All You Need To Know About Omega, In A Nutshell

You may have heard before about healthy fats: Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Decades ago, scientists thought that all fats were bad for your heart. They thought eating a low-fat diet would reduce your risk for heart disease overall because there wouldn’t be fat to clog your arteries. Today we know this is not true; in fact, if you eat the right ratio of healthy fats in the right amount, you can use them to prevent heart disease!

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are unsaturated fats, which are usually liquids at room temperature. Omega-3 fatty acid is primarily found in fish and fish oil, but is also found in small amounts in vegetables. Salmon is an excellent source. Omega-6 fatty acid is found in oils like olive and canola oil. Both of these types of unsaturated fat are essential, meaning your body cannot make them itself from carbohydrates or other fats, and requires them from your diet in order to function properly.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to increase your “good cholesterol”, your HDL. HDL is a group of lipids in your body that goes around to your veins and arteries and collectscholesterol from the area to help keep your arteries clear. Omega-3 fats are also shown to battle inflammation by blocking inflammatory processes. Studies have shown that if you consume fish, a food high in omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA and ARA, you have a lower risk of developing heart disease. Additionally, if your omega 3 to omega 6 ratio is high, thus you are eating more omega-3 fatty acids than omega-6 fatty acids, you likely also have a protective effect from heart disease. This is important to know because many people believe they can take an omega-3 supplement and gain heart health; however, this is not true if your overall consumption of fat is high. If you eat a lot of fat overall, and take a supplement which is a very small amount of fat, you likely will not do much to affect your risk for heart disease due to the ratio of omega-3 to other fats. It is the same as eating fried fish – you are doing well to consume the omega-3 fats in the fish, but the overwhelming amount of omega-6 fats in the oil you fried it in will cancel out most or all of the protective benefit.

Despite the fact that omega-3 is generally better for you than omega-6, omega-6 is still important. In order to consume a good ratio of fats overall, consume healthy fats in their most natural form. Instead of mostly cooking with oils or using oils to flavor your foods and salad dressings, try using avocados, olives, nuts and seeds. A good example of a heart healthy meal would be a salad with fish, avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, and a good sprinkling or balsalmic vinegar – healthy and delicious! You can use a little oil, just use it more sparingly. Try to avoid saturated fats from meats, butter, and dairy products.

More research is still needed on omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in order to tell how this protective effect can be used in the general population in medicine. However, as always the more natural foods you eat, the healthier you will be without the need to take supplements or pills! Eating the way nature intended – lots of whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish – is the most sure-fire way to gain health in any aspect.

Some speculate that he is part man, part animal, but the only thing that you need to know is his obsession and dedication to the art of living lean and helping you to achieve your body fat goals.


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