A couple of months ago I put in a little blurb about Omega 3's. I think this subject needs more discussion and more knowledge. People tend to shy away from fat because they do not want to gain weight or think that it inhibits their weight loss journey. Given the right fats however will not only help weight loss along, but also play a role in your overall health and can even keep your skin looking and feeling younger.
What exactly is omega 3?
You've probably been hearing about omega 3 fatty acids in recent years. The reason? A growing body of scientific research indicates that these healthy fats help prevent a wide range of medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, depression, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. Unlike the saturated fats found in butter and lard, omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated.
Polyunsaturated fats, unlike saturated fats, are liquid at room temperature and remain liquid when refrigerated or frozen. Monounsaturated fats, found in olive oil, are liquid at room temperature, but harden when refrigerated. When eaten in appropriate amounts, each type of fat can contribute to health. However, the importance of omega 3 fatty acids in health promotion and disease prevention cannot be overstated.
What are the functions of omega 3 fatty acids?
Every cell in our body is surrounded by a cell membrane composed mainly of fatty acids. The cell membrane allows the proper amounts of necessary nutrients to enter the cell, and ensures that waste products are quickly removed from the cell.
Some of the things high-omega-3 foods can do for you...
-Reduce inflammation throughout your body
- Keep your blood from clotting excessively
-Maintain the fluidity of your cell membranes
- help prevent cancer cell growth
-Lower the amount of lipids (fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides) circulating in the bloodstream
-Reduce the risk of becoming obese and improve the body's ability to respond to insulin by stimulating secretion of leptin, a hormone that helps regulate food intake, body weight and metabolism, and is expressed primarily through adipocytes (fat cells
Omega 3 fatty acids may play a role in the prevention and/or treatment of the following health conditions:
Alzheimer's disease, Asthma, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Bipolar disorder, Cancer, Cardiovascular disease, Depression, Diabetes, Eczema, High blood pressure, Huntington's disease, Lupus, Migraine headaches, Multiple sclerosis, Obesity, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid arthritis
What foods provide omega 3 fatty acids?
Salmon, flax seeds and walnuts are excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Very good sources of these healthy fats include scallops, cauliflower, cabbage, cloves and mustard seeds. Good sources of these fats include halibut, shrimp, cod, tuna, soybeans, tofu, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts.
What forms of omega 3 fatty acids are found in dietary supplements?
In supplemental form, omega 3 fatty acids are available as softgels (like a vitamin E capsule) or as bottled liquids. Flaxseed oil, a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid, and cod liver oil, a rich source of EPA and DHA, are among the most popular omega 3 supplements.
So kick that "NO FAT" clause in your daily nutrition regime and instead add some fat friendly walnuts to your oatmeal or a quarter of an avocado to your chicken salad.
Some information courtesy of World's Healthiest Foods