Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Miracle of Omega 3s

Have you ever heard the phrase, "You are what you eat"? If so, then you know that our diet of processed, fried and fatty foods are leading us to become a nation of overweight and unhealthy people. If you want to be a lean, mean, long-living machine, it starts with your diet. And a crucial component of our diets are Omega 3 fatty acids. Today, Dr. Chase Hayden returned to teach us about the importance of Omega 3s, and how they help us stay healthy.

Omega 3s serve two important functions in our bodies: they allow for mineral transportation out of our bloodstream and into our cells, and they protect the cellular lining. This doesn't sound like a big deal, but remember, our brains are roughly 60% fat, so fatty acids are critical for optimum brain functioning and mineral absorption. (Side thought: does this make being called a "fat head" a compliment?)

Dr. Chase was bombarded with questions like "so what vitamins should I take". Unfortunately there is no singular answer. Everybody is different. Some people spend enough time in the sun that they don't need Vitamin D. Other people get enough fatty acids in their food so they don't need to take supplements. But a general rule of thumb that won't hurt people (provided you have healthy functioning gallbladders, kidneys and livers) are to take about 1000 milligrams of Omega 3s each day (usually 500 mgs twice a day). Dr. Hayden recommends supplements from whole foods, that is, the label says the ingredients are from animals or vegetables like kale, cod liver, algae, etc... A good rule of thumb is the 4th grader test: if a 4th grader couldn't read and understand the ingredients, it probably isn't from a whole food. For Omega 3s, Dr. Hayden recommends cod liver oil (yes, your grandmother was right). The label should say the only ingredient is cod liver oil. In general, you should be wary of supplements. The FDA does not regulate this industry, so there are lots of fakes out there. Do your research and consult with your doctor before trying anything new.

Check out Dr. Hayden's slide show below, and stay happy and healthy my friends!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The World Health Organization and governmental health agencies of several countries recommend consuming 0.3-0.5 grams of daily EPA + DHA and 0.8-1.1 grams of daily α-linolenic acid.

This is about half of what you state.