Senin, 25 Juli 2011

What are Omega Fatty Acids supposed to do?

: omega fatty acids

Why: I went into Costco to get a lifetime supply of paper towels, and I came out with 180 of these.

: Oh, lots. For example!:
  • Build healthy cells!
  • Boost the immune system!
  • Maintain brain and nerve function!
  • Lower the risk of heart disease! and stroke!
  • Protect against type 2 diabetes! and Alzheimer's disease!
  • Reduce symptoms of hypertension!, depression!, ADHD!, joint pain!, and some skin ailments!
High praise indeed! In fact, they are so important that they're called essential fatty acids. But here's the kicker! Our bodies can't produce them; we can only get them from food. So much for intelligent design.

Here's a secret: Saturated fats, which come mostly from animal sources, raise LDL, the form of cholesterol that clogs arteries. Unsaturated fats from vegetable oils, nuts, and fish can help lower cholesterol levels. To up your omegas and down your saturated fats, switch from butter to vegetable, olive, or canola oil. This is what the hell canola looks like, btw (it's genetically modified rapeseed, developed to resist herbicides):
Each canola seed is approximately 40% oil. According to this warrior:
Initially, the rapeseed plant was used to create oil for lubrication, particularly in World War II. After the war farmers were left to figure out what to do with their surplus. Rapeseed oil contains high levels of Erucic Acid which is toxic to humans, so scientists began to create, cross-breed, and use selective breeding to create a consumable oil. Originally called LEAR (low erucic acid rapeseed), someone thought about their brand image and changed it to Canola Oil. The name ‘canola’ was derived from ‘Canadian oil, low acid’ in 1978.
Source: WebMD (also this one)

The More You Know: Do you have any idea what cholesterol is? Me neither. Let's learn from KidsHealth:

Cholesterol is a type of fat found in your blood. Your liver makes cholesterol for your body, and you can get it from foods you eat.You need some cholesterol to help your brain, skin, and other organs grow and do their jobs in the body.

But eating too much of it is a bad idea, especially for people whose bodies already make too much cholesterol. It floats around in your blood and can get into the walls of the blood vessels and stay there. If you have too much cholesterol in your bloodstream, a lot can collect in the blood vessel walls, clog the blood vessels, and keep blood from moving freely the way it's supposed to. If the clogging gets worse over many years, it can cause damage to important body parts, like the heart (heart attack) and brain (stroke).

Two Types of Cholesterol

There are two main types of cholesterol: HDL and LDL. Most cholesterol is LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is more likely to clog blood vessels because it carries the cholesterol away from the liver into the bloodstream, where it can stick to the blood vessels. HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, on the other hand, carries the cholesterol back to the liver where it is broken down.

Here's a way to remember the difference: the LDL cholesterol is the bad kind, so call it "lousy" cholesterol — "l" for lousy. The HDL is the good cholesterol, so remember it as "healthy" cholesterol — "h" for healthy.

I hope you wrote that down.

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