The one thing I learned when I had dementia is that the average human brain is made up of more than 50% fat cells! “That explains some people” I mumbled to my neurologist, yet today I have learned that the role of cholesterol in protecting our neurons as well as the relationship between Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils is in our civilized diet, way out of balance. Back in the day, our great grandparents and their great grandparents, had a ratio roughly 1 Omega 3 to 4 Omega 6(some even 1- 1). Unfortunately in our modern diet with processed corn, cottonseed and vegetable oils the ratio is more like 1-12 to as high as 1-24!
The problem is the Omega 6 oils cause inflammation, and that is not good for your brain! These are essential oils that our bodies cannot make, so we must eat them in our food.
Another critical oil is the MTC or Medium Chain Triglycerides found in coconut oil as well as butter and meat. The food industry has been feeding us the myth that margarine (hydrolyzed corn or soybean oil) helps us lose weight and is good for our health…it isn’t. Old fashioned real food with plenty of Omega 3 oils, like our ancestors and the people in cultures that have hardly any Alzheimer’s eat, is what you should eat!
This is what we recommend, to cook with and only on medium heat never high, (as the oils break down at high heat). I fry and sauté with organic coconut oil, olive oil (not virgin as it has a lower burn temperature, we save that for drizzles and dressing). Avocado oil has the highest smoking temperature. I like Ghee (clarified butter) and organic butter from grass fed cows. This I mostly use for mushrooms and dishes where that buttery flavor is needed.
We also keep on hand walnut oil (Omega 3) and Avocado oil (Omega 9) for salads and to simply drizzle on veggies as we serve them.
Here is a list of foods we like to eat that are rich in the good oils:
Avocado-is rich in Oleic Acid (Omega 9)
Purslane- a good plant source of EPA Omega 3
Flaxseed, pumpkin and Chia seed- Omega 3
Walnuts-hazelnuts- brazil nuts (they are also a good source of selenium)
Salmon wild, herring sardines, trout and lion fish Omega 3
Grass fed organic beef, lamb and chicken