Healthy Fats and You

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I remember years ago my mother used to give me cod liver oil to fight winter colds and flus. I also recall that at winter’s end, if I remained cold-free, she would victoriously exclaim that sickness could be battled with this simple little nutrient. How did mothers know the things they did? I don’t know. What amazes me is that science is finally extolling the virtues of simple plant-based food and nutrients that our ancestors knew about years and years ago.

This article will present up to date information on the benefits of healthy fats in the diets.

Omega-3s

Today most of us know that omega 3s are important in the diet as we need them to absorb fat soluble nutrients and to keep the skin and joints lubricated, just to name a few things. According to the Journal of the American Heart Association, scientists have now discovered that a lack of omega-3s has been linked to: increased inflammation, depression and violence, weight gain – yes, they help to curb the appetite! Diabetes can be kept at bay, allergies and eczema and finally memory problems can be avoided just by making a few adjustments in the diet and including this nutrient. Omega-6s are also important and should be kept in a ratio of between one-to-one to five-to-one. The harm comes when there is no healthy balance.

Remember though, that the healthy fats don’t come from processed foods. Many of processed fats are chemically unstable and are prone to oxidation, which produces the bad guys, free radicals. These processed fats include the hydrogenated ones which have been heated and chemically altered to preserve their shelf life. These are responsible for many chronic diseases and premature aging of our body’s cells. Also important is to avoid all genetically modified fat sources such as corn oil, canola, soybean oil and margarine. so, what can we eat?

Healthy Sources of Healthy Fats

We need plant and animal derived fats for optimal health. Examples of plant and vegetable sources are extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and organic butter. Also high in omega-3s are raw seeds and nuts: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds.

Good animal based sources are grass-fed beef, free range chicken and eggs and fresh sea food from the ocean and not farmed. These fish are fed unnatural diets which affects the nutrients in the foods produced from them.

Also, be sure to avoid any GMO (genetically modified organisms). Check the labels carefully to find those that have been genetically engineered.

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