Good Fats/Bad Fats: Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fats

0
227

If you ask folks what food group they should avoid, most will probably answer “fats.” While it’s true that, in large amounts, some types of fat are bad for your health (not to mention your waistline), there are some we simply can’t live without.

Among them are the omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods including walnuts, some blood “sticky” so it is able to clot. But when omega-6s aren’t balanced with sufficient amounts of omega-3s, problems can ensue.

“When heart disease should get 1 gram of omega-3s (containing both EPA and DHA) per day, preferably from fatty fish.

But even if you don’t like fish (or choose not to eat it), you can still get what you need from dietary sources. WebMD Weight Loss Clinic “Recipe Doctor” Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, says one answer lies in plants rich in omega-3s — particularly kidney beans, spinach, grape leaves, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, and walnuts.

“About an ounce — or one handful — of walnuts have about 2.5 grams of omega-3s,” says Sandon. “That’s equal to about 3.5 ounces of salmon.”

Besides getting more omega-3s, you can also help your heart by replacing some omega-6s from cooking oils with a third fatty acid known as omega-9 (oleonic acid). This is a monounsaturated fat found primarily in olive oil.

Though it is not considered “essential” (the body can make some omega-9), by substituting it for oils rich in omega-6s, you can help restore the balance between omega-3s and omega-6s, plus gain some additional health benefits.

“Factors found in olive oil can also help boost the good supplements are not regulated in the U.S., Sandon says, some may contain concentrated amounts of the same toxins found in fresh fish. And because the oil is so concentrated, the saturated fat, 1 grams monounsaturated fat, 1.9 grams polyunsaturated fat), 7 milligrams cholesterol, 2.3 grams fiber, 79 milligrams sodium. Calories from fat: 26%. Omega-3 fatty acids = 1.5 grams. Omega-6 fatty acids = 0.4 gram.