean oil, grapeseed oil)
  3. Start baking and cooking with oils like coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, grass fed butter and ghee.

Your body will thank you!

Check out our blog about 4 Foods that Help Boost your Brain Health for more information on how to eat to support your brain.

References:

Lugavere M and Grewal, P M.D. 2018. Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life 

Dr Hyman, M. 2016. The Missing Fat You Need to Survive and Thrive. Found at: https://drhyman.com/blog/2016/07/01/the-missing-fat-you-need-to-survive-and-thrive/

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