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Omega what??

On Blast:  Omega-3’s

If we have ever met in person, you’ve heard me mention (at least by minute 5) that EATING your omega-3’s through your diet is incredibly important.  There is a lot of fuss over supplements, but this Dietitian always recommends finding it in your diet first. 

What the heck is an omega-3?  Sound like a planet on Star Trek?  It’s not.  Well, I think it’s not.  It might be.  But I digress…omega-3’s are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) <droning on and on>.  The short version?  Okay, the short version.  They are fatty acids (structure found on unsaturated fat) found on long linked chains of unsaturated fats.  These PUFA have shown to do amazing things for our bodies.  Some of their many functions are listed below.

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Help maintain the integrity of cell membranes
  • Lower lipids in the bloodstream
  • Decrease excessive blood clotting
  • Decrease thickening of the arteries
  • Improve the body’s ability to respond to insulin
  • Help prevent cancer cell growth

Omega-3’s have also shown improvement in the following conditions:  depression, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, fatigue, flaky skin, poor concentration, joint discomfort, and brittle hair/nails.

Super great, but if I’m not buying the supplements, where do I get them and how much do I eat?  Amazing question. :o)  You eat them in more foods than you probably think!  Recommended Dietary Intake is 1.6g daily for men and 1.1g daily for women.  New research out is looking at the benefits of taking 2% of your total daily calories as omega-3 fats vs. taking 4% of your total daily calories from omega-3’s fats.  Will be interesting to see what the results are!  Below are some examples of where to find omega-3’s.

When you are grocery shopping, think flax seeds, chia seeds, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, fresh water salmon, cloves, sardines, herring, halibut, shrimp, cod, tuna, soybeans, tofu, kale, collard greens, brussel sprouts, and winter squash!

Verdict:  Load up on omega-3’s! 

Uncle Sam’s cereal with whole flax seeds is only $1.99 a box!  Great for baking or just eating with milk & banana.