Ingredient Stories: Omega-3
Ediola Ymeri, one of Sperri's in-house dietitians, shares the story about one of Sperri's many functional ingredients—omega-3. Dietary fats or healthy supply our bodies with the most concentrated form of energy, and dietary fat is essential for overall health.
Healthy fats, in moderation, are an integral part of cellular functioning, energy, absorption of specific vitamins and proper growth and development. More specifically, omega fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that play a vital role in human health. These fats are essential, meaning they cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through diet or supplements. There are two main types of omega fatty acids: omega-3 and omega-6. While these fats are also important for human health, it's essential to maintain a balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for optimal health.
Healthy fats, in moderation, are an integral part of cellular functioning, energy, absorption of specific vitamins and proper growth and development.
If a balanced, varied diet is being consumed (including a plant-based one), one is likely consuming enough omega-6. Omega-6 fatty acids are found in cooking oils, such as sunflower and safflower oil, and are also found in nuts and seeds. Many 'typical' North American diets are often too high in omega-6, which can contribute to inflammation in the body and other health complications.
Unlike Omega-6, Western diets are found to be deficient in omega-3 fatty acids. There are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids, including ALA, EPA and DHA. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the most common omega-3 fatty acid in typical diets, however, ALA is not biologically active unless it is converted into EPA or DHA for further health benefits. However, excessive omega-6 and/or insufficient omega-3 would hinder the body's ability to convert ALA to EPA and DHA. These fats are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to be beneficial for heart health, brain function, and the management of certain health conditions like arthritis and depression. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as plant sources like flaxseeds, chia seeds, avocados, almonds and walnuts.
These fats are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to be beneficial for heart health, brain function, and the management of certain health conditions like arthritis and depression.
A lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is more desirable in reducing the risk of many chronic diseases. The ideal omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is 4:1, whereas many Western diets can contain an average 13:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. A single serving of Sperri contains an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 4:1. In Sperri, hemp seed oil and sunflower oil provide the omega-6. The omega-3 in Sperri comes from hemp seed oil, and DHA is explicitly derived from the algal oil, which is sourced from an algae plant grown off the coast of Nova Scotia. A study conducted by Arterburn et al recommends a DHA intake of 200 mg/day for adults and 200mg/day or higher for pregnant women. A single serving of Sperri provides 100mg of DHA from the algal oil. Arterburn et al. study compared the nutritional availability of DHA from algal oil capsules to that of cooked salmon and suggested that they appear to be bioequivalent in providing DHA. The study concludes that algal oil DHA represents a safe and convenient source of non-fish-derived DHA.
Incorporating omega fatty acids into your diet is easy. In addition to consuming foods high in these fats, supplements are also available. It's essential to speak with a healthcare professional before adding any supplements to your diet, as they can interact with certain medications and may not be appropriate for everyone.
Overall, omega fatty acids are essential to a healthy diet and can have numerous health benefits. Be sure to include sources of these fats in your meals and snacks. Consider speaking with a healthcare professional about adding Sperri, a balanced omega-6 to omega-3 meal, to your routine.