Fat’s bad reputation is slowly getting better as people realize that healthy fats in our diet aren’t just beneficial—they’re necessary for good health. We’ll show you the fats you could be missing in your diet and how to supplement to lower inflammation, improve your mood, and achieve a healthy balanced state.
Here’s the truth about healthy fats and oils…
Omegas, Balance, and Inflammation
There are two fats that our bodies can’t make. They’re called Essential Fatty Acids, or EFAs for short. We need to obtain Omega-3 and Omega-6 from our diets.
For optimum health, you have to balance your Omega-6 intake in a 1:1 ratio, or even a 2:1 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6. When you’re in balance and have enough Omega-3, you take advantage of its natural anti-inflammatory properties. When you don’t get enough Omega-3, the extra Omega-6 can cause more inflammation in the body.
Getting Enough Omegas
Omega-6 is abundantly found in food! Seeds, nuts, and plant oils are all loaded with Omega-6. Generally, most people are getting enough Omega-6 in their diet.
Omega-3 is harder to find in our food supply.
Good plant-based sources of Omega-3 are flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Flax oil, also known as linseed oil, is a fresh source of Omega-3—try using it in salad dressings and smoothies to add healthy fat to your diet.
Fish is the most abundant source of Omega-3. Eating salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and albacore tuna can get you enough Omega-3. However, the larger the fish, the larger the potential for bioaccumulation of toxins. PCB toxins and mercury can be found in fish. That’s part of the reason why supplementing with third-party tested fish oils is a great alternative.
It’s important to supplement Omega-3 if you aren’t’ getting enough in your diet. There’s significant evidence that links Omega-3 and mental health. Low levels of Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to depression, anxiety, and other disorders.
Two of the best fish oil brands to start with are Nutrasea and Sealicious since they are third-party tested and use quality fish in their oils. They use a healthy blend of wild, small, and short-lived fishes like anchovies, sardines, and mackerel. These liquid supplements might be less convenient than their capsule counterparts but they deliver more nutrition. Kids need Omega-3 too! Nordic Naturals makes a great-tasting gummy for kids.
For a plant-based supplement, the best choice is to use newly improved algae oils. Only recently have they been able to extract both kinds of Omega-3 (EPA and DHA) from algae. Grown in tanks, the algae used in these supplements will have no contaminants or pollutants that can be found in the ocean. Try Nutravege for a plant-based alternative to fish oil supplements.
Finding Balance in your Diet
American Journal of Psychiatry, June 2006