Not all fats are bad. Fats got a bad reputation for a while in the ‘90s, and many of us are still confused about whether this is a food group that is healthy or unhealthy. Does fat make you fat? Do all fats contribute equally to cardiovascular disease? Is there really such a thing as a “good fat?”
There are, in fact, fats your body and brain require to function optimally. If you’ve read about Omega-3 fatty acids in the past but felt confused about what they were and what that means for your eating habits, set your mind at rest. We’ve got all the answers. This is your quick guide to the fats that help you function best. Find out which foods are a good source of Omega-3s so you can change your diet for the better right away! We want you to eat well to live well and love how you feel every day of your life.
Omega-3 fatty acids are referred to as “essential fats” by health professionals. That means that your body can’t make them, the way it can other types of fat. We must get them from food. They are the building blocks of hormones your body makes for blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. Proper intake of Omega-3s has been correlated with prevention of heart disease and stroke. We are finding increasing evidence that they may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis. And there is a distinct and promising possibility that they play a role in preventing certain kinds of cancer.
Now you know that there are fats that actually may prevent a heart attack. It can be a confusing distinction. So, what are they, really? They are a family of polyunsaturated fats that occur in fish, nuts, and leafy greens. Most Americans are simply not getting enough of them. We are Omega-3 deficient, and that is causing health problems among middle age and older adults. It’s possible that a lack of these good fats in our typical American diet is causing 100,00 deaths annually.
We need to rethink how we eat, what we consider healthy, and really treating food as the preventative medicine that it is. The evidence is in from numerous large-scale trials evaluating the effect of fish oil consumption on heart disease. An Italian study reports that sudden death from heart attack was reduced by half when an individual took a 1-gram Omega-3 capsule daily for three years. We need to be more mindful of eating a balanced diet, in which good fats and bad fats are properly calibrated.
How do you get your daily dose of these beneficial fatty acids? Let’s hope by now you’ve gotten over the childhood aversion to spinach. Popeye’s favorite food packs 352 mg of Omega-3 per half a cooked cup. Add the tender leaves to salads and smoothies. Navy beans are an excellent choice, and go well with greens; cook them with a little olive oil and garlic and you have a warming lunch. Walnuts are a wonderful choice; did you know you can use them in pesto? Flax seeds are another small food with huge health benefit. They are lovely in oatmeal. Small fish such as anchovies or sardines are brimming with Omega-3s. Taking a fish oil supplement is a smart idea if you are concerned about remembering to incorporate these foods into your diet.
We know you want to eat better, live longer, and stay well on this odyssey of life. We have many traditional and cutting edge ideas about diet, health, exercise, and aging we want to share with you. Contact Evolved Medical for a free consultation.