EAT Healthy Fats


2017-09-06BLOG-AW-PictureLABEL-bigstock-Food-With-Omega--Fats-163696004Fats are crucial for human life and health. Healthy fats nourish the body, delight our taste buds and make us full and happy. As we eat the healthy essential fatty acids we build and strengthen our bodies. Know your healthy omega-3s and omega-6s and EAT with pure enjoyment. Real food tastes great. Healthy can actually be tasty. 

Our bodies require healthy fat for survival; proper neurological and brain function, cell membrane maintenance, mood regulation, muscle growth and hormone production, just to name a few.

Omega-3 and omega-6 are essential fatty acids. Our bodies do not make them on their own and we need to obtain them from our diet. Both are polyunsaturated fatty acids that differ from each other.

In general, hormones derived from the two classes of essential fatty acids have opposite effects. Omega-6 fatty acids tend to increase inflammation (an important component of the immune response), blood clotting, and cell proliferation. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease those functions. The body constructs hormones from omega-6 fatty acids. Both families of hormones must be in balance to maintain optimum health, so there are some omega-6 benefits.

Humans, before relying heavily on processed foods, ate roughly equal parts omega-3 and omega-6. Now with our processed foods so high in unhealthy omega-6 fatty acids, our health, in general, is declining. Making this over-simplified: eating the wrong omega-6s can contribute to inflammation in our bodies which can contribute to illness and disease.

As a certified health coach, focused on mind & body wellness, I do not recommend counting much of anything. Instead of tracking and counting, I focus on enjoying healthy food and life. Here is a list of both omega-3 and omega-6 healthy essential fatty acids. By focusing on getting more of these into our diet, the unhealthy omega-6s will fade away because we will feel full, satisfied and nourished from the healthy essential fatty acids.

To gain the best benefits, include dietary fats that are from organic, unprocessed and non-GMO whole foods.

Healthy Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (Linolenic Acid)

Keep in mind that farm-raised fish is inferior to wild-caught fish, due to its level of contamination and also its nutrient and omega-3 content.

  • Salmon (low-mercury fatty fish like sockeye salmon)
  • Sardines
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Black cod
  • Bluefish
  • Tuna
  • Trout
  • Whitefish
  • Anchovies
  • Egg yoke
  • Grass-fed butter
  • Grass-fed meat

Nuts & Seeds 

  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseeds – ground
  • Chia seeds
  • Hempseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Brazil nuts

Vegetables highest in omega-3

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Watercress
  • Dark green leafy vegetables, including kale, spinach, purslane, mustard greens, and collards
  • Sea vegetables (technically algae – most popular are Arame, Dulse, Hijiki, Kelp, Kombu, Nori and Wakame)

Oils (Any oil that has gone rancid can cause inflammation. Cooking at high heats, microwaving, or frying will oxidize the fats, not good.)

  • Mustard oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Hemp oil
  • Flaxseed oil (which has the highest linolenic content of any food)
  • Fish oil
  • Cod liver oil (use gel caps if you do not like the taste)

Healthy Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids (Linolenic Acid)

  • Meat, eggs, dairy products
  • Hemp seeds
  • Spirulina

Nuts & Seeds

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds – raw
  • Pignolia (pine) nuts and pistachios
  • Pistachios

Oils (Any oil that has gone rancid can cause inflammation. Cooking at high heats, microwaving, or frying will oxidize the fats, not good.)

  • Evening primrose oil
  • Borage oil
  • Black currant seed oil
  • Safflower
  • Sunflower oil
  • Poppyseed oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Grapeseed
  • Walnut oil
  • Rice bran oil

Healthy Omega-9 Essential Fatty Acids (Oleic Acid)

Omega-9 technically is not classified as an essential fatty acid since our bodies can manufacture it. However, foods rich in oleic acid are still recommended because of the role it plays in cancer protection, and decreasing the risk of heart attacks and arteriosclerosis.

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Olives
  • Avocados
  • Nuts such as almonds, peanuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts
  • Sesame oil
  • Acai berry

Did you notice that I did not include peanut, corn and soy products in my lists? Are you eating your healthy fats and enjoying them?

LOGO-name and biz

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