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Our very high incidence of heart attacks, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may be caused the Western diet that is loaded with omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3's.

Food manufacturers add vegetable oils to almost all prepared foods, loading our diet with omega-6's from corn, sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, cottonseed, and soybeans. This has changed the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in out diet to approximately 20-30 to 1 from the traditional range of 1 or 2:1. This high intake of omega-6 fatty acids causes clotting, swelling and constriction of arteries that can cause heart attacks and other diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids can reverse these changes, but most people do not eat nearly enough whole grains, seeds, nuts, leafy greens or deep-water-fish which contain omega-3's. Reduce your intake of omega-6 fatty acids found in most prepared foods and eat lots of the foods that contain omega-3's.

AP Simopoulos.Essential fatty acids in health and chronic disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1999, Vol 70, Issue 3, Suppl. S, pp 560S-569S.

Checked 5/3/07

June 2nd, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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