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I am currently working on a Master's Degree in Nutrition and requirements for Registered Dietician R.D. I plan to run my first full marathon in 2009. This blog is about everything I learn, eat, and do along the way. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nuts, Seeds, LNA and CLA...

Lots of letters huh?

I read some interesting info a few other blogs in the past few days about nuts and thought I would post more on fatty acid sources because that is what we will be discussing in class tomorrow afternoon ( again!)

I have this chart from my biochemistry book of the make up of 20 varieties of nuts. All nuts provide sources of BOTH saturated fats AND Monounsaturated fats. Nuts also provide essential fatty acids ( which are omega-6, omega-3 and LNA)

For comparison, nuts/seeds such as walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, seasame seeds- they all offer a good source of fat and fiber. however, they are different in specific make-ups of their nutrition profiles. i.e:

Walnuts (1 oz) are made up of:

6% Saturated fat, 14% Mono-unsaturaed fat, 58% Omega-6, 14% Omega-3 and offer 2.6 gm of Linoleic Acid.

Flaxseeds (1 oz) are made up of:

9% Saturated fat, 18% Mono-unsaturated fat, 16% Omega-6, 57% Omega-3 and offer 5.2 gm of Linoleic Acid

Omega-6 fats do offer some benefits, but have also been shown to increase risk of prostate cancer among other illnesses.
Omega-3 fats are more beneficial.
Linoleic Acid and Linolenic Acid are "essential fatty acids"- They are both Omega 3 because of their nomenclature.... ( check out my post http://runlmo1.blogspot.com/search/label/Advanced%20Nutrient%20Metabolism for even more info on Lipids and naming fats) .... is also thought to have anti-cancer properties ( specifically Conjugated Linoleic Acid or CLA).

Flaxseed is higher in both Omega-3 and Linloeic Acid and Unsaturate fats in general.

Macadamia nuts are made up of 16% saturated fat which is actually LOWER than both Pumpkin Seeds (19%) and Cashews (20%). The saturated fat in macademia nuts is very close in saturated fat with Tofu and Peanuts, both of which are made up of 14% saturated fat.
But, Cashews are much higher in monounsaturated fats (57%) than lots of other nuts...( i love cashews)

Essential Fatty Acid:
Conjugated Lineoleic Acid is naturally present in meat and dairy fats and may inhibit certain types of cancer. Studies creating synthetic CLA have found it to inhibit human tumor cells in the skin, colon, breast, and lung as well as preventing spread of cancers in animal models.

The problem with consuming CLA from its natural sources are the sources of saturated fat in both meat and dairy. In in vitro studies ( where the cells are in an artificial environment and not in the actual body), CLA inhibits breast cancer cell growth ( Margot, from Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY) and it also prevents the development of new blood vessels in the mammiary gland which reduces the rate of mammary tumor growth. ( this was from the American Institute for Cancer Research Newsletter).

Organic Cows, grass fed, have higher levels of CLA in their meat and in their milk ? which also means they have less saturated fats than conventional cows.

Did you also know that conventional milk is thought to increase the release of insulin-growth factor in women, which is thought to increase your risk of both diabetes AND breast cancer?
Ladies- go for organic dairy products!!!

Long chain fatty acids are very important as well ( and do not really come from nuts)
-The best sources of one long chain fatty acid: APA ( alpha-lineoleic acid) are: spinach, linseed oil, english walnut oil, and canola oil.

-The best sources of EPA ( eicosapentaenoic acid) are: Anchovies (18%), scallops (21%), haddock, sole, mackeral, and albacore tuna.

-The best sources of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are: Cod (37%), Anchovies (11%), scallops (26%), haddock, herring, cod, mackerel, sole, tuna, human milk, and egg yolk


VeggieGirl said...

Hooray for nuts!! I eat them in abundance (in the form of nut-butters, Larabars, and raw nuts) each and every day :-)

Madison said...

oh wow! cashews DO have a lot of monounsaturated fats - woohoo for cashews!! :D
thanks for all this informative information!!

strongandhealthy said...

Love the nut facts!!