The Prize for the Healthiest Oil Goes To…

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By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) – New research from Ohio State University suggests that people with higher levels of linoleic acid have leaner bodies. They also tended to have less health threatening visceral fat between and around their organs, less inflammation and lower incidence of insulin resistance.

It turns out olive oil may not be best for heart health and diabetes prevention as often touted. No doubt olive oil is better than some other fats and oils but some plant based oils appear to be better.

Based on the study, researchers concluded that oils rich in linoleic acid like grapeseed, hemp, corn, safflower, sunflower, sesame and walnut provide more overall health benefits than olive oil. Olive oil is rich in oleic acid.

Oleic acid is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in olive, canola, peanut, macadamia and sunflower oils., Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid found in many nuts and seeds.

The study also looked at long-chain omega-3 fatty acids commonly found in fish like salmon, sardines and tuna.

Levels of inflammation decreased as blood levels of all three fatty acids increased. However, higher levels of oleic acid or omega-3’s did not seem to have any effect on body composition or decreased risk of diabetes.

Some previous studies showed that fat in the midsection was reduced and lean body mass increased by consuming just 1.5 teaspoons of linoleic acid daily. This study was the first to compare changes in body composition and other health markers of the different fatty acids.

In another study people were instructed to consume more olive oil or eat an equivalent amount of walnuts while following a Mediterranean diet. Both had positive effects. However, the researchers concluded that eating walnuts provided the most benefits.

“Ultimately, all oils are refined products and therefore aren’t the best choice for daily essential fat intake. Whole, raw nuts and seeds and avocados are a much better source because they all contain more than just fatty acids in a completely natural and easy to consume package. Studies on nut eaters consistently find many health benefits exceeding the oils used in this study,” according to Tom Griesel, co-author of TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise rules in the Dust.

The American Heart Association recommends people get 5-10 percent of their daily calories from omega-6 fatty acids, including linoleic acid because previous research has demonstrated cardiovascular benefits.

Many of today’s plant based oils contain less linoleic acid than they did in the past because they have been genetically modified to be higher in oleic acid.

Griesel adds, “Improving body composition, less fat and more lean body mass, improves all health markers and can increase life expectancy by keeping people more active as they age. A diet of real whole foods, including fatty plant based foods, along with increased daily activity is the key.”

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