Nutritional Values of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Excerpts by Drug Abuse Guru on May 1, 2011


Longhorn Cows and Omega 3Even if you’re not particularly interested in herbal medicine, you should know what omega 3 fatty acids are and what they do. This is a true wonder drug and most of the great things said about it are no hype. Most health supplements that contain omega 3 become an instant hit among consumers. The hype and the scientific evidence on the effectiveness of omega 3 as a health supplement has become overwhelming. Here are some reasons why this wonderful compound should be a part of a person’s diet.

Overview:

Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids: They are necessary for human health but the body can’ t make them — you have to get them through food. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon
, tuna, and halibut, other seafood including algae and krill, some plants, and nut oils. Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function, as well as normal growth and development. They have also become popular because they may reduce the risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon) at least 2 times a week.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation. It is important to have the proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 (another essential fatty acid) in the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, and most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation. The typical American diet tends to contain 14 – 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids, which many nutritionally oriented physicians consider to be way too high on the omega-6 side. (University of Maryland Medical Center) http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm

Increase the Presence of Good Cholesterol

Girl running with baby calfThe omega 3 fatty acids are also called poly-unsaturated fatty acids. If you’re just hearing about this compound, the term “fatty” may throw you off. This type of fatty acid is good for you. Early studies indicated that omega 3 can help lower the incidence of heart disease. Omega 3 fatty acid can help prevent blood clotting, which may cause several diseases inside the body. By improving the amount of high density lipoprotein inside the body, omega 3 fatty acids can help prevent hypertension. Increasing the good types of cholesterol (high density lipoprotein) will also benefit the body in so many ways. Also, people with healthy levels of high density lipoprotein can enjoy better psychological health for a longer time.

Where to Get It?

The source of omega 3 fatty acid has been subject for debate in the past decade. Fish oil has been proven as a good source of this compound. Many research works are now underway to find out which vegetable oils contain copious quantities of this compound. Omega 3 fatty acids are now available as herbal supplements, but people still want to get this nutrient from natural sources. Eat mackerel, salmon and sardines regularly if you don’t have salmon in your locality. For people who don’t take omega 3 supplements, fish needs to be in the diet on a bi-weekly basis. There are also food products that have been fortified with these compounds like breads and cereals. Although wild raised salmon is regarded as the champion fish source of omega 3, more farm raised salmon is at your local store than wild. The processed feed for farm raised salmon reduces the omega 3 content the same as grain fed cattle have less omega 3 than grass fed cattle. Over 80% of the fish consumed in the USA is imported from around the world. Many patriotic citizens enjoy buying USA products and are bothered by imported fish products.

Research the Facts

Grass fed beef, naturally grown in the USA, is a product of a known environment. Some consumers are finding that certain groups of cattle are actually superior to fish with consistent 1.45g omega 3 fatty acids per 3 oz serving. As more research is being done, the healthy life style of free range cattle is proving to not only be higher in omega 3, but also superior in protein (19g) iron, and low, zero (0) carbohydrates. (LHT Heat & Serve beef http://www.head2tail.com/beef/Images/beeflabel.jpg)

As confidence multiplies about eating local, ask your food provider about the *actual ingredients on all meat food products. Always check the official tested USDA omega 3 content on the package. All meats, vegetables and even herbal supplements are not created equal.

*Only purchase products with a USDA nutrition fact list. If it doesn’t have enough Omega 3 to test, don’t think it is a good source of Omega 3.

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