Omega 3 Fatty Acids

What are Omega 3 Fatty Acids?
·   Omega 3 fatty acids are an essential fatty acid.  This means that the body cannot turn the other fats we are eating into Omega 3’s, and we have to get them from our diet.
· There are three types of Omega 3’s: LNA (α-Linolenic acid), EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid).  They are found in different amounts in different food products.  Nuts and seeds are highest in LNA, where seafood is higher in EPA and DHA.

Why do you need Omega 3 fats?
·  Studies have shown that that Omega 3 fats help prevent coronary artery disease, hypertension, and other diseases such as inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. 
·   They lower the amount of lipids (fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides) circulating in the bloodstream.
·  Omega 3 fats promote healthy cell membranes.  Healthy cell membranes can hold onto water and vital nutrients better.

How much Omega 3 do you need?
·  An adequate intake of Omega 3 for men is 1.6 g/day, and for women is 1.1 g/day.
·  Salmon, flax seed, and walnuts are excellent sources of Omega 3, try to include them in your diet regularly.  About 1 tsp flax seed in your cereal, 4-5 walnut halves, or eating salmon twice a week is a good amount.
·     If getting those foods in your diet is hard, you may need to supplement.
·   Many stores carry Omega 3 supplements.  Look for one that just contains Omega 3, and not both Omega 3 and 6.  Omega 6 is found in many foods you are getting in your diet, for example many oils, like canola oil and also in margarine, and most people don’t need to supplement with more of it.
·   Because they are fish oil, storing them in the freezer will eliminate any fishy smell they may have.
Image from here

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