Curb Your Hunger With Omega-3s
How a fatty acid can be good for you
The word ‘fat’ has the power to evoke great fear and anxiety. Not surprisingly, it is also one of the most misunderstood words.
Fats, found in oil, meat, veggies, and dairy products are what make food yummy and there is no denying the role they play in infusing the most heady aromas and flavors into all kinds of cuisines.
But more than that, some fats are very important for your healthy physical development. So, worry not that Omega-3 is called a fatty acid, that’s a good thing and our body needs it.
There are two kinds of fatty acids – saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats stay solid at room temperature whereas unsaturated fats are liquid and are further divided into two types – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
Our body cannot make a few essential polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6 and therefore needs to get them from food.
As compared to Omega-6, which is found in vegetable oils, egg yolk, meats in general (particularly organ meats), and other animal-based foods, we need very little Omega-3 for the overall development of our body.
A good source for omega 3 is not just oily fish like salmon and mackerel, but also soy beans, pumpkin seeds, hemp & flax oil, walnuts, and green leafy veggies including parsley, spinach, cabbage and broccoli.
The Omega effect
- Essential for development of the brain and eyes
- Reduces inflammation and blood clotting
- Treats heart diseases, psoriasis and arthritis
- May prevent breast and pancreatic cancer and inhibit growth of tumors
- May be helpful in cases of depression and anxiety
- Women who consume enough Omega-3 have very little menstrual discomfort
- Flax seed oil, which is very rich in Omega 3 brings life back to dry and lifeless hair and treats itchy scalps and dandruff
How Omega-3 works
This fatty acid regulates blood sugar levels, so you do not feel hungry as often. It also increases your metabolic rate, so you can burn away more calories.
Once started in earnest, an Omega-3 rich diet can reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity. However, diabetics are warned that too much oily fish may increase their blood glucose levels. Easy does it.
(Although inconclusive, some studies have shown people who are obese can lose weight by consuming evening primrose oil, an Omega-6 fatty acid.)
How much should you eat?
Those who can incorporate fish in their diet are recommended eating it thrice a week. The alternative is fish oil supplements. Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, dietary supplements should be taken only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.
The only word of caution when it comes to consuming fish for their Omega-3 content is that a lot of pollutants remain in the fish’s body if it is only lightly steamed or grilled, so make sure that the fish you buy is fresh and cooked well.
Or you may wish to consume flax seed oil or cod liver oil on a regular basis. Note: For best absorption, flax seed oil should be followed by a half cup of plain yogurt or cottage cheese.
Note that doctors recommend the overall fat in your diet should be less than 30 percent of your total consumption. And a healthy diet should consist of roughly one omega-3 fatty acid to four omega-6 fatty acids.
It may seem ironic — incorporating a fatty acid to burn away more calories, but rest assured there’s nothing fishy about Omega-3.