Many people still conjure up negative images when it comes to eating fat. The truth is certain fats are essential to life and good health! Essential fatty acids or essential fats, are needed in every cell,tissue, gland and organ of the body. Our brain needs them, our nervous system needs them as well as our reproductive system. Essential fats are broken up into the Omega 6 family and the Omega 3 family.
The body functions optimally with a 2:1 balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3. Most Americans, however, are getting a 20:1 ratio! This imbalance is largely due to a high intake of vegetable oils, margarine, and processed foods made with partially hydrogenated soybean oil, all of which are high in Omega 6. To compensate, it’s important to add foods to your diet that are rich in Omega 3 or to supplement.
Foods that are high in Omega 3 include:
- flax seeds
- cold-water fish (salmon, herring, mackerel)
- and sardines
Here are some tips you can post in the cafeteria on how to incorporate healthy fats into your diet:
- Eat fats and oils directly from whole foods without any processing or heat. Raw nuts & seeds, avocados, and olives are good examples.
- Purchase oils that are processed as minimally as possible. Look for words such as “cold expelled pressed”, and “extra-virgin.”
- Make your own salad dressings with pure oils. Typical ready-made salad dressings are made with inferior, overly-processed, damaged oils.
- Be diligent about getting Omega 3 fats into your diet with either whole foods (such as flax seeds) or by taking supplements.
- Avoid foods containing partially hydrogenated oils and deep fried fast foods.
- Avoid eating a lot animal fat since the highest concentration of toxins in animals will be found in their fat. This is why it is especially a good idea to buy organic dairy products.
For more information on eating healthy fats go to:http://www.med.umich.edu/umim/clinical/pyramid/fats.htm or http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fat/NU00262