Thursday, August 7, 2008

Human engine oil!

Our fellow blogger, Reluctant Allergy Sufferer, has recently switched to a fish only diet. You have to read RAS's blog to understand the reasons!

There seems to be plenty of cheerful news for RAS in recent news stories. This is a subject that Englemed took an interest in from the start - and in some ways the flow of scientific stories about healthy eating seems to have slowed down in the last decade. That may be because the matter was largely settled - and our conclusion at the time was that the healthiest oil was olive oil, the key component of the so-called Mediterranean diet. As we reported recently here, this particular diet continues to attract interest. There is not universal agreement about what's in it but olive oil is definitely an ingredient.

RAS can't eat olive oil and uses rapeseed oil instead - that may well be just as healthy.

One story this week suggests that fish-eating helps maintain the health of the brain.Interestingly this finding does not apply to fried fish, such as traditional British fish and chips. I wonder whether this might depend on how the fish is fried. Traditionally it would be fried in animal fat and the chances are that modern shops use sunflower oil, which is not the healthiest of vegetable oils.

A second report last week looked at the Japanese lifestyle, which is based on fish. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology doesn't put a number on the benefit but instead reports on studies of Japanese men which suggest their arteries are in incredibly good shape.

Here's a link to our original feature, entitled Human Engine Oil, which dates from as long ago as 1998 in the very early days of the world wide web. The overall conclusions probably have not changed much in a decade although some of the paradoxical individual stories would seem to hold little water. For instance the theory that meat was better at preventing stroke than vegetable oil needs to be treated with utmost caution.

The way scientists talk about oils and fats has changed however. There's more emphasis on the difference between omega-3 and omega-6 and less on the concepts of polyunsaturated, saturated and monounsaturated.

1 comment:

  1. In fact it's not fish only. I eat meat sometimes. I've found fish only a little uncomfortable and it left me quite tired, possibly anaemic. Had to start taking iron pills.