If you’re wondering “what in the world are omega three fatty acids?” you are not alone. Most people aren’t aware about the all-encompassing omega 3 benefits and their key role – not only in staying (or getting) healthy, but in losing weight faster AND easier.
You’ll find out here all you need to know about omega 3 oils, including a bit of background on these vital nutrients to understand why now – more than ever – we need to be very careful about what we eat to stay healthy.
Before anything else, you should know that the omega 3 fatty acids (known as omega 3 oils, or omega-3 fats) are among the 44 specific elements essential for optimal health that our body can’t produce by itself; we get them from food: 14 vitamins, 20 minerals, 8 essential amino-acids and 2 types of essential fatty acids (EFAs): omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids.
But – unlike the omega 6 fatty acids, which are found in all vegetable oils, dairy, meats, nuts and seeds and abounding in a typical Western diet based on a large amount of processed foods – omega three fatty acids are far less common. They are only found in fatty fish, seafood and some seeds and nuts – so if you don’t eat enough of these you may have a problem – unless you take omega 3 supplements.
Thing is, if you don’t get enough omega 3 fatty acids from food you need to take omega 3 supplements, or else your health starts to deteriorate gradually over time, to the point where if you don’t get enough of them long enough, you die.
You may think that this is an exaggeration, but it’s not. As Dr. Udo Erasmus, #1 world-wide authority on oils & fats puts it:
Surprisingly, although the vital role omega three fatty acids play in human growth and health is known for almost a century, the understanding of their countless health benefits increased dramatically only in the last few decades.
After the ’70s scientists started to look more closely to the diet of Eskimos, who are virtually free of cardiovascular
disease and premature aging, despite consuming large amounts of fat from fish and seafood.
As a consequence of these important nutritional findings and as a result of increased contamination of ocean
reserves of fish (one of the most important omega 3 sources) with mercury, dioxine and other deadly pollutants, dietary supplements of omega three fatty acids are now largely available.
This is good news, since your body absolutely needs omega 3 oils in order to get and keep the weight off and avoid serious essential fatty acid deficiencies.
Don’t bother with the scientific names of omega 3 fatty acids…
- eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
…all you’ll want to remember is their popular name – i.e., omega 3 oils.
Omega 3 oils are also required in fat-burning and optimal weight maintenance… we’ve already talked about the omega 3 and weight loss connection.
Besides controlling the fat metabolism in your body, EFAs are key in regulating crucial functions like…
- brain development & learning ability
- metabolic rate & energy production
- blood pressure
- inflammation levels
- cholesterol levels
- stress reaction
- immune function
- digestive health
- ocular health
- hormonal health
- skin health
- sexual health and the production of steroid hormones
- optimal protection against age-related disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis
…and the list goes on.
As you can see, omega 3 fatty acids have crucial functions in your body. Just think about this:
- Your brain is mostly composed of phospholipids made from essential fatty acids – they are vital for all your nerve functions
- Omega 3 fatty acids are involved in the electrical activities of your heart and are required for all your energy needs
- Omega 3 oils are indispensable for your joints’ health, for all cellular growth and renewal and for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins in your body.
Speaking about omega three fatty acids, there’s one more thing you need to know: to function properly, your body needs a specific ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids, which should be 4/1 or lower – ideally 1/1. But the frustrating reality is that the current Western diet typically provides omega 6/omega 3 ratio in an alarmingly high ratio: 16/1 – and even 20/1.
That’s 4-5 times less omega 3s than the minimum that you need for good health!
As a result, the body’s balance of essential fatty acids is completely compromised, which results in many serious health problems. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health US Library of Medicine:
It’s taken some time, but scientists have finally realized that this imbalance of omega three fatty acids in relation to the omega 6 is particularly responsible for the skyrocketing levels of obesity, cardiovascular, autoimmune and degenerative diseases. We can only hope that the omega 3 benefits will continue to be popularized so that the Western diet – largely influenced by the Standard American Diet (SAD) – will be adjusted to correct the present-day dire reality. In contrast, the typical Mediterranean diet (well-known for its weight loss and health benefits) is one of the richest in healthy omega-3 fats.
However, we have the option of using good omega 3 supplements and choosing carefully our food-based omega 3 sources >>