Saturday, April 30, 2011

Good fats

My last global economics class was today. I'm at once excited to have my life back for a few weeks and sad that my class has ended. Weird, I think this has been my favorite class so far. I still have the exam to do and a peer review. I'm considering completing the exam tomorrow just to be done. We'll see, because I'm also looking forward to enjoying a weekend day of not doing schoolwork for a change.

Anyhow, I was thinking about writing about fish oil tonight in hopes that it might help me to remember to take mine...then I got to thinking about what I eat a lot of and don't know about. I thought, flaxseeds! I was reading about them a little and thought, no, I write about poop enough. Let's save it for another time. How about magnesium? Well, that's used as a laxative. Calcium? Boring. Melatonin? Snore. And so it comes back around to fish oil. Sorta. Well, Omega 3 fatty acids.

We all need fat in our diet. It should just be the 'right' fat. For example, we should completely avoid trans-fats (anything hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated). Trans fats are man-made fats and raise our bad cholesterol levels, contributing to heart disease. In other words, if you see these on your food product label, set down the food product and step away. Never look back. And with that, I've just eaten my last bag of my favorite microwave popcorn...

So what are good fats? Omega 3s of course!! What do they do and where can you get them?? Omega 3s help to boost the chemicals in our bodies that reduce inflammation, boost our immune systems, dilate our arteries, improve the body's ability to respond to insulin by stimulating the release of leptin, and prevent our blood from clotting, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. They do other stuff, but I thought these were interesting. Remember leptin? Yeah, that's good stuff! The reducing inflammation, that translates into pain reduction and does a lot of work in our joints...again good stuff!

So where do we get Omega 3s? Well, all the egg producers seem to be advertising that eggs have them, but the egg industry is suspect in my eyes...have you seen the way they treat the laying hens? (I'm not going to provide a link because it's too graphic and horrible and this is a food blog, not an animal rights or political blog.)

OK, so where can you find Omega 3s that's not an egg? Well, walnuts, flaxseeds, salmon...wait a minute, I thought I decided not to write about fish oil and flaxseeds....guess I lied. Hmmm, these are the top 3 sources of Omega 3. Guess it's time to start remembering the fish oil nightly! You can also get Omega 3s in olive oil, winter squash and beans (soy, navy and kidney). Sounds like a bunch of stuff that I already eat have Omega 3s! How about you?

Mmmmm, Panera!

OK, this is not the salad I had today...mine did not have mushrooms or spaghetti squash, but did have a hard boiled egg.

I couldn't resist the fro-yo with fresh fruit!

See how well my friend J takes care of me? She grilled up some chicken and potatoes and made a salad for dinner. I brought the veggie kabobs.

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