Fatty foods are delicious. But their overconsumption could lead to health issues. To prevent lifestyle diseases, recommended dietary allowances of fat and fatty acid have been established by different health organizations. Although fatty foods are criticized for both right and wrong reasons, fats are essential for the human body and are one of the main sources of energy. However, the type and quantity of fat consumed each day can make a big difference in your overall well-being.
There are mainly 3 types of fats:
Unsaturated fatty acids
These are liquids at room temperature and are known to be beneficial fats. They can lower blood cholesterol, reduce inflammation, stabilize heart rhythms, and perform a variety of other beneficial functions. Most unsaturated fats can be found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and other foods made from plants.
There are two types of "good" or unsaturated fats—monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
One of the most important polyunsaturated fatty acids is Omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids are not produced in the body, so they must be obtained from food or supplements such as omega 3 fish oil.
Saturated fatty acids
Every food containing fat contains a mixture of different types of fats. Even healthy foods such as chicken and nuts contain small amounts of saturated fats, but less than those found in cheese and beef. While saturated fat is most common in animal foods, a few plant foods are high in saturated fats, such as coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil.
Trans fatty acids
Trans fatty acids are also known as trans fats. They are created by heating vegetable oils with hydrogen gas and a catalyst. This process is called hydrogenation. While all fats provide the same calories, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can have a beneficial impact on your health, and saturated and trans fat can have detrimental effects.
Of all the fatty acids, only linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid are considered essential fatty acids since these cannot be produced in the body.
While linoleic acid is commonly known as Omega-6 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid is known as Omega-3 fatty acids.
Since they are not synthesized by the body, LA or linoleic acid and ALA or alpha-linoleic acid are considered essential fatty acids.
LA and ALA are further elongated or desaturated in our bodies to produce metabolically important long-chain derivatives.
Let's discuss Omegas
Omegas, long-chain fatty acids play an important role in maintaining the health and integrity of your body's tissues. The body cannot make all types of fatty acid it needs, so some must be obtained from food. These fatty acids are known as essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are the basic building blocks of different cells in the body. Different types of omega fatty acids can be found in different foods. Each type has a different role in the body.
Out of all the fatty acids, Omega-3 is the most beneficial for us. Here are some of the most important benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids.
- It improves heart health-
Heart disease is one of the major causes of death across the globe. It is vital for us to have a healthy heart. To keep the heart healthy, you must eat right and exercise regularly. If a person continues to ignore their health and leads a poor lifestyle, they are more likely to develop health problems like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle disorders like hypertension increase your risk of getting great diseases or having a stroke or other problems.
An adequate intake of omega-3s can reduce plaque build-up in blood vessels and aid blood flow. This will help prevent strokes by preventing clots or blocked arteries.
- Even patients suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis can benefit immensely-
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the joints. It inhibits the conversion of AA and suppresses the activation of cytokines, which are aggressive inflammatory responses in cells. The production of mediators that have anti-inflammatory properties is increased by increasing the intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
Studies have, however, shown that there are no long-term benefits and only short-term beneficial effects. Patients with RA can benefit from a diet that includes baked or broiled fish or omega 3 supplements such as omega 3 fish oil.
Research has shown that supplementing with fish oil reduces pain intensity and the duration of morning stiffness.
- Pregnant women can also benefit—
Research shows that Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation promotes the brain development of the foetus. So, pregnant women should consume a lot of food containing Omega 3 or take fish oil supplements. But it's important to consume only the best fish oil supplement. After all, it's about your and your baby's health.
According to studies, DHA supports Brain Development in Infancy. Our brain is one of the organs that grow at an incredible rate during infancy. Therefore, it is important to provide essential nutrients such as DHA, which are major structural lipids of the brain, to support normal brain development.
- Hypertension patients should also take Omega 3-
Research has shown that supplementing with omega 3 fatty acid supplements can help to reduce blood pressure. Since hypertension is a growing concern in today's world, Omega-3 supplementation has become extremely important.
- Improve your bone health-
Healthy bones are possible by consuming enough calcium and fatty acids. Numerous studies have shown that supplementing the diet with fish oil can reduce bone loss and increase calcium absorption. DHA and EPA can reduce inflammation that could cause your bones to deteriorate.
- Omega 3 for beauty-
It promotes healthy hair. Studies have shown that Omega 3 can help with hair growth, scalp nutrition, and hair loss. According to studies, fish oil can reduce the levels of leukotriene B4, which is an inflammatory substance that can cause eczema or worsens eczema issues.
- Take Omega 3 if you have dry eyes-
Numerous studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial in the treatment of dry eyes. This is due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
- It helps in healthy aging-
A new study has shown that higher blood levels of omega-3 fats and good quality fish oils are associated with a healthier older age. This was a long study and involved more than 2000 subjects. The subjects were asked to eat fatty fish twice per week. This showed an improvement in their quality of life.
The study found that 11% of the subjects had not suffered from any type of heart disease, cancer, physical limitations, or cognitive problems. Their quality of life was improved, which led to healthier aging.
However, this observational study was only one, and more studies will be needed to prove the health benefits of omega-3 fats over healthy aging.
Now that you know how important consuming Omega-3 fatty acid is, there is no reason why you shouldn't consume fish oil. But consume only the best fish oil supplement available on the market for maximum benefits.