Friday, July 10, 2009

Omega 3s, Fat Loss, and Your Heart

I'm sure most of you have seen all sorts of items in the grocery store that advertise added Omega-3s. While that's well and good, getting your doses of healthy fats through food that naturally contains omega-3s will probably do much more good for a couple of reasons.

1. Eating more fish and leafy vegetables (a good source of Omega-3) will undoubtedly be good for you, and most of us eat far to little of both. You'll also get quality protein and a host of other nutrients essential to your health.

2. Eating more fish and vegetables will mean you'll be eating less starchy carbs and sugars, providing you keep your total caloric intake in check.

Rather than buying bread or anything else marketing added omegas just get some fish, veggies, and also a quality fish oil tablet.

As to the benefits of Omega-3s there are many. For those training to improve body composition/fat loss there have been studies done suggesting that a higher intake of omega-3s aid in fat loss. This is because it protects against insulin resistance (a common problem among the overweight population), and works like this.

Omega-3s increase the permeability of a cell's membrane, which allowing it to absorb more glucose (sugar that provides energy). If someone is insulin resistant than the sugars one consumes is more likely to not be absorbed but stored as fat. Omega-3 then functions to help raise your metabolism, which has obvious effects regarding fat loss.

Other benefits include preventing heart disease and cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2006;83) contains a study showing that Japanese who consume 30% more omega-3s than Americans have 4 times less the rate of death from heart disease.

The New England Journal of Medicine (1997;336) ran a study that showed increasing omega-3s reduce chances of heart attack by a third.

I don't know about you but I'm about ready for some sushi!

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