Health & Diet Tips

 Good fats? Fat is typically associated with obesity, heart disease and other ailments. Efforts to trim waistlines or become more heart-healthy, have led many people to cut down on the amount of fat in their diets. Most people now know that trans fat is bad for you, but not all fats deserve a bad rap. In fact, fat is an essential part of your diets and some fats are actually good for you and should be consumed regularly! Omega-3 fatty acids, also known as “essential fats” need to be consumed from food since your body can’t produce them. While all types of omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to your health, some research suggests that the most reliable form is found in fish and fish oils. This is because seafood contains the EPA and DHA forms of omega-3s, which are easier for the body to process than the plant-based ALA form. Omega-3s…please! Omega-3 fatty acids, found in seafood such as canned tuna and salmon, can offer important health benefits: * Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol * Decreases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and blood clots * Reduces the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of age-related vision loss in Canada * Aids in fetal development and infant brain, eye and nervous system development * May help alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory diseases May help protect against certain cancers such as breast, colon and prostate. How much omega-3 fatty acids do I need? The recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids based on a 2,000 calorie diet is 1.3-2.7g per day. Ask your doctor or registered dietitian for more details. Data from:www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp, www.canolainfo.org, www.burnbraefarms.com/product/omega.html, www.flaxcouncil.ca, http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/fiche-nutri-data/index_e.html *100g (3.5oz) serving of fish is approximately the size of a deck of cards. Get hooked on seafood. In addition to being rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, seafood provides a number of other important nutritional benefits: * Seafood is heart-healthy since it is naturally low in saturated fat. * Seafood is a source of high-quality protein. Protein is important for providing satiety or fullness in a meal. Protein also helps to slow down digestion of carbohydrates in a meal, which improves blood sugar control for individuals with diabetes. * Seafood provides many different vitamins and minerals needed for long-term health. Vitamins A, B and D, as well as calcium, iodine, and selenium are just a few of the vitamins and minerals you will find in seafood. It’s easy to add omega-3s to your diet. * Sprinkle a tablespoon of ground flaxseed over your cereal, oatmeal or yogurt for a healthy dose of omega-3s with breakfast. * Most people don’t realize that canned tuna contains omega-3s. To jazz up a classic tuna sandwich, consider using flavoured tuna (such as lemon pepper or sundried tomato) as an alternative. * Whip up a veggie omelette using omega-3 enriched eggs and enjoy with a side of toast for a speedy lunch or dinner. * Make your own vinaigrette salad dressing and use flaxseed, canola or soybean oil to increase your omega 3’s. * Instead of white bread, opt for whole grain bread containing ground flaxseeds. * Add half a can of light tuna or a few walnuts to your garden salad for a healthy boost of omega-3s.