What Are Healthy Fats?
By Travis Coblentz
Fat is often viewed negatively and, due to its bad reputation, little is known of its healthy importance to the body. We truly cannot live without Omega-3 fats. Omega-3’s play a key role in every single cell membrane in our body and are essential, which means that the body needs them but doesn’t produce them. Most people with “American” diets have too much Omega-6 fats but not enough Omega-3 fats. This puts a stress on our bodies because they are severely out of proportion and they both fight in the body. Most westerners have an Omega-3 to Omega-6 proportion of 1:20 and even up to 1:50, when the preferred ratio is around 1:1.
Omega-3’s have been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by lowering triglyceride or blood fat levels. They reduce the symptoms and risk of diabetes and depression, and they are able to help with the effects of ADHD. Research has also shown that Omega-3’s are able to encourage production of chemicals in the body that help control inflammation which helps with joint pain and Rheumatoid arthritis. Fish oil is able to regulate serotonin levels which are crucial for mood.
There are multiple different ways of getting Omega-3 fats in your daily diet. We find them most abundantly in fish like fresh caught salmon, mackerel and herring. Omega-3’s are also found in walnuts, sunflower and flax seed, olive oil, Brussel sprouts, and cauliflower. You should limit your intake of Omega-6 fats which are found mostly in vegetable sources such as vegetable cooking oils.
Supplements are another option, but come with a drawback. Whole food options are always better because your body can absorb them more efficiently than supplement or pill forms. The best way to get proper nutrients is with whole foods and to use supplements sparingly to fill in gaps rather than your main source. An easy way to get the needed Omega-3’s each week would be to eat fish at least twice weekly.
Do not fear fats whatsoever! Healthy omegas can help you lead a healthier and more complete life. They are crucial to everyday cellular maintenance and the overall wellbeing of the body. Every single person should be taking advantage of Omegas and should somehow take them in on a regular basis.
What Are Healthy Fats?