Hemp oil contains 57% linoleic (LA) and 19% linolenic (LNA) acids, in the three-to-one ratio that matches our nutritional needs. These are the essential fatty acids (EFAs)-so called because the body cannot make them and must get them from external sources. The best sources are oils from freshly ground grains and whole seeds, but EFAs are fragile and quickly lost in processing. EFAs are the building blocks of longer chain fats, such as eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that occur naturally in the fat of cold-water fish like sardines, mackerel, salmon, bluefish, herring, and, to a lesser extent, tuna.
Strains of hemp grown for oil production have a low resin content to begin with, and by the time the seeds are ready for harvest, resin production has dropped even further. Finally, the seeds must be cleaned and washed before they are pressed. As a result, no THC is found in the final product.
In our part of the world, these other uses of hemp are no longer familiar. We rarely use hemp fiber and know little about hemp medicine. (Some cancer patients have found it to be a superior remedy for the nausea caused by chemotherapy, and some people with multiple sclerosis are grateful for its relaxant effects on spastic muscles.) Hemp seed is sometimes an ingredient in bird food; otherwise, edible products from Cannabis sativa are virtually unknown.
For dietary purposes flax oil must be pressed at low temperatures, protected from light, heat, and air, stored at cool temperatures, and used quickly once the containers are opened. Most flax oil is not delicious. There is great variation in taste among the brands currently sold in natural food stores, but the best of them still leaves much to be desired.
Udo Erasmus, author of the classic book, Fats and Oils (Alive, 1986), [and Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, The Complete Guide to fats, oils, cholesterol and human health, Second Printing of Fats and Oils, (Alive, 1996). This book is a fabulous resource on nutrition –ratitor] says that the problem is freshness. Unless you get flax oil right from the processor and freeze it until you start using it, it will already have deteriorated by the time you buy it. Hemp oil contains more EFAs than flax and actually tastes good. It is nutty and free from the objectionable undertones of flax oil. I use it on salads, baked potatoes, and other foods and would not consider putting it in capsules.
Support: You can get a free customized health plan to follow for 8 weeks after you take an online assessment. Weil’s website includes videos, recipes, and a section where you can ask Weil a question.
The Anti-Inflammatory Diet offers a wide range of delicious foods. As long as you are willing to give up your hamburgers and cut way back on your dairy and poultry, you will have tons of great foods to choose from. But be ready to learn how to prepare fish and seafood. Unless, of course, you are vegetarian or vegan — and then your options are equally plentiful.
If you have diabetes, you should talk with your dietitian or doctor about how many carbs you need each day to be sure that this diet plan is right for you.
Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?
Carbs make up 40% to 50% of your daily calories on this plan. They should come from whole grains (such as brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, and whole wheat bread), beans, fruits, and vegetables (such as winter squash and sweet potatoes).
As far as decreasing inflammation, some research has shown that people who follow a diet similar to Weil’s were able to reduce inflammation, increase their energy, and improve their physical functioning.
Cooking and shopping: You may need to make more trips to the grocery store to buy fresh produce and seafood. Cleaning and preparing fresh produce can take time. So can planning and preparing meals, until you get used to cooking this way.
Packaged foods or meals: None. Weil does recommend taking daily supplements including: