Some people may find it difficult to believe that fat is crucial to good health, but it’s true.
Fatty acids are critical for the normal production and functioning of cells, organs, nerves, and muscles. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are necessary to everyone’s diet. Because the body doesn’t produce them, these fatty acids must be obtained from food. However, in order to get enough Omega-3 fats from food it would be necessary to eat large amounts of fish such as sardines, herring, trout, anchovies and wild salmon. The majority of people don’t eat enough fish and those that do often don’t eat the right type of fish.
Other good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are dark green leafy vegetables, walnuts, and flaxseed. Since Omega-3 fatty acids obtained from vegetarian sources isn’t processed as easily as the Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, a daily supplement of fish oil capsules is a viable alternative for vegetarians or for those who aren’t fond of fish.
Omega-3 fats have numerous health benefits. Research indicates it can lower triglycerides and boost heart health. Studies have also found it can benefit patients with depression, age-related memory problems, anxiety, and rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 fats have been utilized to help stabilize heartbeat and reduce blood pressure and joint inflammation. In addition, clinical studies show Omega-3 is essential for vision development in infants and may help protect adults from macular degeneration and glaucoma.
The standard American diet contains large amounts of processed food and meat which contain substantial amounts of Omega-6, or bad fatty acids. This appears to be a factor in the cause of a number of serious health problems. One of the best ways to improve diet is to eat fewer foods that are high in Omega-6 fatty acids and eat more foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
In order to decrease the amount of Omega-6 fatty acids, avoid highly processed and fried foods. Many cooking oils are very high in Omega-6 fatty acids. Trans-fats interfere with the body’s absorption of Omega-3 and may contribute to a number of serious diseases such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and immune system disorders.
In summary, if sufficient Omega-3 fats cannot be obtained through food, a supplement is recommended. Before using any supplement, always talk with a doctor. She or he may have specific recommendations regarding supplements as it pertains to individual health concerns and prescription medications.