We’ve heard that the omega essential fatty acids in food are good for us. Lets take a closer look at them.
Just what is an essential fatty acid? We are usually obsessed about low fat diets, but in actual fact our body does need fats. Our cell membranes are made up mainly of fatty acids, so just imagine… So, not all fats are bad for you – and obviously not all of them are good either. The essential fatty acids are the type that we need but our own body doesn’t know how to make, so they have to come from our diet. The essential fatty acids that carry all the hype are omega-3 and omega-6.
Omega-3 is also known as linolenic acid. Omega-3 reduces inflammation, helps the immune system, controls blood clotting to maintain the blood fluid, controls cell growth and is part of the cell membrane. It is found in foods such as cold water fish (like salmon, herring and mackerel), egg yolk, flaxseeds and walnuts.
Omega-6 is also known as Linoleic acid. Omega-6 actually promotes inflammation. It sort of does the opposite to omega-3, promoting blood clotting and cell growth. It is found in vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, soy oil, poultry, eggs (in general), nuts and cereals. It is more easily found in modern day processed foods than omega-3.
The ideal thing situation would be to have a healthy balance of both omega fatty acids, but unfortunately most modern eating habits contain more omega-6. This means that as we age, a diet richer in omega-6 will make certain conditions worse, such as joint problems or cardiovascular disease. It also means that if you do have a health concern where inflammation needs to be controlled, it would be better to include higher proportions of omega-3 rich foods in your diet.
Here’s a quick recipe I whipped up the other day which I consider to be quite balanced in both omegas. It’s also the kind of fast food that appears from my kitchen.
Ingredients (per serving):
50g smoked salmon
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 piece bread
Whisk the eggs. Add a touch of salt, white pepper and a few drops of milk. Heat the olive oil. Add the egg mixture and scramble.
Arrange on a plate the bread, with the scrambled egg over it and the salmon on top of that. Sprinkle some dill.
The whole thing should only take about 5 minutes to make.
Thank you for reading!