More dietary tips for good mental health: today we’re looking at Omega 6 and Omega 3 fats

I linked to Emily Deans MDs blog the other day to a post about the need for good cholesterol in a healthy brain. Today I’m linking and sharing a piece on her new Psychology Today blog “Evolutionary Psychiatry.” This woman knows how to eat for good mental health. It requires changes, but I’ve been eating like this for a few years now (for the most part) and I rarely feel like I’m missing out on anything at all.

This is an excerpt to her conclusion on an article about fats. Omega 6 and Omega 3 fats to be precise. As a culture we eat way too much Omega 6 fats.:

What do I conclude from a common-sense analysis of the massive change in our diets coupled with a knowledge of how omega 3s are important for our neurons? Our brains seem to be designed to run on fish oil. We really shouldn’t be operating the all-important noggin too far outside the design specs, or nasty things could happen. All of the clinical research I’ve seen in this area has focused on merely supplementing with extra omega 3 fatty acids, and I will certainly review much of this information in later posts. However, once again common sense will tell us that the best result would likely result from decreasing the overall omega 6 burden while making sure we get adequate omega 3s of the right kind for our brain.

In simple terms, that means significantly decreasing the amount of processed food we eat, and making sure we get some oily fish a few times a week. Switching to grass-fed beef and eating lamb or bison (which are usually grass fed) will also help. Olive oil is relatively low in omega 6 (it is primarily a monounsaturated fat and therefore a neutral player in the inflammatory vs. anti-inflammatory war), so olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice can be deliciously substituted for commercial salad dressings. For baking and cooking, use butter, lard, or coconut oil! It won’t kill you. Really. read the whole article

There are good bits and pieces of the puzzle for good mental health all over the place. Sometimes people aren’t aware that they only have one piece on the puzzle at their fingertips. Other times they are and they make sure the people they help get the other supports they need too. At Beyond Meds we try to collect as many natural, holistic methods of healing as possible on this blog. Diet and what we put in the body is an important part of the puzzle. Finding the right combination of wholesome means of healing and thriving is what we all need to do as individuals.

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