Omega 3: these lipids that want us well

Omega 3 ... In recent years, this word has been invading our magazines, or the packaging of some of our food products. Omega 3 would be one of the keys to health prevention .

We all hear about omega 3, and we all ask ourselves the same questions:

Omega 3, what is it?
What are our daily needs?
What is their role ? Why are omega 3 important for our body?
What are the sources? Where can we draw these essential elements for our well-being?

Omega 3: what is it?

Before going into the thick of the subject, it is necessary to provide some clarification on lipids. Because indeed Omega 3s belong, like Omega 6, to the big family of lipid nutrients!

Lipids, commonly known as fats, are divided according to their molecular structure into 3 types of fatty acids :

  • saturated fatty acids (or saturated fats): these are the "bad" fats.
  • monounsaturated fatty acids.
  • polyunsaturated fatty acids including omega 3 and omega 6.
    These fatty acids play an important role in certain functions of our body. If we talk so much about omega 3s, it's because they are so-called essential fatty acids : our body needs them, but it can not manufacture them itself. Hence the importance of our diet, the only source of input.

A trio of fatty acids

Omega 3 correspond to 3 fatty acids. In the foreground, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is found in plants (rapeseed, nut, soybean, flaxseed, hemp seeds, lamb's lettuce, wheat germ).

There is still eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Our body can synthesize them from ALA, or better still, draw on marine products, especially oily fish.

Our omega 3 needs

The recommended daily intake is about 1.6 g for women, 2 g for men. These needs would scarcely be insured by half.

But the most important is the ratio omega 3 / omega 6:

Omega 6 can be eaten too much and can inhibit the action of omega 3. Ideally, this ratio should be 1/5. But in our current diet, it would be greater than 1/10. Hence the importance of focusing on omega sources, using, for example, rapeseed oil. There are also commercially available oils that provide these fatty acids in the right proportions.

Want to react, share your experience or ask a question? See you in our FORUMS Nutrition or A doctor answers you !

Read also :

> Chia seeds: rich in omega 3
> Micronutrients: what is it?
> The egg and omega 3
> Kale cabbage: rich in alpha-linoleic Acid (ALA) an omega 3
> What are food supplements for?

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