The human body has many requirements for it to function at its optimum, and one important component of keeping it healthy is the food we consume and the nutrition that we get. More than just hype, healthy omega fats are healthy, essential fats that are crucial to our wellbeing and as our bodies don’t produce them, we need to get them from our food.
Why do we need them? Omega-3 fats are an integral part of healthy cells and there is strong scientific evidence that regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids helps lower the risk of heart disease and stroke (reduces blood pressure and triglyceride levels). Strong research evidence has shown that eating one to two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish a week (salmon, herring, mackerel or sardines) reduces the risk of heart disease mortality by 36 percent and the American Heart Association recommends that everyone eat fish containing omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week. Omega-3 also improves joint health (reduces stiffness and inflammation) and are needed for brain and nervous system development. Research further suggests that omega-3 fats promote skin health including alleviating skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.
Supporting evidence has also reported that consuming another essential fat - omega-6 fats is protective against heart disease. There is a misconception that omega-6 is bad for you but not all omega-6 fats are created equal. For example, if your source of omega-6 is from deep-fried and processed foods then of course those are unhealthy sources. There must also be the right balance between omega-3 and omega-6. Due to the popularity of vegetable oils which are high in omega-6 in food preparation such as deep-frying, most people’s diets now contain more omega-6 which can create inflammation and health problems
Where can we get omega-3s from? Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can be found in deep sea fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, tuna and sardines. An interesting point to note is that fish actually do not produce omega-3 per se; they get it from the algae they consume and convert it into EPA and DHA. What this goes to show is that plants are still the best sources of both omega-3 and omega-6. EPA and DHA are especially important for women who are pregnant, those preparing to conceive, and nursing mothers as a developing child needs adequate DHA for optimal brain and nervous system development. Another form of omega-3 fats is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), found in walnuts, flaxseed and leafy green vegetables.
While omega-3 is important for our health, the other two omegas should not be ignored as they play their part too. Omega-6 and omega-9 are found in seeds and nuts, and the body can actually produce its own omega-9 if need be. Omega-6 fats are found in seeds and nuts such as sesame and sunflower seeds.
We often hear that taking omega-3 benefits your heart, brain and joint health. While this is true, the question is, do we consume adequate amounts of omega-3, 6 and 9 fats in our diet, much less in the right ratio? Truth be told, very, very few of us do. Often, the fear of contaminants make many shy away from fish and fish oil supplements. Time for a reality check: most of us do not consume that recommended fish intake – for some, it may be that they simply don’t like fish or that the cost and time involved in purchasing, preparing and cooking fish is unfeasible. Others may avoid consuming fish and seafood due to allergies or fear of the side effects of mercury, contained in certain types of fish.
Apart from the effects on your health, a deficiency in the essential fats will also have an effect on your skin. The skin mirrors our internal health and gives good insight as to what’s going on in our bodies. So if your skin doesn’t look healthy, chances are your insides are lacking the proper nutrients too. A diet with the right balance of essential fats will moisturise your skin from within and also benefit your hair and nails.
The importance of these healthy fats in our diet cannot be overstated – an average person needs at least 30g of good fats every day. Here’s the bottomline: how can we ensure that we consume all the good fats we need? We ask PurelyB’s experts, our Health and Wellness Directors, Amanda Teh and Marissa Parry about their experience with Udo’s Oil Blend, an award-winning, certified and organic blend of omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids in a time-tested and perfect ratio of 2:1:1.
How often did you take Udo’s Oil?
Amanda: I took 2 tablespoons a day with my juice, once after lunch and another after dinner.
Marissa: I took it twice a day, one tablespoon in the morning and one in the evening.
What changes were you expecting to see?
Amanda: Due to my work and busy lifestyle, avoiding the mid-afternoon slump was important for me. I was keen to seen how the right ratio of the good fats in this Udo’s Oil, namely omega-3, 6 and 9 would sustain my energy levels and regulate my blood sugar levels and hence, reduced food cravings. My dinners are usually light and simple meals. Having heard good reviews of this oil blend and how nourishing it is, I believed that taking it during dinner would provide me with a sense of fullness and help with my cell repair as I slept. I was also looking forward to see improvements in my skin complexion!
Marissa: I love my coffee and just enjoy having a cuppa. So, I wanted to see if replacing my coffee booster with this oil blend would make a difference in my energy levels. I was also interested to see if there would be any improvements in my skin complexion.
Did you notice any improvements?
Amanda: After a month of taking this oil blend, I noticed improvements in my energy levels and skin complexion. My husband also experienced the benefits of this oil blend after a month – he saw visible improvements in his cracked heels. No undesirable side effects were observed.
Marissa: I definitely felt less tired since consuming Udo’s Oil, I’m happy to say that it has boosted my energy levels - given the fact that I still wake up a couple of times at night due to my toddler. My skin has also cleared up. Though I still get occasional blemishes, I’ve noticed that these occur less often now. Taking a tablespoon before my early morning workout has also sustained me throughout my workout, free of any energy slumps. Having a better night’s sleep was another welcomed benefit.
Who would you recommend it to?
Amanda: I would recommend Udo’s Oil to vegetarians as we may not be getting enough healthy fats from our diet. I would say that those with low energy levels, joint pain, skin conditions (like acne, dry, cracked skin, allergies), women with period pains and menopause (the flaxseed and evening primrose oil helps in regulating our hormones and reducing inflammation) or anyone who wants to maintain a healthy lifestyle would benefit from taking this organic oil blend.
Marissa: I am a believer in coconut oil as a daily supplement and I think this oil blend takes it up a couple of notches with its blend of different oils. As a mother myself, I think it is especially good for mothers who are sleep-deprived and need a boost of energy. Those who have poor diets will also benefit from taking this. As a fitness trainer, I’d recommend Udo’s Oil to athletes and those engaged in sports for improved endurance and recovery.
This ultimate oil blend provides a premium, natural source of carefully selected flaxseed oil, sunflower seed oil, sesame seed oil, coconut oil, evening primrose oil, soy lecithin (GMO-free), rice brain and oat bran germ oils, tocotrienol Imagine getting all the benefits of these healthy fats in a tablespoon? With one to five tablespoons recommended daily, enjoy them in your salads, smoothies, juices, shakes, soups, porridge, pasta and dishes. Try it out and share your story with us – we’d love to hear from you!