For a long time, only a generally low-fat diet was recommended as healthy. In the meantime, however, fat is considered an important component of a balanced diet.
It only depends on the proper selection. The essential fatty acids are fed into the body to fulfill important functions in us.
Unsaturated fats can be found in fatty Sea fish, in Soya, oilseed, Olive oil, in Flax or oil, in “exotics” such as black oil, but also in nuts or some cereals.
Omega 3 fatty acids are known as the Alpha Linolenic acids (ALA) exclusively from plant sources, as well as Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic (DHA), which occur mainly in fatty fish species.
ALA is essential to your body and can not be synthesized in the body itself, DHA and EPA, however, are produced under certain conditions in the body.
These fatty acids keep cell membranes and blood vessels very healthy, keep cholesterol levels low, inhibit inflammatory processes and control the hormonal balance.
How do Omega 3 fatty acids work?
Basically, the balanced diet includes protein, carbohydrates, fiber and fat. Nutrition experts have distinguished saturated and unsaturated fats.
The “health-damaging” products are not the ones with saturated fats. The problem is rather too high composition, but also their preparation.
While saturated fats can raise your cholesterol level, and unsaturated fat do worse by raising the bad cholesterol level and lower the good cholesterol level, this effect is directly proportional to its production and dosage.
In production, trans fats and other chemical compounds are produced. Moreover, fats and oils are heavily filtered and purified during production.
This may be hygienic and contribute to durability of the product but vital substances are also eliminated in the process.
Taking organic Omega 3 fatty acids which do not go through industrial processes is the way to go.
Natural Foods that are rich in Omega 3 fats
There are several foods that are high in Omega 3. You can get omega 3 fatty acids naturally from peanut butter which has high amount of linoleic acid as well as Avocado, with Alpha-linolenic acids.
Sea fishes are generally rich in Omega 3 fats, Sardines, Salmon, Halibut, Cod, Shark, Mackerel, Tuna, just to mention a few.
While Tuna and Mackerel are high in Omega 3, canned products will have lower content of it. Also, Shrimp is a sea food but not rich in Omega 3, only high in cholesterol.
There are other properties and condition of water which may affect the nutrient contents of this foods.
Also when processed, the omega 3 fats may be reduced while other additives are introduced.
To vegetarians, good sources of natural Omega 3 fats are nuts and vegetables.
Walnut, Chia seeds, Flaxseeds, Algai Oil, Perilla oil, Hemp seed, Brussels, Sprouts, Broccoli, amongst others are foods that high in Omega 3 and they’re not fish.
Chia seeds are unsurpassable in among nuts that are rich in Omega 3. Chia seeds contain up to 64% alpha-linolenic (ALA).
Flaxseeds can also offer a significant share of 55%.
AAlso, good sources for the essential unsaturated fatty acids are high-quality edible oils, preferably cold-pressed, such from Rapeseed oil, walnuts, linseed, soya or olives.
Vegetables such as leeks, soya beans, spinach or paprika are also rich in omega 3.
If the production is based on natural animal nutrition, dairy products and cheese also offer a good proportion.
Just after the walnuts, other nut species, such as pecans or pine nuts, Chia, linseed or psyllium can be easily processed together with other foods, sprinkle over yogurt or mix in cereals.
Is Vegetable Omega 3 fatty acid better?
Out of the three Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA (Eicosapentaenoic) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic) can only be found in micro seaweed and sea fish.
Alpha-linolenic (ALA) is more in herbal foods. Alpha-linolenic, however, is fortunately a “precursor” for the other two fatty acids and can be produced by the body itself.
DHA and EPA are considered biologically active and the optimal supply is easier when fish is on the menu.
There is no actual qualitative difference between plant and animal Omega 3.
In the meantime, even some edible oils in the market which contain an additive of DHA-producing microalgae are thus guaranteed to be supplied with this unsaturated fatty acid without any fish consumption.
What Omega fatty acid is good for?
A number of fat or mono acids are essential, that is, they must be fed through the food to fulfill certain vital tasks.
Omega 3 prevents the development of plaque in the arteries and abnormal heart rhythm.
For example, they provide improved flow properties of the blood and a balanced cholesterol level. Thus they prevent vascular and cardiovascular diseases, even in people who are already “risk patients”.
It thus helps reducing the risks of heart attack and stroke, and as well preventing cardiac death in people that are already suffering from heart disease.
Omega 3 fatty acids are also intended to prevent depression, anxiety or Alzheimer’s disease because they keep the vessels healthy.
Also, it enhances the brain’s performance during pregnancy and at early life of a baby.
A large study, named LipiDiDiet, could prove the formation of the amyloid beta 42 substance which is responsible for the vascular-destroying plaques in the brain can be slowed down or even prevented by continual administration of Omega 3, especially DHA.
DHA also contributes to the preservation of cognitive abilities in old age.
Testimonies of Omega 3 consumers
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How much Omega 3 fat you should take
According to the US food and drug administration, a daily intake of 3 gram of DHA and EPA combined should be okay.
The German Society for Nutrition recommend about 250 milligrams of DHA and EPA daily.
Over long period of dosage, scientists made it clear there are potential risks of taking omega 3 fats, either in organic or inorganic form.
Some possible side effects are the reduction in the functions of the immune system because it lowers the body’s inflammatory responses.
High doses of omega 3 fat may also increase bleeding time, cause Digestive issue, Diarrhea, nosebleed, heartburn, nausea, and unpleasant fishy breath.