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Omega 3 - A Healthy Diet

by The traineo Team

The word “diet” has recently developed a negative connotation. Not only has the word come to imply impermanence, but it is also now a synonym for “weight loss by any means necessary”. Associations have been found between low fat, weight loss diets and incidence of depression. Not only does a low fat dieter need to constantly focus on increased hunger and energy loss, but they have to do so with a more cheerless attitude. It's difficult to imagine a less appealing way of life.

The Omega-3 Diet is a breath of fresh air, as its goal is to increase health benefits, keeping weight loss as a side effect. The diet has been found to show many health advantages. Among others, it improves brain and heart functioning, helps prevent allergies, diabetes/strokes, circulation problems, skin disorders and arthritis. In addition to these direct effects, a diet rich in Omega-3 will lead to weight loss as it involves fewer calories than the typical American diet. Foods rich in Omega-3 tend to fill you up so that you eat only to the point of satiety.
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid, which means that it can only be acquired through nutritional intake; our bodies do not produce it. Its main and most absorbable source is fish oil. The other main essential fatty acid, Omega-6, is found in cereals, eggs, poultry and margarine.

The recommended Omega-3: Omega-6 ratio is 1:3, although most Westerners diets fail to meet this ideal. Specifically, the average Westerner's ratio of Omega-3: Omega-6 is 1:50 ! Most of us eat far too many starches and not enough Omega-3-rich fish oil.
The Western rates of depression have been steadily increasing within the last decade. Diet is a major cause of this; the average Westerner's diet lacks the ideal, though very low, amount of Omega-3. Epidemiological studies have found that a population's fish consumption is negatively associated with depression; the more fish eaten by a population, the less depressed the group is on average.

In addition to this major benefit of the Omega-3 diet, it has also been found to reduce incidence of breast cancer. Recent studies have shown that a daughter's risk of later developing breast cancer is significantly lowered by her mother's Omega-3 consumption during pregnancy.
From its wealth of benefits, it's clear that an Omega-3 diet is beneficial to one's health. Although not as convenient as less healthy foods, fish is certainly worth the extra time.

To further complicate things, health agencies advise against eating more then two or three portions of fish per week. This is due to mercury pollution prevalent in Western fish. Luckily, two fish portions per week will provide you with more than enough Omega-3. Alternative sources of the beneficial fatty acid are dark leafy green vegetables, and vegetable and flaxseed oils.

If you're looking to include more Omega-3 in your diet, here's a quick and easy recipe that may interest you:

Salmon and Asparagus in Foil
Yields 4 servings
You need:
4 x sheets 12” x 12” aluminum foil
4 x 6 oz. salmon fillets
1 pound of asparagus
¼ cup of lemon juice
Ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Chop ends off of asparagus spears and divide asparagus into 4 portions. Spray a small bit of cooking spray on center of each foil sheet. Put one salmon fillet and one asparagus portion in the center of each foil sheet. Cover with lemon juice and pepper. Fold foil over the top of salmon and asparagus, so that they are completely covered. Place on a cookie sheet and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until salmon is opaque.