What’s all the ruckus about Omega 3 fatty acids anyway?
This is one type of fat that you do not want to cut out of your diet! Omega 3’s are essential for a healthy body. From your head down to your toes.
But before we talk about Omega 3’s let’s look at the other fatty acids.
Different Fatty Acids
- Omega 9 – found in animal fat and olive oil
- Omega 6 – come from palm, sunflower, rapeseed and soybean oils
Omega 9 fatty acids are not considered essential because your body will make it, if it needs it. But that doesn’t mean consuming it is a problem either. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in Omega 9 may have some anti-inflammatory benefits. And the nervonic acid in this fat is important for your brain health. However, research does suggest we limit our intake of animal fats. Make sure to talk with your doctor if you have any concerns about eating Omega 9 foods.
Omega 6 fatty acids are essential for our bodies. It plays a crucial role in brain health. It also may help treat rheumatoid arthritis. But it is important to have the right balance between Omega 3 and 6. The American diet tends to have 14-25 times more Omega 6’s than Omega 3’s. This is not a healthy balance. The suggested ratio is about 2:1 Omega 6 to Omega 3.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 is a type of fat that is essential for human health. It contains two fatty acids that benefit the human body greatly, DHA and EPA.
These fatty acids have been linked to helping prevent heart disease, cancer and many other diseases. Our brains need DHA. Low levels of DHA have been linked to depression, schizophrenia and memory loss. There is also an increased chance of being stricken with Alzheimer’s disease.
You get this fatty acid in fish oils, certain plant oils and nuts. But the best way to get Omega 3’s is from eating fish. However you need to be conscious of the mercury levels in fish. The FDA recently released an announcement regarding the consumption of fish, specifically for pregnant women and children. They created a list categorizing 62 different fish between BEST, GOOD and AVOID. A good list for everyone to follow, regardless of your gender or age.
The regular and repeated consumption of Omega 3 fish oils can greatly affect the quality of your life.
The American Heart Association recommends the use of fish oils to help your heart’s perform better. Clinical trials conducted have shown that Omega 3 fish oils can reduce heart attacks and strokes. Also, research has shown that fish oils can help decrease the risk of irregular heart beats. As well as decrease triglyceride levels and the growth rate of plaque build-up, It may even slightly lower blood pressure! With all these facts, there is no doubt that the regular and responsible use of Omega 3’s, fish oils from supplements, can be of great benefit to your health.
Getting Your Omega 3’s
I love fish. My husband does not. Needless to say, we do not have it often (definitely not as often as I’d like! 😀 ). On the rare occasions we go out for dinner, I order fish. But that isn’t often enough to support a healthy Omega 3 diet. So I use a supplement.
The supplement I use is AdvoCare’s OmegaPlex. It has a good blend of DHA and EPA fatty acids, without the fishy aftertaste. Click here if you’d like to try it and I’ll get some to you.
Regardless of which Omega 3 supplement you use though, make sure it is from a reputable company and examine the ingredients list. Do your research. You want a supplement that follows the FDA guidelines.
And on the outside chance I do get to make fish for dinner, I like to make salmon in a foil packet. Actually, I like to make any fish that way. Baking it is healthier than frying (although you can’t beat a Friday Fish Fry!). And clean up with a foil packet is super easy. Try my Salmon Foil Packet Dinner recipe and you’ll see 🙂
Did this article help explain why Omega 3 fatty acids are important for a healthy diet? How do you get your Omega 3’s? Make sure you leave your comments below!
And don’t forget, if you aren’t sure of what you are doing in the kitchen but want to eat healthy, you can sign up for my FREE Cooking Basics how-to-tips! You’ll get an email every week for an entire year. That’s 52 helpful kitchen tips! Everything from how to make the perfect fried egg to different ways to prepare fish and how to freeze those fruits & veggies you find at the market 🙂
Enjoy and Be Healthy!