Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Balance Your Omega 3 & Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Welcome to this blog! Today I'd like to explore Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. They are an essential source of energy for our metabolic system, however because we are increasingly eating more fast foods with our busier lifestyles, we are putting our lives in jeopardy. Fast foods are predominantly saturated with Omega 6 vegetable oils. Too many Omega 6 fats cause inflammation in our body. This reaction produces high cholesterol, high triglycerides, diabetes and many other serious heart and health risks. 

The good news is that we can balance our diet by adding a few Omega 3 fats, and eliminating some of the Omega 6 fats. By planning ahead and putting a few walnuts in a snack ziplock to take with you, you can stretch out your eating times with a healthy snack. By adding a little tuna to a salad, you will find yourself adding in Omega 3 rich foods to your diet quite easily. 

Diabetes.about.com has a list of primary foods to substitute for fast foods.  Here are some ideas to help you make healthier food choices.

Omega 3 - use these items more often
  • Salmon, sardines, herring, tuna and other cold water fish
  • Walnuts, ground flaxseed
  • Canola Oil, Olive Oil
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Eggs from free range chickens
  • Daily supplements
Omega 6 - limit these items daily
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Vegetable Oils (soybean, corn, cottonseed,sunflower, and safflower oils)

Last fall my husband and I went over to Astoria, Oregon to buy some fresh tuna off the fishing boats in the marina. They cleaned it for us and put it on ice for the trip home. Upon returning home we cut up the tuna into small chunks and put them into sterilized jars for canning. We added a few spices and sealed them for processing in a pressure canner. It has been a god-send having this fish on hand. Once the jars are opened, the tuna tastes just like fresh cooked fish. It's awesome. 

1 comment:

  1. Flax seeds and chia seeds are also great sources for Omega 3. The benefit of flax seed and the benefit of chia seeds are many. Both flax seed and chia seeds contain fiber, Omega-3 and lignans. This helps lower cholesterol and can also benefit people at risk for diabetes by regulating blood sugar by slowing down the body's absorption of sugar. Flax seed and chia seeds are also both great sources for antioxidants.