Intelligent eating with omega-3 fatty acids

For decades, it was believed that fat consumption was responsible for the development of obesity. Fatty foods were frowned upon, salad was to be prepared without oil, and the food industry launched a variety of low-fat "light" products. These tasted like nothing, because fat is the most important flavor carrier, but one does everything one can to lose weight. After several years of "fat abstinence," it was disappointing to find that the light products did not help the obesity problem. On the contrary: The number of overweight people continued to increase.

Raw fish, shrimp, prawns, salmon

Fat is essential

Today we know that fat is part of a healthy diet. Of course, cheese and meat are still not recommended for a healthy diet, but all fats are not equal. Dietary fats perform important functions in the human body. Fat supports hormone production, helps in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, as well as in cell building and immune defense. All fats have the same chemical structure. They consist of glycerine and three fatty acids. However, the structure can be very different and is decisive as to whether a fat is considered healthy or unhealthy.

The different fatty acids

Saturated fatty acids can be found primarily in animal foods such as butter, sausage, meat and cheese, but also hidden in cakes, pastries or prepared meals. The body can produce them itself, so we don't have to feed it extra. Saturated fatty acids are mainly used as body or storage fat, which the body puts to use in "emergencies." For this reason, saturated fats should not be avoided but rather judiciously consumed.

Monounsaturated fatty acids can also be produced by the body from other fats. Nevertheless, monounsaturated fatty acids should remain in the daily diet because they have a positive effect on blood lipids. Vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil and olive oil, as well as nuts, seeds and avocados, are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids can not be produced by the body. They are vital and must therefore be consumed daily. A distinction is made between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids have beneficial effects on blood clotting, blood pressure and heart-protective HDL cholesterol. Due to its vascular protective effect, it prevents all diseases associated with it, such as strokes and heart attacks. The condition of our blood vessels is one of the most important factors in the state of our health. Fish, such as salmon, mackerel or tuna, are particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids. But even game meat or cattle reared with green fodder -- that is, organic meat -- also provide omega-3 fatty acids. Oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids include linseed oil and rapeseed oil. Nuts and green leafy vegetables also contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-6 fatty acids are mainly found in sunflower oil, safflower oil, soy oil, pumpkin seed oil and wheat germ oil. They lower the harmful LDL cholesterol and increase the healthy HDL cholesterol. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids should be at least 4:1. This is often not achieved, unless fish is on the diet two to three times a week. Therefore, the intake of omega-3 fatty acids may be useful as a dietary supplement.

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