Image credit: Health365
You have probably heard on the Dr. Oz show, or on other health shows, about the importance of getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet. It serves so many beneficial purposes – and not just in the area of weight loss.
The fatty acids in Omega 3 are essential to our ability as humans to metabolize food. Most people do not get enough Omega 3 in their diets. This is especially true of Americans, whose diets as a whole tend to be on the heavy side and short of the nutritious food choices that provide Omega 3 fatty acids. The American diet is heavy on the wrong kind of fats and too much fried food, so it fails to provide the right balance of nutrients to achieve maximum health benefits.
Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in fish, with salmon being one of the richest sources of this essential nutrient. Salmon has become a popular staple in many homes and is very affordable if you are a savvy shopper. This means watching for sales and shopping at the big warehouse membership type stores like Costco or Sam’s Club. When cooked correctly, Salmon can rival a nice juicy steak any day and will beat it out hands down in the nutrition arena.
Other types of fish that contain the invaluable Omega 3 fatty acids include sardines and tuna. Of course, you can get too much of a good thing, especially when It comes to tuna. While high in Omega 3, tuna also has a high mercury content thanks to our 20th and 21st century life style. But don’t be afraid to add a little tuna to your diet once or twice a week.
Other natural sources of Omega 3 are healthy oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil and avocado oil. Avocados themselves are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids with the added bonus that they are high in fiber. This combination makes them very desirable to those on a weight loss plan because, when eaten in moderation, the good oil and fiber content cancel out any fatty content avocado may add to your diet.
But we can’t talk about Omega 3 fatty acids without mentioning all the positive health benefits to be had by eating a diet rich in this nutritional gem. It is good for the skin; it’s good for the heart and blood pressure, and it helps with weight loss. So waste no time incorporat
Omega 3 fatty acids have been proven to lower a hormone called Leptin in the body. The lower the Leptin levels, the easier it is to lose weight. In addition, Omega 3 speeds up the metabolism, which means the burning of more calories. But another bonus of a faster (hotter) metabolism is that it helps keep the weight off. Anyone who has ever dieted has probably experienced the frustration of losing weight only to gain it right back again. So, keep eating those Omega 3 fatty acids, folks, and you will keep the weight off!
As was mentioned earlier, Omega 3 in the diet makes for a healthy heart. But Of course there are other well-known benefits to a diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, including a healthy and effective way to prevent or fight cancer. So when it comes to including Omega 3 in your diet, weight loss is not the only benefit!
Omega-3 regulates blood clotting, which is one of the reasons we say it promotes a healthy heart. Blot clots contribute to many other undesirable medical conditions such as phlebitis and stroke. Omega 3 fights the free radicals that can cause cancer. It builds up the cell membranes to help build healthy cells.
It is a polyunsaturated fat, which is one of the more heart-healthy fats, made even healthier, of course, if it has a high fiber content. It helps to reduce undesirable triglycerides and lowers the LDL (think bad cholesterol) as opposed to HDL (think H for “healthy” cholesterol) in the body.
Another thing that Omega 3 does for our bodies is curb inflammation. Excessive inflammation is the culprit in many serious diseases, including auto-immune diseases like Lupus. Inflammation causes unspecific pain such as with fibromyalgia that can impact the quality of our lives with its crippling symptoms.
It’s important to know where your food is coming from if you want to optimize the balance in your diet between Omega 3 and Omega 6 (which is also a desirable fatty acid but depending on its source, can increase rather than decrease inflammation). It is best to eat meat that is grass fed in order to reap the benefits of the Omega 3 and Omega 6.
However, in our Western society, it is first necessary to determine if that grass the animals are eating has been exposed to toxins through insecticides and such. I know. It gets complicated. But I wanted to throw the information out there. You can decide how much of a purist you want to be.
How about supplements? Yes. Supplements can help, especially if for some reason you find it difficult to balance all these Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in your diet. Maybe you are on the run too much or eat out too often. Whatever the reason, if you feel you are not getting the proper amount of Omega 3 in your diet, by all means, take the supplements.
That being said, it is always better to get any of your nutrients, be they vitamins, minerals or Omega 3 or Omega 6, by means of a healthy balanced diet. It is just the most natural way to provide these beneficial fatty acids and nutrients. But a good quality supplement can’t hurt.
Taking care of our bodies and our health should be a number one concern for each and every one of us. Whether we seek the benefits of Omega 3 for purposes of weight loss or to help fight disease, or just for our overall health, it will drastically improve the the way you feel as well as your risk of contracting life-impairing diseases.