Don’t Overlook this Essential Fat
Omega 3’s are classified as essential fatty acids. These are important because unlike most other fats, the body cannot synthesize and must be consumed in the diet. If your body is deficient in this fat then you are directly affecting your health and putting yourself at a major disadvantage of achieving an optimal body composition.
Benefits of Omega 3’s:
- aid in satiety and appetite suppression
- aid in controlling blood sugar
- aids in digestive health and fat oxidation
- aid in heart and mental health
The above functions ALL (directly and indirectly) help to control body weight and improve your overall health. The better your gut/digestive system functions, the better it will use your nutrients to fuel and power your body. You’ll feel better with more energy and have less inflammation and stress from trying to digest your food. Your body will be more efficient at turning fat into energy as well, meaning it is easy to use or burn fat as a fuel source.
One well studied function of Omega 3 fatty acids are the ability to control and stabilize blood sugar. If we control blood sugar then you will have sustained energy for longer, you won’t crave food when you’re not hungry, and you are less likely to experience the dreaded mid afternoon crash. Eating Omega 3’s with meals has also shown to increase meal satisfaction for longer and help keep you away from those mid meal snacks.
Another benefit of Omega 3’s are it's function to improve protein synthesis in older adults and help combat sarcopenia. As we age, protein synthesis slows down and our body starts breaking down protein tissue from muscles, bone, etc which leads to scarcopenia and frailty. Omega 3’s help the body to synthesize more protein to rebuild muscle tissue and help prevent sarcopenia. The more lean muscle tissue and bone density we preserve as we age, the better our ability level and life expectancy.
Other studies have found that people who suffer from depression have lower Omega 3 levels in their red blood cell membranes. There is a relationship between your gut and mental health. Studies have shown that people who suffer from depression have difficulty finding the motivation to exercise, eat a healthy diet, and get optimal sleep. All these things separately and together significantly affect your health and ability to maintain a healthy weight.
Beware: Omega 3’s and 6’s compete for the same receptors in the body and you have a limited amount. Omega 6’s are in nuts, seeds, chicken, and processed oils. The latter is overwhelming in the American diet, ESPECIALLY if you eat out often or buy your food premade or packaged. If you get a lot of Omega 6’s then your body might not have enough receptors to absorb your Omega 3’s.
The best sources of Omega 3’s are fish and grass fed red meat. Other sources include brussel sprouts, eggs, chia seeds, and walnuts
Eat your fish and grass fed meats. Many studies have noted that our modern diet, even with fish and grass fed meat, doesn’t supply enough Omega 3’s. To help this problem I highly recommend taking fish oil supplements up to 4 grams/ day. When it comes to supplements, 3rd party tested supplements are preferred.
Some good brands are: Nordic Naturals, Spectrum, Onnit, Natural Factors.
Live Healthier, Feel Better, and Be Happier