If you're dedicated to living a healthy, active life, you've probably realized that many of the so-called "experts" who spent decades telling you what was healthy and what wasn't actually told you some pretty big whoppers.
From an endless progression of "safe-for-you" artificial sweeteners, to the soy craze, to juice cleanses, many of these experts have a pretty terrible track record when it comes to offering accurate health advice.
Still, of all the inaccurate declarations made in pursuit of a "healthy, balanced diet," the worst and most damaging has to be the incorrect labeling of ALL FATS as "bad" for you.
Not only did the "fat is bad" mantra lead to a proliferation of fat-free products that are packed with sugar and artificial ingredients, but large swaths of the population are now deficient in one specific type of fat that is absolutely essential to health and wellness: Omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fats that:
- Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease
- May help prevent stroke
- Lower LDL cholesterol (the kind that clogs your arteries)
Omega-3s are essential to cell function. They're the Superman of nutrients. In fact, many doctors and nutritionists are now saying that there's nothing Omega-3s can't help!
Unfortunately, too many of us aren't getting the appropriate daily dose Omega-3s, which your body cannot produce on its own. If you're dedicated to health and wellness, you need to be sure you're eating a daily diet that is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Luckily, the foods that are rich in Omega-3s also happen to be foods that are an essential part of any healthy, balanced diet. Here are four of my favorites:
- Cruciferous veggies: Cauliflower and broccoli are fantastic sources of Omega-3s. Add these "baby trees" to salads or stir fries to take your meal to the next level.
- Fatty fish: Salmon is a great source of Omega-3s, as are many other fatty fish such as sardines, tuna, and trout. Dietary guidelines set by the government recommend that you eat eight ounces of fish each week.
- Leafy greens: Brussels sprouts, kale, and spinach are all excellent sources of Omega-3s. For your next lunch, ditch the iceberg lettuce and serve up an Omega-3-rich spinach salad. (Hit the Omega-3 jackpot by topping it with grilled salmon!)
- Seeds: Flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds all provide a dose of Omega-3s. Sprinkle whole chia or hemp seeds onto a salad, but remember that flax seeds need to be ground in order to unlock their nutrients. Buy flaxseed oil at your health-food store, or invest in a grinder and do it yourself. Just remember to eat the seeds soon after grinding, as they spoil quickly once ground.