Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Link Between Dietary Fat and Skin Cancer

If you were to ask most people,"What is the primary cause of skin cancer?" the answer would have something to do with the sun. That answer would be wrong. The sun is only a co-factor, and in most cases, it is only a minor co-factor.

Just like heart disease, diabetes, and most internal cancers, what you eat (or don't eat) plays a significant role in the progression and development of skin cancer.
Science has proven that there are some foods which strongly promote skin cancer. One of the strongest promoters of skin cancer (and wrinkles) is polyunsaturated omega-6 fats. These fats are found primarily in vegetable and seed oils. Conventionally raised meats are also very high in omega-6 fats.
When you consume these fats, they are incorporated into your cell membranes.

And because these fats are highly unstable and prone to oxidative stress, they promote free radical formation in the body -- particularly the skin, which is exposed to oxygen and UV light. The end result is that if you consume too many of these fats in your diet, you will sunburn much faster and more intensely -- and you will also be prone to skin cancer.

The solution?
First, avoid foods that contain vegetable and seed oils (corn oil, cottonseed oil, canola, sunflower, soybean, etc.). Read the labels; these ingredients are everywhere. Second, increase your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from wild salmon and fish oil supplements. While over-consumption of omega-6 fats is known to promote skin cancer (and other degenerative diseases), omega-3 fats are known to be protective. And finally, consume more antioxidant-rich foods to boost your body's own natural protection against free radical damage.

Follow these three steps and you can continue to enjoy the healing rays of the sun without fear of premature wrinkles or dreaded skin cancer.

Misty Notes: As the author states above, vegetable oils are highly dangerous and unfortunately, added to just about everything in our food supply. It's difficult to purchase food items in mainstream grocers that do not contain PUFA's (polyunsaturated Fatty Acids) You might be surprised to hear of this danger since the food manufacturers have you convinced that these are your heart healthy oils. What a tragedy for heart patients and the advice given them by their Registered Dieticians. While encouraging my clients to choose heart healthier snacks such as nuts and seeds, I must also warn them of the dangers of the roasting methods as well, the over consumption of PUFA's in the form of nuts & seeds, raw or not. With media 30 second sound bites and magazine cover alarmist articles, the general public as I will soon write about really does obtain their nutrition advice in this manner. When one reads that nuts and seeds are good for fighting abdominal fat, the author is not frowning upon conventional roasted nuts and seeds....Planters et al just wouldn't have it. Remember that your nutrition information is just like every other industry.....we are informed by "The Golden Rule" In other words, he who has the gold makes the rules. Choose raw nuts and seeds as fresh as you can possibly get and roast them yourself. Coconut or Rice Bran Oil are your superior choices and with a dusting of sea salt, you have a fabulous heart healthy snack.

By Jon Herring
Total Health Breakthrough


Cinshad said...

Great site! Is there any difference in the omega 3 from fish oils and plant sources like flax seed?

Cinshad said...
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Misty Humphrey said...

Hi Cindy
Thank you for posting! There is a difference in the uptake of each. Flax does not convert as easily as fish oils in the body. While Flax is valuable, it is wise to diversify your omega 3's with flax, fish oils, pastured eggs and butter as well, walnuts. Be well and as always, Eat Well, Feel Well