The Quality of Your Butter
Researchers studied the fatty acid profile of butter produced in North America compared to butter from European countries and found that the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats in North American butter was twice that of European butter. A high ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats contributes to inflammation in the body and has been associated with cardiovascular disease, cancer and other degenerative conditions.
Studies show that our ancestors’ diet consisted of a 1:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats which in the modern Canadian diet has now become a ratio of an average of 17:1 and in some cases may be as high as 50:1. Studies on breast milk have been shown to be even as high as 45:1.
Omega 3 fats have a host of benefits and have been shown to help prevent cancer, improve depression and anxiety, benefit autoimmune conditions, reduce risk factors for heart disease, improve sleep, increase intelligence in children, fight age-related mental decline, improve skin and eye health and many other benefits.
The best way to boost your intake of healthy fats and improve your omega 3 to omega 6 fat ratio is to replace your consumption of low quality refined vegetable oils with high quality unrefined olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil. Coconut oil and avocado oil are excellent to use for high temperature cooking as they are much more stable than most other vegetable oils. To boost your omega 3 status, increase your intake of low mercury fish such as wild salmon, anchovies and sardines. Choose grass fed meat and butter which contains higher omega 3s than grain fed animal products. Organic, pastured eggs produce twice as much omega 3 fats (and three times more vitamin E, seven times more beta carotene, and two-thirds more vitamin A) than conventional eggs. If you can’t find true pasture raised eggs, those labelled organic and “free range” will be your best bet. Poached or softboiled are the best cooking methods as they retain the nutrients in the yolk and avoid damaging the omega 3 fats. While walnuts and freshly ground flax seeds do contain omega 3 fats in the form of ALA (alpha linoleic acid), it needs to be converted in the body to EPA and DHA which the body does inefficiently. EPA and DHA is the most beneficial form of omega 3 fat and is found naturally in the animal foods previously mentioned.
Further benefit can be obtained by including a highly quality fish oil supplement to your diet. The best quality fish oil supplements use processing methods that not only remove impurities such as heavy metals and PCBs, but also avoid rancidity and maintain a natural triglyceride (fat) form.