Welcome to the Healthy Way Diet Program! Our focus is providing nutritionally sound and medically researched information and advice to help you live healthier, happier lives.
Understanding the Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have been the subject of much discussion, and The Healthy Way Diet Manual discusses their benefits in detail. Many in the medical world agree that these essential nutrients offer the body numerous benefits. A deficiency of Omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to brain disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. Some research suggests that a regular intake of Omega-3 fatty acids may even help overweight individuals shed those unwanted pounds.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, and they are critical elements in a number of bodily functions, particularly brain function. The best sources of Omega-3 are fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and tuna, but make sure you are buying only wild fish- not farm-raised. Omega-3 can also be found in soybeans, walnuts, canola and flax oil. It is suggested that vegetarians who don’t eat fish make it a point to supplement their diet with Omega-3.
Good for brain functioning
The human brain is comprised of sixty percent fat of which approximately half is the Omega-3 fatty acid, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). For proper growth and development of the brain, it is essential to include Omega-3 fatty acids in your daily diet. It is interesting to note that cow’s milk is high in saturated fat and low in DHA, while human mother’s milk is low in saturated fat and higher in DHA. These high levels of DHA are needed by the human brain at a time of rapid development, as you see in infants.
Deficiency of Omega-3 fatty acids has been associated with a variety of psychological disorders ranging from mild mood disorders and anxiety, to depression and bipolar disorder. Attention Deficit Disorder and the debilitating Alzheimer’s disease have both been linked to a deficiency of Omega-3 in the diet.
Keep heart disease at bay
Numerous studies cited by the American Heart Association confirm a reduced risk of death from heart disease and strokes among participants who regularly consumed fish oil. We’ve all heard that those at risk of heart attack should take an aspirin every day. This is recommended because aspirin is a blood thinner and thinner blood travels more freely through the arteries and is less susceptible to clotting. Omega-3 fatty acids help in the same way. They aid blood circulation and help prevent the clumping of platelets in the blood, which can lead to a heart attack.
Omega-3 fatty acids can also reduce the level of triglycerides in the body. In combination with ‘bad’ cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides can increase the risk of heart attacks. In addition, Omega-3 has been found to raise HDL (good) cholesterol.
Taking 3 or more grams of fish oil daily has also been found to lower blood pressure in participants suffering from hypertension.
To help protect yourself against heart-related diseases; it is advisable to include Omega-3 in your daily diet.
Help fight Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoporosis, and Diabetes
Studies cited by The University of Maryland Medical Center have found Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation to have a positive effect on a variety of illnesses including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoporosis, and Diabetes.
Joint pain and stiffness associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis was alleviated with fish oil supplements, and some participants were able to lower their dosage of prescription medications.
Omega-3 fatty acids may increase calcium, bone strength, and bone density, thereby reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
High HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides are typically found in those suffering from Diabetes. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil have been found to help reduce triglycerides and raise HDL.
If you are suffering from any of these illnesses, it is worth speaking to a health care professional about the benefits of Omega-3.
Positive links between Omega-3 fatty acids and reduction in rates of various cancers have been shown time and time again. Studies have shown reduced risk of colorectal cancer for those with diets high in fatty fish, as well as showing reduced progression in those already diagnosed with the disease.
Some research has found that women with diets high in Omega-3 fatty acids may have a reduced risk of breast cancer, and men on low-fat diets that include Omega-3 fish oil may have some protection against prostate cancer.
A study conducted by the University of South Australia found that a combination of aerobic exercise and fatty acid supplementation led to a reduction in body fat. A separate study from Trinity College Dublin found that cancer patients who were given Omega-3 fatty acid supplements showed an increased preservation of muscle mass and body composition as compared to the control group.
There are only a handful of studies currently connecting weight loss and muscle mass benefit with Omega-3, but it is worth continuing to follow the research.