By Dr. Nina Radcliff
The health benefits and advantages of Omega-3 fatty acids are great – and powerful for our overall wellbeing. Scientifically speaking, they are essential polyunsaturated fats. This term “essential” means that your body cannot make them on its own. You must get them from foods high in Omega-3 including fish, seafood, vegetable oils, nuts (especially walnuts), flaxseed products, and leafy vegetables, and edamame, to mention a few.
We are fortunate today to understand how these fats work as an integral part of cell membranes throughout our bodies – and affect the function of the cell receptors in these membranes. Here are key understandings about the potent power of Omega-3s for you and your loved ones, throughout life.
DR. NINA’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: ABOUT OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS
Are there different classes of fats?
Yes. Fats are generally classified as “healthy” or “unhealthy” for us based upon the number of bonds–single or double–that connect atoms to one another.
- Unhealthy fats have only single bonds that create “stiffness” and as a result are solid at room temperature—they are called “saturated” fats.
- Healthy fats have double bonds that make them “softer” or liquid at room temperature—they are called “unsaturated” fats. And, the more double bonds a fatty chain has, the healthier they are—they are termed “poly-unsaturated” fats.