The Omega Diet promotes a healthy lifestyle based on the diet of the Mediterranean region of the world. Unlike the Mediterranean Diet, the Omega Diet allows for the balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats. Omega-6 fats are necessary for normal growth and brain function. They are found in foods such as oils, eggs, meat and avocado. A diet that is too high in Omega-6 can lead to risks of heart attack and stroke.
The American culture tends to indulge in an excess of Omega-6 and less Omega-3, but this diet promotes an even intake of both. Here are some foods that have an excess amount of Omega-6, and are therefore avoided on the Omega Diet:
Beef is a staple food of American cuisine, but it has several properties that make it an undesirable item on any diet. It is high in fat and cholesterol, but it is also high in Omega-6. Eaten regularly, it increases the risk of heart disease and raises cholesterol. Most commercially prepared beef has other qualities that make it unfit for human consumption. Many of the cattle are injected with hormones that, when eaten by humans, can cause cancer and reproductive abnormalities. They are also often given antibiotics that may cause antibiotic resistance for consumers. If you don’t want to give up beef, opt for grass-fed cattle, as their meat has a better Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio.
2. Refined Carbohydrates
These include white rice, white bread and white pasta. The more refined a carbohydrate is, the less nutrients it contains. It is also easier for the body to process them, which means that they raise blood sugar levels quickly. Refined carbs can lead to obesity and heart disease, and thus should be avoided completely. Instead, opt for whole wheat and whole grain items.
3. Hydrogenated Oils
Whether the label says “hydrogenated” or “partially-hydrogenated”, you should stay away from these oils. They are composed of trans fatty acids. Trans fatty acids are not essential for the body to function, and they do not promote good health. In fact, they raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease. Hydrogenated oils were created as a replacement for vegetable oils, which are high in saturated fats and which spoil easily. Hydrogenated oils are used frequently for frying foods in fast food restaurants. They are also used to prolong the shelf life of snack foods in the grocery store, such as cookies and pastries. Eliminate corn and peanut oils when cooking at home. If you are frying in your kitchen, use butter instead, or saute vegetables in olive oil.
4. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil is high in saturated fat, which was targeted several years ago for its dangerous effect on cholesterol levels. These include oils extracted from the nuts or seeds of vegetables, such as palm, coconut and palm kernel oils. They are high in Omega-6 fats, and can therefore lead to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke if consumed in large quantities. Olive oil is the best choice, as it is derived from the pressed flesh of olives and contains mostly monounsaturated fats.