Saturday, February 22, 2014

Omega 3-6-9: There's more than one kind!

You probably wouldn’t typically think that something is good for you if it has the word “fatty” in it. But in this case, you would be fooled. When you hear or read “essential fatty acid,” the term omega-3 may come to mind, but did you know there are two other omegas? Actually, they are all an important part of your heart health too.

The “Fatty” Facts
Omega fatty acids are healthful, unsaturated fatty acids that have been linked to a decreased risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer, to improved joint health, and to brain development. There are three types: omega-3, omega-6,and omega-9. The typical American gets anywhere from10 to 30 times more omega-6 than omega-3.Because of this, the American Heart Association and other medical experts recommend eating oily seafood at least twice a week to increase your omega-3 intake.

Foods like these are full of omega 3-6-9, and they taste good too!

Omega-3

  • Cannot be made in the body; it must be acquired from food
  • Helps to develop the building blocks for hormones involved in blood clotting, inflammation, and contracting and relaxing arterial walls
  • May reduce risk of stroke, heart attack, and cancer
  • May control rheumatoid arthritis
  • Is found in: oily fish - including salmon, tuna, and trout (farm-raised fish have less omega-3 fatty acid than fish from oceans, lakes, and rivers), canola oil, safflower oil, olive oil, corn oil, flaxseed, soybeans, walnuts, and pecans

Omega-6

  • Cannot be made in the body; it must be acquired from food
  • Is found in: peanut oil, soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, meats, eggs, and dairy products

Omega-9

  • Produced in the body, but you still get health benefits if consumed in foods
  • Helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke by decreasing bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing good cholesterol (HDL)
  • Is found in: canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, and sunflower oil


Focus on these “fatty” acids and the foods where you can find them, because your heart will thank you for it.

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