"Forbidden" foods that might actually be okay to eat

Health Professional

Well, omega 3's and omega 6's are a hot topic right now

First, Ashley Koff discussed "Omega-3 + Omega-6: Are you in balance?

This was followed by Dr. Fred Sancillio providing another view point in "Busting the most common fish oil myths".

Now, Jonny Bowden weighs in. Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, (aka "The Rogue Nutritionist") is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition and health. He is a board-certified nutritionist with a master's degree in psychology and the best-selling author of 14 books on health, healing, food and longevity, including three best-sellers, "The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth", the award-winning "Living Low Carb" and his latest book, co-written with cardiologist Stephen Sinatra and featured on the Dr. Oz Show, "The Great Cholesterol Myth".

Lisa Nelson, RD: Are there forbidden foods that are okay to eat?** Dr. Bowden:** "If you've banished red meats and egg yolks from your diet for health reasons, there's reason to rejoice. I think the notion that saturated fat and cholesterol are the demons in the diet is 100 percent wrong. When you look at the data, it's very clear: Most of what we've been told about saturated fat and cholesterol is simply not so."

Lisa Nelson, RD: What about the long-held idea that too much saturated fat in our diets leads to heart disease?** Dr. Bowden:** "Recent research has shown that there's no connection between saturated fat in the diet and the incidence of heart disease."

Lisa Nelson, RD: If saturated fat and cholesterol aren't the culprits, what part of our diets may be contributing to cardiovascular disease?** Dr. Bowden:** "Instead of saturated fat and cholesterol, most leading edge experts are now looking at inflammation as a prime mover in the development of heart disease. The irony is that the foods we were taught are good for us - breads, cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes - are the very ones that are killing us. Our bodies convert these foods to sugar almost instantly. Sugar raises insulin, which causes inflammation, which is the fundamental cause of heart disease."

Lisa Nelson, RD: Does this mean it is now okay to eat butter?** Dr. Bowden:** "Butter was never bad to begin with! It was banished from our tables because of our ill-advised fear of saturated fats. So we replaced it with something much worse!"

Lisa Nelson, RD: Why have you said we should try to eat only grass-fed beef?** Dr. Bowden:** "Grass-fed beef contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and less omega-6s. It's also free of hormones, a very big plus indeed."

Lisa Nelson, RD: Do Americans consume too much vegetable oil?** Dr. Bowden**: "Yes. When we reduced our intake of saturated fat, and replaced it with vegetable oils (corn, soy, canola, etc.), the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 in our diets became wildly out of balance. Omega 6s are the building blocks of inflammatory chemicals in our bodies, and we are consuming 6-25 times more of them than we are the anti-inflammatory omega-3s."

Lisa Nelson, RD: What types of oils should we use instead of vegetable oils?** Dr. Bowden**: "We should substitute Malaysian red palm fruit oil for some of that inflammatory omega 6, which will help right the balance. Malaysian palm fruit oil won't cause inflammation. It also won't break down into toxic substances when you cook with it."

Lisa Nelson, RD: What about the saturated fat found in egg yolks?

Dr. Bowden: "What a relief that you don't have to suffer through one more tasteless egg white omelet! The advice to eat egg white omelets is way past its expiration date!"

Lisa Nelson, RD: People watching their weight and heart health typically choose white-meat poultry. Is that still advisable?** Dr. Bowden:** "The USDA data shows that there are mere milligrams of differences in the nutritional content of white and dark meat. Just be cautious of the skin, which is calorically dense."

Lisa Nelson, RD: Is there still a place for cheese and nuts in a healthful diet?** Dr. Bowden**: "One ounce a day is associated with lower body mass index, so these are absolutely healthy. But they are also easy to overeat and contribute to weight gain, so just be careful about the amount you consume."

Lisa Nelson, RD: Why do you say that eating more saturated fat might lead to weight loss?** Dr. Bowden**: "Although experts estimate that we're consuming fewer calories from fat, here in the U.S., obesity has skyrocketed. One reason: the food industry replaced saturated fat with added sugar in an attempt to maintain foods' appeal. If your body learns to run primarily on sugar instead of fat, your metabolism is compromised."

Lisa Nelson, RD: What is sugar's role in the saturated fat/heart health debate?** Dr. Bowden:** "Sugar is far more damaging to the heart than fat ever was. The world's focus on cholesterol has been incredibly destructive because we haven't looked at these real promoters of heart disease: inflammation, oxidative damage, sugar in the diet and - number one with a bullet - stress."

Dr. Bowden adds that Malaysian red palm oil, which he referenced, is well researched for many other health benefits. Those studies can be found at www.palmoilhealth.org.

To establish a solid foundation that will promote heart health and healthy cholesterol levels, sign up for the free e-course How to Lower Cholesterol in 8 Simple Steps at http://lowercholesterolwithlisa.com.