real raw kitchen: HOW-TO: an Omega fats ratio

Monday, December 9, 2013

HOW-TO: an Omega fats ratio

I have a brownie recipe that will debut this week and I cannot wait to share it with you. However, it is a high fat brownie and so before jumping straight into the indulgence I thought I'd help encourage an educated decision in this recipe that promotes mindfulness and glow-ey skin.

There is SO much to know about fat and so I feel as if I'm really just skimming the surface here. However, I do think it's important to understand that fats are good for you, even though they've been demonized by many. I also believe that they should be limited amounts, not the majority of your diet.

There are four types of fats, two of which (Saturated and Trans fats) are not too much of a concern on the raw food diet. The other two--Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated--are healthy fats and are named so because of their design. The types of fats that make up this category are complex, but I'm going to focus on two important ones, here. It is important to remember that I'm excluding a large portion of the fat-o-sphere so don't consider this to be the end-all in fat education.


The Fats


Omega 3

The easiest way to obtain a high dose of Omega 3s is through fish, or fish oil. However, if you're practicing a real raw lifestyle, the walnuts is a comparable plant-based solution. Omega 3 fatty acids are broken down into three types of acids:
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) 
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
These three acids work together and are best absorbed in whole foods form. It is usually recommended to take a fish oil supplement if you are not eating adequate amounts. However, upping your walnut and flaxseed intake can also help up the acid count.

Why omega 3s are good for you

Omega 3s are excellent at lubricating your insides and reducing inflammation. This translates exceptionally well to acne-prone skin, as acne is usually an inner moisturizer and inflammation issue (meaning, your skin is severely dehydrated from the inside at the dermis level and the epidermis, outer level, is inflamed). This also, as a result, helps smooth wrinkles (or keep your skin supple) and helps keep your heart happy and cholesterol levels healthy. This also helps with fertility, improving the probability of fertilization.

Omega 6

Omega 6 works as a counter part to Omega 3 fatty acids. Instead of reducing inflammation, it promotes it. One type of Omega 6--GLA--does not promote inflammation, though, and is actually quite beneficial to the overall health of the body. Most of us obtain far too much Omega 6 and not enough Omega 3, as it should really be a 2:1 ratio instead of the SAD ratio of 15:1. This causes a serious amount of inflammation in the body, which is a major contributing factor to heart disease, arthritis, eczema, and other ailments that involve inflammation.

Omega 6 is present in many foods, especially meat, so it really isn't necessary to supplement your diet with more Omega 6. Instead, it is best to achieve a 2:1 balance of 6s to 3s.


Bottom line

Fruits and veggies provide a great source of Omega 6 fats in healthy doses. Omega 3s can be more easily obtained in the way of nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and flaxseeds. If you're striving for a raw foods diet, be mindful of your fat intake. If you're not looking for a high raw diet, I'd say the same thing: be mindful of your intake.

Eat natural sources of food. limit your animal products. Load up on greens. The more you mimic Nature when you're eating, the more naturally and easily your ratios will fall in line (and the same goes for your waistline as well!!).


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