Healthy and Anti-inflammatory Fats


Fat is crucial for brain function and development.  The addition of cod liver oil has been particularly beneficial for autistic spectrum disorders – increasing mood, improving cognitive function, aiding healing, and reducing inflammation. Many fats are healthy – while others are unhealthy. On the healthy and anti-inflammatory side is omega 3 – fish oil, cod liver oil, flax oil, and animal fats from pastured animals (grass fed). These omega 3s have (or in the case of flax convert to)  wonderful anti-inflammatory fatty acids – EPA and DHA.  They provide many benefits; however, quality is key.  Particularly for animal fats quality is essential, commercial animal fats are quite inflammatory; where as, grass-fed or pastured  fats such as butter and dairy fat, animal fat, pastured eggs have great anti-inflammatory properties and healing compounds (including butyric acid in dairy fat). Trans fats are the main fat I would consider very unhealthy such as those found in commercial mayonnaise, margarine, and many processed foods.  Additionally, commercial animal fats as mentioned above, from conventionally-raised animals are also unhealthy – with higher levels of arachadonic acid and other inflammatory compounds (such as those created from the animals eating grain), and lower levels of anti-inflammatory fats such as DHA. Therefore, quality is key.  For inflammation of the gut, brain, skin or other conditions, try cod liver oil.  The addition of naturally-occurring vitamin A aids healing and has been shown in Mary Megson’s research of G-Alpha protein defects to be very helpful with autism.

Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant who received her master’s degree in medical nutrition with distinction from Arizona State University. She is also a published nutrition researcher and has specialized in complex neurological conditions, particularly autism spectrum disorders and ADHD for over 20 years. Julie is the award winning author of Nourishing Hope for Autism, co-author of a study proving the efficacy of nutrition and dietary intervention for autism published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nutrients, and also the founder of Download her free guide, 12 Nutrition Steps to Better Health, Learning, and Behavior.