Everyone on hearing is called “Omega-3 fatty acids”. Indeed, of all the fats, these have been most popular. But for what are they so favored by nutritionists, nutritionalians, fitness trainers and admirers of a healthy lifestyle? Let’s figure it out. And we suggest starting from the very beginning – with the role of fats in our diet and with what they are.
Let it be fat!
For a long time, the recommendations of nutritionists, fitness trainers and nutritiologists included a mandatory item: avoid fat! It was believed that they are the main threat of harmony, and it is the excess fat that is deposited in adipose tissue. Now the lipophobia period has passed. Science and practice proved that the main enemy of slender waists and flat tummies are not fats, but carbohydrates.
If the energy extracted from them is not used, it is immediately stored in fat cells and is located in places that become problematic from this. Therefore, lipophobia quickly changed to carbophobia. And fats have become part of the cherished formula of healthy nutrition – BJU. After all, thanks to fats, the body can absorb vitally important vitamins – A, E, K, D. They are fat-soluble.
That’s why you need to add a little fat to the carrot juice – otherwise you will indulge the taste buds, and beta-carotene will not be digested. From the lack of fat in the diet suffer joints, hair dry up and become brittle, on the skin appear rashes. And this can lead to an acceleration of catabolic processes in the body. So fat in the diet – yes! It is important only to know which one.
Art is divided into three
All fats are divided into three large classes – trans fats, saturated and unsaturated fats. Absolute taboos are superimposed only on the first of the list.
- Trans fats. Unlike other species, trans fats are harmful in any amount. They contain absolutely no useful substances, and at the same time they are capable of increasing the level of bad cholesterol, slowing down the processes of excretion of degradation products, contributing to the development of diseases of the cardiovascular system, and the like. In America, a special program has been introduced, aimed at excluding such substances from food production. Most trans fats are found in fast food, baked goods, snacks and semi-finished products.
- Saturated fats. They are found in products of animal origin, as well as in two vegetable oils – palm and coconut. There is a stereotype that the consumption of animal fat and these oils should be avoided, they are very harmful. In fact, this is half-truth. Yes, saturated fats are not as useful as unsaturated fats. They really can help raise the level of cholesterol in the blood and significantly increase the risk of obesity. But only if their diet is too much. In a moderate amount of saturated fats are useful and even necessary – only they contain vitamin A. Without it, immunity will weaken, cells can not recover qualitatively. In addition, it is this vitamin that helps maintain a stable hormonal background. So do not exclude from your diet saturated fats, but monitor their quantity. They should account for one third of all fats that make up the diet. Leave the remaining two thirds unsaturated.
- Unsaturated fats. The main functions that are assigned to unsaturated fats are to suppress inflammatory processes and maintain the body in a tonus. Their peculiarity is that they do not lead to obesity. And also that the organism can not produce them on its own. These substances can enter it only from the outside. It is to the unsaturated class that the “family” of omega-3 fatty acids refers: Omega-3, 6 and 9. The most useful of these doctors are Omega-3 fatty acids.
The Benefits of Omega-3 Fats
- Omega-3 acids protect the vessels from the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. This means that the cardiovascular system is reliably protected, and the risk of heart attack, stroke and pressure problems is reduced. Moreover, American scientists have proved that a sufficient amount of these fatty acids in the diet is able to protect even from Alzheimer’s disease. They also improve cognitive functions of the brain (memory, perception) and stimulate brain activity. If any of these diseases or conditions have already occurred, Omega-3 will facilitate the exit from them and speed up the rehabilitation.
- Omega-3 is considered an excellent antioxidant. They inhibit the aging of cells and improve their ability to renew. In addition, there is an opinion that this property also reduces the risk of oncological diseases.
- Omega-3 affects the stability of a person’s psychological state. People who consume sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids are less prone to apathy and depressive states. They will also help in the syndrome of chronic fatigue, fatigue, disability.
- Fatty acids of this type have a valuable property for maintenance of harmony property – they suppress appetite and reduce the production of insulin. They will be appreciated by those who do sports. Omega-3 can increase the endurance of the body and improve its overall tone.
- The positive properties of these acids were noted by cosmetologists. People whose diet is rich in Omega-3, good skin, they do not have problems with hair and nails. So these acids can be safely called the acids of beauty.
Where to look?
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in different foods. For example, there are a lot of them in the fish of fatty varieties. First of all it is trout, salmon, sardines, herring, anchovy, tuna, etc. Good sources of such substances will be vegetable oils, mainly flaxseed, rapeseed, walnut and wheat germ. There are Omega-3s also in chicken eggs. These fatty acids are also found in broccoli, green soybeans, nuts and many other foods.
To get the daily rate of these fatty acids, you can, for example, include in the diet of any of the following list:
- 1 tbsp. rapeseed oil,
- 1 tbsp. flaxseed oil,
- 1 tbsp. flax seeds,
- 8 nuts,
- 70 g of salmon,
- 90 g of canned sardines,
- 120 g of canned tuna.
Omega-3 is popular not only as a component of a healthy diet, but also as a biologically active supplement to it. Once cod liver oil was taken in its pure form, but now the useful acids are packed in a shell, which reliably conceals the unpleasant taste and smell of the contents. Just one capsule will cover the daily need for fatty acids! However, it is better to try to build your menu so that it has enough Omega-3. We assure you, it is possible.
Omega-3 in the diet
Thinking through the menu, it is important to consider not only the amount of essential fatty acids, but also how well they will master. In other words, to get the maximum effect, provide a decent company for Omega-3. Here are a few unbeatable options.
- Replace sunflower oil with other vegetable oils rich in Omega-3. For example, walnut, sesame, rape, linseed. Of course, their tastes will need to get used to. On the other hand, the same set of vegetables will have a different taste, if you fill it with different oils.
- Eat fish. Nutritionists say that it should be present in the diet at least three times a week – this is the absolute minimum. The more often, the better. And it should be fresh, not frozen.
- Start the morning with a spoonful of flaxseed. This will provide a daily rate of Omega-3 and may be the most successful option for those who find it difficult to switch to unaccustomed to taste vegetable oils. Another way to apply flax seeds is to add them to salads, cereals or any other dishes. Seeds can be used as a whole, and chopped – for example, in a coffee grinder.
- Add nuts and seeds to the usual dishes. Macadamia, pecans, almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds are rich in Omega-3 fats, so they will not only be tasty, but also a useful addition to a salad of vegetables or fruits, meat, porridge and other dishes. In addition, they will get a great snack.
- Eat more vegetables and greens, rich in Omega-3. Spinach, broccoli, Brussels and cauliflower, radish, Jerusalem artichoke, oregano, marjoram and basil – in all these gifts of nature, too, many essential fatty acids. Vegetarians and vegans know this well, which in large numbers include them in their menu.