What the Heck are Omega-3s Anyway?

What the Heck are Omega-3s Anyway? - Bro Glo

The time has come to clear the good name of fat. Just because fat is unlucky enough to share a name with what accumulates on our bodies after we eat too much junk food doesn’t mean that fat is the bad guy. Eau contraire. Fat is our friend. Fat is delicious and, unlike its mortal enemy simple sugar, it is really hard to overdo it when it comes to fat. That’s because fat makes us feel full whereas simple sugar makes us feel happy, sad, happy again, gross, then in need of a bigger belt.

Though there is no such thing as good versus bad sugar, and don’t let your buddy who eats maple oatmeal every day tell you different, there are fats that are great and fats to be avoided. The fun part? Experts really can’t even agree which fats are good and which one is the bad guy. Though saturated fats are sometimes vilified, research is coming around on them and showing they are not the reason our hearts stop or our pants don’t fit so well. Trans fats, which come in the form of fake butter, are best avoided. Why the world decided that we needed to create a replacement for butter is a whole other blog.

The Good Fat

Thankfully, the experts can agree on omega-3 fatty acid. This essential nutrient which is found in salmon, tuna, nuts, and seeds may reduce blood pressure, triglycerides, and even the risk of heart disease altogether. I know, right?

There are three important types of omega-3s: DHA, EPA, and ALA. Let’s dive in.

Docosahexaenoic Acid: DHA is great for eye health and brain development. Those are two organs we here at Bro Glo use almost every day. It improves heart health thanks to its ability to lower the bad cholesterol known as LDL. Since the body doesn’t make enough DHA on its own, it must come from supplements or the foods we eat.

Eicosapentaenoic Acid: EPA helps our bodies to fight inflammation. It has even been shown to play a role in reducing symptoms associated with depression and has been credited with reducing hot flashes in menopausal women. Like DHA, we must get EPA from food or supplements.

Alpha-linolenic Acid: Known as ALA, this type of fat is found in nuts and seeds. The body converts this type to EPA and DHA, but it really isn’t very good at doing so. We can only convert so much of it, so the rest ends up as stored fat. Since EPA and DHA are essential, and we’re bad at making it from ALA, man cannot live on getting his omega-3s from plant foods along. Sorry, vegans.  

The Fat Facts

Please let those low-fat diet fads of the 90s stay there with baggy pants and the Spice Girls. Fat is not the bad guy. To make sure you’re getting enough of it, incorporate salmon, tuna, and nuts into your diet. Your brain, eyes, and heart will thank you.

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