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What are good fats and what are bad fats?
With so much information in the media about fats, it can be overwhelming and confusing. The solid fats such as cheese, butter and cakes are classified into saturated fats and trans fats.
When these fats become a majority part of your diet, they can pose a threat to your wellbeing.
Saturated fats raise your total blood cholesterol more than any other types of fat or cholesterol, and they do this by elevating harmful low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. High levels of LDL can lead to atherosclerosis, the most common type of heart condition and hence LDL is often known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol. On the hand, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) reduces the risk of atherosclerosis and it is therefore known as ‘good’ cholesterol.
Clinical studies have revealed that it is the type of fat and not the amount of fat that is linked to coronary heart diseases.
Omega-3 fats are your ‘good’ fats, as they polyunsaturated fats which are classified under the unsaturated type of fats shown to have beneficial effects on the health. There are two ways to obtain omega-3 in the diet. One is from plant sources like nuts and seeds, which abundant in Alpha-Linoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3 essential fatty acid. The other sources include oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines, and salmon, which are abundant in EPA and DHA, the more beneficial type of omega-3 fatty acid. Food sources rich in ALA can be converted to EPA and DHA, however a higher amount of ALA needs to be consumed to be able to get the same benefits.
Sometimes it can be difficult to consume the right amount of these foods or other limiting factors such as busy lifestyles, costing issues, quality of pure fish, nutrient depleted foods and toxicity issues relating with consuming fish can all limit you from consuming these good fats. In this case, supplements can therefore be more feasible in these situations.
DHA has been shown to help with the growth and development of the brain, central nervous system and for healthy vision. It is therefore advisable to take a supplement or high amount of DHA during pregnancy and for children in their early school years.
Studies show that high EPA during childhood can improve their behaviour, academic performance, attention and lowers aggression. Low EPA levels in adults have shown to correlate strongly with development of mental health issues, heart problems, joint and bone conditions, as well as neurodegenerative diseases.
Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils can help to reduce LDL cholesterol and may raise HDL levels. The anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 have also shown to control inflammatory conditions such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis.
HealthAid Omegazon Plus, in particular may help maintain healthy hearts and cholesterol levels. It contains EPA and DHA with the added benefits of Co-enzyme Q10. CoQ10 is an enzyme that plays a crucial role in the energy cycle and it is also a powerful antioxidant. The antioxidant property associated with CoQ10 helps prevent the harmful oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is what causes arterial damage. Studies have also discovered that those on statins (medication that may be given to those with high cholesterol) have shown to have low levels of CoQ10 in the body.
The CoQ10 in Omegazon Plus is suspended in oil; this means that it is better absorbed by the body for maximum benefit. These capsules are easy to swallow, one a day capsules, with no fishy after taste. The Omega-3 fish oil is derived from fish found in the cleanest and unpolluted waters. The fish oil has also been molecularly distilled, which means that any impurities commonly found in fish such as lead, mercury and dioxins are removed.
By Deepali Shah
Nutritionist / Product Development Co-ordinator