Omega Fatty Acids: what they are, how they contribute to a healthy diet, and where to find them in and out of Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Fats are not the monster in your kitchen, there are actually some fats that help you on your healthy journey. Yes, we do want to avoid consuming saturated fats, Most experts recommend that we get 30% of our calories from fat, although we can survive fine on as little as 20%, even 10%. Most Americans consume about 40% of their calories from fats in meat, butter, cheese, baked goods, (usually these are saturated fats) but polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fats and the monounsaturated fats, or omega-9 fats — are healthy in moderation. Including these fats in the correct ratios as part of a well rounded healthy diet can help make you feel more satisfied and make losing weight easier.
What are they?
Omega 3’s are associated with anti-inflammatory actions. They have a carbon–carbon double bond located three carbons from the methyl end of the chain. That is what the 3 stands for. You can find Omega 3 in oils from some seeds, fish and microalgae, as well as dietary supplements that come in oil form. Several different omega-3s exist, but the majority of scientific research focuses on three: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). When you purchase supplements they will often list ALA, DHA and EPA on their contents.
Strong evidence supports the consumption of Omega 3’s for Rheumatoid Arthritis, age related macular degeneration, infant health and neural development, a variety of cancers, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Scientists are also developing research to assess the use of Omega 3’s in depression, Inflammatory bowel disease, childhood allergies, Cystic fibrosis but no conclusive research or recommendations are currently accepted by the FDA.
Omega 9 are associated with protective benefits from saturated fats and better insulin sensitivity.They have a carbon–carbon double bond located nine carbons from the methyl end of the chain. Omega 9, also known as Oleic acid, is the most common omega-9 fatty acid and the most common monounsaturated fatty acid in the diet.
Omega-9 fatty acids can be produced by the body so they are not considered “essential” like Omega 3, and 6. In fact, omega-9 fats are the most abundant fats in most cells in the body.
However, consuming foods rich in omega-9 fatty acids instead of other types of fat may have a number of beneficial health effects.
One large study found that high-monounsaturated fat diets could reduce plasma triglycerides by 19% and “bad” very-low-density-lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol by 22% in patients with diabetes. Another study showed consumption of Omega 9 in mice lead to increased insulin sensitivity, and reduced inflammation…even in mice with high saturated fat consumption.
Omega 6’s are associated with pro-inflammatory actions. Omega 6 fats have a carbon–carbon double bond located sic carbons from the methyl end of the chain. They are also known as Linoleic Acid. Inflammation is a key component to our immune system, and we cannot make Omega 6 so we do need to consume it, just in moderation. We can find Omega 6 fatty acids in most vegetable oils and some nuts. It is very easy to consume enough Omega 6 so instead we need to concentrate on getting the correct ratio of Omega 6-Omega 3-Omega 9