Fats, like carbs, are a reliable source of long term and short term energy for your body. In the XY Wellness diet, there are two kinds of healthy fats: monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA). Unsaturated fatty acids are made up of either one (mono-) or multiple (poly-) unsaturated fatty acid chains stuck to a phosphate molecule, which carries the chains wherever they need to go. Generally, we find PUFAs in plants and fish, MUFAs in only plants. One of the most important healthy fats for your daily thriving is omega-3.
Omega-3 fatty acids are one kind of essential PUFA that plays an important role in brain development and normal growth in the rest of your body. They’re called “essential fatty acids” because the human body can’t produce enough of them on its own; it has to get them from food. Specifically, we get them from fatty fish.
Omega-3s are useful to us men for two main reasons. First of all, a healthy amount of omega-3s is consistently associated with a drop in cardiovascular risk (DiNicolantonio et al., 2014). In addition to omega-3s’ role in reducing the risk of heart disease, they carry a specific benefit for middle-aged men. Research shows that men can decrease their risk of prostate cancer by taking an omega-3 supplement twice a week. A critical analysis recently published in the Proceedings of Mayo Clinic confirmed this knowledge (McCarty, DiNicolantonio, Lavie & O’Keefe, 2014).
As we’ve said before, there has been controversy regarding the rewards of omega-3s. Two years ago there was confusion due to bad research, which we cleared up in a post on that subject. Despite the controversy, the evidence points most consistently toward omega-3 supplementation and fatty fish consumption. Two supplements or two servings a week will do, and we recommend wild-caught salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, or sardines.
There are a lot of different fat philosophies, but at XYWellness we emphasize a balance of fats and advise against trans- fats found in oils used for frying and baked goods. In my practice I’m committed to good, sound science. At XYWellness we base our recommendations on the highest quality peer-reviewed journals and the latest in evidence-based medicine. We are not hunter-gatherers or mountain villagers; your modern lifestyle is probably nothing like theirs. And we aim to support you.
DiNicolantonio, J. J., PharmD., Niazi, A. K., McCarty, M. F., B.A., O'Keefe, J. H., MD, Meier, P., M.D., & Lavie, Carl J, MD, FACC,F.A.C.P., F.C.C.P. (2014). Omega-3s and cardiovascular health. The Ochsner Journal, 14(3), 399-412. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1563754391?accountid=351
McCarty, M. F., B.A., DiNicolantonio, J. J., PharmD., Lavie, C. J., M.D., & O'Keefe, J. H., MD. (2014). Omega-3 and prostate cancer: Examining the pertinent evidence. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 89(4), 444-50. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1514922241?accountid=351