Did you know that there are such things as good fats – fats that heal to counterbalance those that are not so good? Take in the wrong type of fat and you’ll end up with clogged arteries, too much weight on your frame and a predisposition for all manner of life restricting conditions. Conversely, a healthy dose of the good fats will promote joint strength, support muscle growth, enhance fat loss, improve blood sugar control and make you mentally shaper. Pretty compelling
reasons to engage in a little Fat 101.
Good Fats VS Bad Fats
Nutritionists now acknowledge two major categories of fat – saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats are primarily animal fats. With the exception of tropical oils they are solid (or semi-solid) at room temperature. Their ability to increase blood cholesterol makes saturated fats an enemy of your body.
Unsaturated fats can be either polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. They are mainly derived from vegetables and plants. Unsaturated fats are mostly liquid at room temperature. In contrast to saturated fats they have the ability to lower blood cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated fats contain healthy essential fatty acids (EFAs).
Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids are the fatty acids that your body cannot manufacture and, therefore, must be supplied through the foods you consume. The two main ones are Omega 3 and Omega 6. Most people have no trouble getting enough Omega 6, which is plentiful in red meats and refined grains. It is Omega 3 which is lacking in the Western diet. A recent study identified the
Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio of the typical Western diet as being 20:1. There is, therefore, a real need to increase our intake of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to improve the risk factors associated with heart disease. They may be able to reduce triglyceride levels by 15-30%, reduce blood pressure, increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, and reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. They have also been shown to enhance arterial smoothness and to reduce the release of certain inflammatory by-products.
Omega 3 fatty acids have been found to help alleviate the symptoms of depression. In one study, supplementing with omega-three was shown to be as effective as a common antidepressant in combating depression.
Omega 3 has also been shown to be beneficial to eye health. DHA, a type of omega-three fatty acid, is a key structural component of the retina. A deficiency in omega-three will lead to vision problems. However, having a healthy supply of DHA has been linked with a reduced risk of macular degeneration.
10 Key Reasons to Get More Omega 3
- Improve insulin sensitivity
- Improve joint health
- Improve energy
- Enhance oxygen transfer
- Suppress cortisol production
- Improve skin texture
- Promote muscle growth
- Increase your metabolism
- Help burn fat
- Reduce Inflammation in the Body
10 Great Sources of Omega-3 Good Fats
You should add at least one rich source of Omega 3 good fats into your diet every day. The best source of Omega 3 is fatty fish. Plant sources such as flaxseeds and walnuts are also rich sources of Omega 3. Ground flaxseed is a great way to get your Omega 3. It can be used as a baking ingredient and even sprinkled on salads. Here are the best sources to obtain you Omega 3 good fats, including some top sources for those on vegan diets:
- Albacore tuna
- Fish Oil
- Krill Oil
- Flaxseed Oil
Many people actually take a supplement to make sure that they are getting enough of this amazing fat source. 1.5 to 2.0 grams per day is an ideal dose. Alternatively you may wish to take one tablespoon of flaxseed oil per day. However you get it, make it your aim to eat more good fat in order to help your body to rid itself of bad fat.