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Can Omega 3’s Help You To Burn Body Fat

Here fishy, fishy.

Essential fatty acids are, as the name suggests, essential for optimum health. We are able to synthesize our own supply of all but two essential fatty acids, omega 3 and 6, so we need to get them from our diet. Unfortunately some people are still fearful of fats, believing all fats will make you fat, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

It All Depends On The Type Of Fat

In the case of  omega 3 oils, they can actually help you to not only maintain a healthy weight, but to lose excess weight. How is this possible? How can taking in fat help you burn fat? Let’s look at the hormone insulin. Insulin basically stops the body using fat for fuel and instead promotes fat storage. Omega 3’s help to lower insulin levels and stabilize blood sugar.

Stabilizing blood sugar is the key to burning fat around the clock. When your blood sugar is stable you will burn fat for fuel. When your blood sugar is out of control from too many high GI foods you will stop burning fat, and instead use the excess carbohydrate for fuel. When your blood sugar is stable, you will burn excess fat for fuel.  Eating low GI foods, basically unprocessed whole foods, and omega 3’s will allow you to do this. Omega 3’s can also help to maintain muscle mass, through fat burning, as excess fat leads to muscle loss.

Omega 3’s Have Other Important Functions Too

Brain Health

Omega 3 fatty acids also nourish our brains. Our brains are 60% fat, and a deficiency in essential fatty acids from omega 3, is linked with poor concentration, depression, learning difficulties and memory loss. Whereas taking in enough essential fatty acids helps to elevate our mood, increase concentration, and retain information.

Joint Mobility

Do your joints “click” when you move? Omega 3 provides lubrication to the joints, allowing them to glide smoothly over each other rather than grate off one another.

Reduced Blood Pressure

Omega 3’s help to decrease the risk of heart attack by reducing blood pressure and reducing the stickiness of the blood.

Healthy Skin

Lack of EFA’s can cause dry, flaky skin and accelerate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

The brain is made up of 6o% fat, feed it with the right fats from omega 3

The Best Sources of Omega 3’s

These cold water fish would be the richest sources of whole food omega 3:

  • wild salmon
  • mackerel
  • herring
  • trout
  • sardines
  • anchovies (minus the pizza)

Tuna also contains omega 3, but is often high in mercury, which can lead to health problems if consumed too often. You can still have tuna, but it would be a good idea to have it less often and try get omega 3’s from other types of fish too. To make sure you are getting the benefit of omega 3 from fish, it’s best to cook using liquid, so steam, boil, stew or poach . Frying fish at high heats will damage the essential fatty acids.

Other whole food sources of omega 3 include nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and flaxseed. The problem with these sources is that they can go rancid very easily when exposed to heat or direct light, so be very careful about where you get them from and how they are stored if you choose to use them.

Fish Oil Supplements

Another option is to take a fish oil supplement. There are literally hundreds to choose from on the market, ranging in price and quality. I like to get as much of my nutrition as possible from whole foods, but I also take a fish oil supplement. I use an EPA/DHA supplement. EPA is what omega 3 converts to in the body, while DHA is important for brain and eye health.

Omega 3 Vs. Omega 6

While awareness of omega 3 has become widespread over the last number of years, it is not the only essential fatty acid we require. The other essential fatty acid is omega 6. Why isn’t omega 6 getting as much publicity as omega 3? Well it actually is getting quite a bit of publicity, but for very different reasons.

To be healthy we need both omega 3 and 6, but it’s the ratio of omega 3 to 6 that’s is crucial.

The ideal ratio is 1:1 – 2:1 omega 3 to omega 6, unfortunately the typical western diet gives us a ratio closer to 1:20 omega 3 to omega 6. This is not good, as excessive amounts of omega 6 are associated with various illnesses, including obesity, heart attacks, arthritis, mood disorder, inflammation, depression and forms of cancer.

The sudden jump in omega 6 consumption can be traced back to the increase of processed foods and refined vegetable oils that have become a large part of the typical diet.

Can We Do Anything About This?

Yes, focusing on fresh healthy foods, in their natural, unprocessed form – not in a box with a list of ingredients, and using healthy fats and oils for cooking – like coconut oil or organic butter, while increasing consumption of non-farmed cold water fish, we can start to bring the 0mega ratio back into balance.

For more information on stabilizing blood sugar and GI foods check out my Blood Sugar Balance -The Secret To Getting Lean article.

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