I know a lot of people who are trying to eliminate or greatly reduce the amount of fat in their diets for the purpose of losing weight. The misconception most Americans have is that eating fat makes you fat. Detailed research has shown that the total amount of fat in the diet isn’t really linked with weight or disease. What really matters is the type of fat in the diet. The fact is, eat the wrong fats and you can increase the risk of certain diseases and eat the right fats and you do just the opposite. Good fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated must be included into your diet. 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. It is estimated that over 90% of Americans are currently deficient in Omega-3 fats!
What are Omega-3 fats and where do you get them?
Omega-3 fats are polyunsaturated fats that are essential nutrients for health. Essential means that your body can’t make or produce them so you have to get them through your diet and/or supplementation. Some of the best food sources of Omega-3 are listed below.
Wild Fish (Salmon, Sardines, Trout, Halibut, Tuna, Shrimp)
Ground Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil
Nuts and Seeds (Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds)
Boiled Cauliflower and Cabbage(green leafy vegetables)
Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fats
Ok, so what’s the big deal about Omega-3 and why are they so important to you? The list of health benefits of Omega-3 could go on for a few pages but here are six of the biggies that will add quality years to your life and make it more enjoyable.
1. Omega-3’s help prevent Cardiovascular Disease
The American Heart Association research has shown that Omega-3 fat intake will decrease the risk of arrhythmias (which can lead to sudden cardiac death), decrease triglyceride levels, and it decrease growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque.
2. Omega-3’s Reduce Inflammation
Fish oil omega-3 fatty acids discourage the development of inflammation in blood vessels that frequently accompanies heart disease. Inflammatory conditions stimulate the production of substances involved in clot formation and make artery disease worse. Inflammation increases the risk of heart failure.
3. Omega-3’s can Lower your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Consuming fish oil omega-3’s is associated with small but beneficial reductions in blood pressure.
4. Omega 3’s Increase high-density lipoprotein levels
High Density Lipoproteins (good cholesterol) levels have been shown to increase and Low Density Lipoproteins (bad cholesterol) have been shown to decrease with individuals who consume recommended values of Omega 3.
5. Omega 3’s and Diebetes
Individuals with diabetes tend to have high triglyceride and low HDL levels. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can help lower triglycerides and raise HDL, so people with diabetes may benefit from eating foods or taking supplements that contain Omega 3 fats.
6. Omega 3’s help prevent Osteoporosis
Clinical studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA help increase levels of calcium in the body, deposit calcium in the bones, and improve bone strength.
As you can see, Omega 3 fats are very beneficial to you and should be included in your diet. It is recommended by the American Heart Association that you should consume at lease 500mg per day. Getting Omega 3 fatty acid from foods such as fish and plants is the best option because they have other nutrients like protein, vitamins and minerals. But if you are not consuming fish at least 3 times per week then you need to supplement Omega 3 through other means such as an Omega-3 supplement capsule. For a long time fats have gotten a bad rap. Eating the right fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated will help you lose weight as well as help you live longer, healthier and happier lives.