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Meet the Omegas

posted Nov 04, 2010 20:18:45 by Administrator
What are omega fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are a class of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids with the double bond in the third carbon position from the methyl terminal (hence the use of "3" in their description). Foods high in omega-3-fatty acids include salmon, halibut, sardines, albacore, trout, herring, walnut, flaxseed oil, and canola oil. Other foods that contain omega-3-fatty acids include shrimp, clams, light chunk tuna, catfish, cod, and spinach.

What are omega-6 fatty acids?

Omega-6 fatty acids are a class of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids with the initial double bond in the sixth carbon position from the methyl group (hence the "6"). Examples of foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids include corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, and cottonseed oil.

What are the n-3 and n-6 fatty acids?

These are synonyms for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, respectively.

What are trans fatty acids?

Trans fatty acids (trans fats) are made through hydrogenation to solidify liquid oils. Heating omega-6 oils such as corn oil to high temperatures creates trans fats. Trans fats increase the shelf life of oils and are found in vegetable shortenings and in some margarines, commercial pastries, fried foods, crackers, cookies, and snack foods. Intake of trans fatty acids increases blood LDL-cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol), decreases HDL cholesterol ("good cholesterol"), and raises the risk of coronary heart disease.

In a nutshell:
Omega 3, and 9 raise your HDL, or good cholesterol. Supplement these.

Omega 6 exists in sufficient amounts in the average diet. Don't supplement these.

Trans fat acids raise your LDL or bad cholesterol and decrease your HDL. Avoid these.

"Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it."
~Rick Warren
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