What do you know about Omega-3 fatty acids? Actually, what do you know about fatty acids in general? Answer: probably not enough. You probably aren’t getting enough either because of all this mambo-jumbo that these and those fatty acids are unhealthy, carbohydrates are “bad”, etc. What do we actually know to be true? Let’s go through some of the need-to-knows of Omegas and current trends from Alpha to Omega.
Let’s begin with a breakdown of the Omegas… not the Alpha’s as you’d expect, even though there is one below. (Click here for A Complete Overview on Omegas)
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are polyunsaturated fats^ our body can’t produce, hence termed “essential fats”. The three most common types, primary sources and functions in the body:
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – sources include flaxseed, walnuts, and beans, as well as canola and soybean oils; this is mainly used by the body for energy, particularly in aerobic exercise lasting longer than 60 minutes, and can be converted into DHA & EPA (below) but with limited efficiency
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – sources include fish and some algae; this constitutes ~8% of brain weight and contributes to normal brain development and functioning
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) – sources also include fish and some algae; some functions include producing eicosanoids which have an anti-inflammatory effect & reducing symptoms of depression*
^Polyunsaturated fatty acids, known to a select few as PUFA, are fats in which the constituent hydrocarbon chain possesses two or more carbon–carbon double bonds. These, and monounsaturated fats, are considered to be “healthy” fats and can help lower your risk for heart disease. Saturated and trans fats are the ones to beware of for increased risk if ingested in excess, over a long period of time with limited physical activity.
*NB. This does not mean the cause/s of depression are eliminated and professional guidance should be sought out for a resolution.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids are also essential fats, primarily linoleic acid converted into arachidonic acid (ARA).
- These play a vital role in energy and eicosanoid production. However, these eicosanoids are more pro-inflammatory. (Here are some Benefits of Controlled Inflammation for you to chew on.)
- It is important to note moderation here when consuming Omega-6s, as mass-produced inflammatory eicosanoids will result in discomfort and inflammatory disease
- Sources include flaxseed, hempseed, grapeseed, pumpkin seeds and raw sunflower seeds, pine and pistachio nuts, borage oil, evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil, acai berries
- Benefits include reduction in numerous rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and potential for breast cancer treatment
Omega-9 Fatty Acids are monounsaturated fats and are thus unessential because our bodies can produce it, with Oleic acid (OA) being the most common type.
- Sources include olive oil, cashew nut oil, almond oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, almonds, cashews, walnuts
- Food for thought: a study found humans eating high-monounsaturated fat diets had less inflammation and better insulin sensitivity than those eating diets high in saturated fat
O-Mega Trends for 2019:
- Fish as we know it won’t necessarily become a thing of the past but because of the demand for vegan-biltong and -chicken being met, why not let innovationists create plant-based fish.
- The Good Catch is “disrupting the seafood category, not the ocean’s resources” by developing vegan shredded tuna, crab cakes, and fish patties using various legumes.
- Forbes is talking about this “Big Business” of fishing for plant-based seafood – keen to get in it? Contact us.
- Impossible Foods is also going to the next level with a ‘fish’ alternative made from real ingredients – making it healthier for you and the environment.
- Supplements are never slowing down so if you’re needing some Omega’s in your life, place your order now.
- Asking questions is no longer left for the confident. If you are planning on getting your Omega’s from a marine-based life form, ask your local stockists tough questions, be inquisitive! Where is their seafood is sourced? What methods do they use to obtain their meat? What they’re doing to take care of the environment?
We’re looking forward to seeing where plant-based fish is at by this time in 2019. Where will your lifestyle plan be? How will you be living a healthier life for you? And how will that impact the environment around you? Who knows, you may just save an anonymous life next year.
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