PUFAs—short for polyunsaturated fats are a type of fatty acid. The type of fat that is available to us via the foods we eat generally fall into two categories: unsaturated fat and saturated fat. For ages we were advised to avoid saturated fats and emphasize unsaturated fats (or avoid fat all together). Many cooking oils actually said "heart-healthy" on the bottle. The research is overwhelmingly clear that saturated fats are not only healthy, but that they are extremely beneficial for overall health. What is not often talked about is the downright damaging impact of the class of highly unsaturated fats known as PUFAs. The primary issue with PUFAs is that they are highly unstable.
This article serves to elucidate some of the historical context and economic incentives of why this theory came to be and outlines some of the medical literature showing specifically that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) is not only not essential, but actually harmful to human health.
I started embracing a low-carb diet several years ago, in large part because I came to believe that processed carbohydrates — and especially processed sugars — are the primary driver of chronic disease in Western countries.
But recently, I’ve been learning about another type of food that might have an even more detrimental impact on our health. And I’m not talking about saturated fat, as the American Heart Association and other “trusted” sources for dietary information would have you think.
I’m referring to supposedly “heart-healthy” polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and to linoleic acid (not to be confused with alpha-linolenic acid) in particular.
Advice to increase omega-3 fatty acid consumption and decrease omega-6 consumption is widespread in health communities and the popular press. But is it omega-6 that’s the problem, or just how we cook omega-6-rich foods?
Inflammation can be exacerbated with intake of certain dietary fatty acids, such as some ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and subsequent incorporation into membrane phospholipids. Inflammation, however, can be resolved with ingestion of other fatty acids, such as ω-3 PUFA.
Substitution of SFA with PUFA in patients with MetS is associated with greater reductions in TG and improvement in endothelial function than MUFA that is independent of WL. These preliminary findings raise the possibility that PUFA may be the unsaturated fat of choice to reduce cardiometabolic risk in patients with MetS.
There is a growing body of evidence suggesting the usefulness of PUFAs in active therapy of various gastrointestinal (GI) diseases.
The importance of essential fatty acids (EFAs) has been recognized in the fields of cardiac science and cardiac medicine, with the significant effects of various fatty acids having been confirmed by experimental studies. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are considered to be important versatile mediators for improving and maintaining human health over the entire lifespan, however, only the cardiac effect has been extensively documented
Whether it is harmful or not, rancid oil is likely to be less effective than fresh fish oil, according to Martinsen. He points to changes in the chemical composition of highly oxidised oils that may reduce their benefits. Again, however, the research is not conclusive.
While polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids contribute to good health, the strongest evidence for heart health is found when polyunsaturated fats replace saturated fat in the diet.
What if there was a substance that you were consuming regularly that was severely hampering your efforts to get healthy? What if this substance was linked to accelerated aging and a variety of common health problems? What if this substance was used in numerous "health" foods and in numerous restaurants?