Fat isn’t all bad, Alas, Omega-3s . The body uses fat to insulate organs, regulate temperature body temperature, & is the preferred source of energy for bodies at rest. In fact, some fat has a protective effect for the heart.
Omega-3 fatty acids which are found in fish, soybean & canola oil, walnuts & flaxseed might actually contribute to heart health. Researchers wondered how it was possible that native populations in Alaska, Norway, and Greenland could eat very high fat diets and have very, very low incidences of heart disease and high blood pressure.
The answer was found in their diet. Specifically, in the type of fat in the diet. All of the dietary fat came from fish, other seafood, and fish oil. These foods are naturally high in omega-3 fatty acids. Upon closer examination, it was found that omega-3s reduced the amount of hardened material (plaques) that form on artery walls.
Cholesterol and saturated fats tend to attach themselves to the walls of the arteries. If this extra fat isn’t eliminated, calcium attaches itself to the fatty deposits. This creates a calcification, or hardening, of the arteries. If there are a lot of plaques, the arteries lose their elasticity and narrow. When the arteries narrow, blood can’t flow normally, and the heart must work harder. This can lead to high blood pressure and damage to the heart muscle.
Populations that have diets high in fish and seafood ten to have fewer arterial plaques. The conclusion is that a diet high in fish and seafood will reduce the risk of heart disease, because omega-3s found in the fish reduce the possibility of hardened arteries. It’s recommended that a healthy diet should include two to three fish meals per week, with a small amount of vegetable oils as well.
Fish oil supplements have been available for years, in liquid and capsule form but for safety and to keep the body healthy, stick to food when trying to keep your body healthy.
In addition to heart health, omega-3 fatty acids have also been linked to decreases in certain types of cancer. Once again, populations that consume large amounts of fish and seafood tend to have lower incidences of colon & breast cancer.
Omega-3s are an essential nutrient for brain development, growth, and function. Maybe that’s why some folks call fish “brain food”. The brain is made largely of lipid (fat), and it depends heavily on omega-3 fatty acids to work properly.
Pregnant women who include seafood in their diet are ensuring that their child’s brain develops properly. However, note that pregnant women shouldn’t take fish oil supplements.
As a child, I remember hating fish with a passion. The way I was brought up you didn’t leave the supper table without eating. So even though I didn’t care too much for it then, I sure do love it now.