Nowadays we often worry, with good reason, aboout weight control and obesity. Indeed it is often linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. We heard a lot about low fat diets; Yet every day, we are facing difficult decisions. Must we remove all the fat? Can we continue to use butter and hydrogenated margarine, or should we follow the healthy trend that advocates olive or linseed oil? What is best for you?
The fats have a bad reputation. In fact, not only do we love the taste of fat, but the human body requires certain types of dietary fat. EFAs (essential fatty acids) are the main structural component of all cell membranes and we need them to ensure the growth and division of cells. EFAs restore energy, help us digest our food, transport nutrients into cells and help maintain a healthy hormonal balance. Lets try to make the difference between “good” and “bad” fats.
Saturated fats derived from animal products such as red meat, poultry, butter and whole milk and tropical oils, can be considered “bad” fats. These saturated fats can raise cholesterol levels and cause a risk of coronary heart disease. If you have already noticed the slick waxy fat that remains after cooking of red meat, you’ll have no trouble imagining the damage that can cause the solid fats (or saturated) in the human body.
Like saturated fats, trans fats can also raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. Trans fats are derived from hydrogenated vegetable oils, that is to say, obtained through a process known as hydrogenation. These fats are commonly found in processed foods such as cakes, cookies and crackers, as well as fried foods such as donuts and french fries that are so popular. Oh, they are hard to avoid!
Other vegetable oils such as linseed, safflower, corn, sunflower, soybean and cotton are considered as polyunsaturated fats. These fatty types remain normally liquid at room temperature and can be beneficial since they contribute to lowering cholesterol levels. In this group, a type of polyunsaturated fat, called ‘omega 3 fatty acid “, could be particularly beneficial to health. Linseed is a good source of omega 3. “The omega 3 fats appear to reduce the risk of heart attack, protect against irregular heartbeats and lower blood pressure. They might even protect against some cancers, “says the Mayo Clinic.!
It is known for some time that cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring are a rich source of Omega 3. However, excessive consumption of fish now poses a problem for many people, especially those who live near polluted water polluted where fish are full of mercury and toxic. In recent years, interest and increased research have demonstrated that linseed oil is rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
The last form of fat is known as monounsaturated fat. It is found in olive and rapeseed oils as well as in avocados and most nuts. Monounsaturated fats such as polyunsaturated fats, protect the health of the heart by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing fat deposits that can form in the arteries. That may be why many popular restaurants now coat the bread with olive oil instead of hydrogenated margarine.
Why Omega-3 fatty acids are so important?
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are incorporated into the cell membranes of our body to maintain their fluidity. They thus function as “guards”, allowing important nutrients to enter cells and to eliminate other toxins. More importantly, the EFAs are transformed into substances similar to hormones called eicosanoids that fulfill various physiological functions, including cell growth and division, platelet aggregation (blood clotting), inflammatory reactions, hemorrhage, vasoconstriction or vasodilation of blood vessels, blood pressure and immune function. The activity of eicosanoids affect clinical pathologies related to cardiovascular health, inflammatory disorders, immunity and certain cancers.
Although studies are still ongoing, research has indicated that omega 3 fatty acids:
- reduce the risk of sudden death and arrhythmia
- reduce thrombosis (blood clot)
- reduce triglyceride levels
- diminish atherosclerotic plaque growth
- improve arterial health
- lower blood pressure
It has been shown that increasing omega 3 fatty acids by taking a linseed supplement produces anti-inflammatory effects, may protect the immune system, reduce the incidence of inflammatory and autoimmune disease, and can balance the blood sugar. Linseed oil, which contains alpha linolenic acid (ALA), is also the subject of studies to determine whether its employment inhibits the growth of breast, colon and pancreas cancer tumors.
Linseed oil: the “new” wonder of modern times
Often dubbed the new wonder of modern times, linseeds provide huge health benefits. Linseed oil contains little saturated fat (9%), moderate amounts of monounsaturated fat (18%) and has a high content of “good” polyunsaturated fats (73%).
A dose of 10 g of linseed oil provides an average of 5 g of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). The transformation of modern food has eliminated much of their content of ALA and omega-3. – to the point that experts recommend taking supplements. On the other hand, we have an abundant supply of omega 6 and omega 9 of unhealthy origin (vegetable oils hydrogenated). This creates an imbalance of essential fats and may alter the health of cell functions. The AIMega formula, which contains omega 6 and 9 of healthy origin, can help provide a better balance of EFAs.