03 December 2008

Not all fat are bad and make you hard to lose weight, in some instances this practice could actually be counterproductive to our weight loss efforts. Some fats are good for us. One of them is Omega-3 fatty acids.

What is Omega-3?

Omega-3 is essential for our body coz it can’t be produced by our body by itself. We must obtain this polyunsaturated fatty acids from the food we eat.

Omega-3 works closely with Omega-6 fatty acids, that;s why it’s important to maintain an appropriate balance of each in our diet. This balance should consist of roughly 1 to 4 times more Omega-6 fatty acids than Omega-3. Don’t get wrong with the 10 to 30 times more Omega-6 than Omega-3.

The health benefits of Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to :
  1. Reduce inflammation in joints, cholesterol, menstrual pain, the risk of some cancers (such as colon, prostate and breast cancer), risk of experiencing depression and risk of stroke
  2. Help prevent certain chronic diseases such as heart disease and arthritis
  3. Lower blood pressure
  4. Improve bone strength and reduce the impact of osteoporosis and lung function in those suffering Asthma
  5. Assist cognitive and behavioural functions and treatment of Diabetes
  6. Assist in treating or preventing Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  7. Assist in treating people with eating disorders (such as anorexia nervosa)
  8. Assist in treating burns and certain skin disorders
Omega-3 and weight loss

Omega-3 helps those of us with weight loss goals in at least four significant ways :
  • Omega-3 help regulate our blood sugar and insulin levels.
  • Omega-3 help us burn more fat.
  • Omega-3 help keep hunger at bay.
  • Omega-3 help reduce the risk or seriousness of ailments commonly associated with being overweight.
By reducing the insulin levels, Omega-3 fatty acids increase our body's ability to convert fat into energy and decrease the activity of enzymes known to promote fat storage when excess calories are consumed and keeps us feeling less hungry between meals, often resulting in total fewer calories being consumed. Omega-3 can help eliminate or reduce the risk of common ailments associated with obesity and being overweight like heart disease, diabetes by burn more fat each day and reduce our weight.

Dietary intake for Omega-3 on diets

The Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences in the U.S. issued Adequate Intake (AI) levels for linolenic acid, the initial building block for all Omega-3 fatty acids found in the body :
  • For teenage and adult males : 1.6 grams per day
  • For teenage and adult females : 1.1 grams per day
For a person consuming 8,400 kilojoules (2000 calories) per day, this means eating sufficient Omega-3 rich foods to provide at least 4 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids a day.

Sources of Omega-3
  • Fish : Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel, Sardines
  • Vegetable : Spinach, Broccoli, Chinese cabbage
  • Fruit : Cantaloupe
  • Walnuts
  • flaxseed
  • Canola oil
  • Kidney beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Halibut
  • Soybeans
  • Omega-3 supplements
It’s recommended to consult a qualified dietitian, naturopath, or another suitably qualified health care professional to see if doing so is appropriate given our individual circumstances.

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