Omega3 fatty acids, which belong to the larger category of polyunsaturated fats, are quite likely the most beneficial type of fats you can include in your daily diet. Chemically, they are polyunsaturated fatty acids containing a double bond at the omega-3 position of the carbon chain.
In short, this is an impressive cohort of positive effects which merits consideration.
Some of the omega-3 fatty acids (including EPA and DHA) are essential fatty acids,
meaning that our body is unable to synthesize them. As such, they have to be provided
by the food we eat. Our body then synthesizes other related fatty acids from these essential fatty acids. During this process, another type of fatty acids
are produced, the so-called omega6 fatty acids.
Omega6 fatty acids have an
important role in growth and dermal regeneration. However, if they accumulate in excess
amounts, they can have detrimental effects, in particular inflammatory action.
For maintaining one’s health, the optimal ratio of omega6 to omega3 fatty acids ranges
from 1/1 to 4/1. Western diets, however, due to their high content of vegetable oils,
provide a ratio of roughly 10/1. This constitutes a
gross excess of omega6 fatty acids, which is likely to be detrimental to one’s health.
To improve this ratio, supplemental omega-3 fatty acids need to be added to one’s daily
The FDA recommends a maximum of 3 gram of omega-3 fatty acids per day, out of
which maximum 2 grams from supplements (fish oil capsules). Fish oil is a good source of
omega-3, however it may contain traces of heavy metals, particularly mercury, lead,
nickel, arsenic and cadmium.
- Fish Oil
- Wild Fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines) – as opposed to farm fish. Note that fish do not make the omega-3 fatty acids, but take them in from algae. This is why farm fish, which are largely grain-fed and do not consume algae, have lower content of omega-3 and higher content of
omega-6 fatty acids. Oil from any of the wild fish enumerated above has a 7/1 omega-3
to omega-6 ratio (7 times as much omega-3 as omega-6 fatty acids). Oily fish such as
tuna has a lower omega-3 content, and carries a somewhat higher risk of heavy metal
- Flax and Flaxseed Oil
- Eggs from chicken fed a diet of greens and insects (rather than a diet of corn and soybean)
Omega-3 fatty acids, in doses of 2-3 grams per day, are considered helpful in weight
loss and weight control. This is most likely due to the fact they optimize the function of multiple body systems (including fat metabolism), thus allowing proper fat breakdown. In other words, omega-3 supplements ensure that your weight loss efforts are not wasted because of a sluggish metabolism.
For more information on Omega 3, follow the link below:
www.omega-3-for-your-health.com – Omega 3 is For Your Health.