In the context of a healthy diet, many people believe you need to avoid fat completely. However, scientific studies have shown there are healthy fats. On the contrary: this study showed fats can help you reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, with one important catch—the type of fat you’re consuming matters.
“Although fat is not the light-weight among the macronutrients in terms of calories, in the right dose and quality it is an excellent source of energy, perfect flavor carrier, vitamin supplier (vitamins E, D, K, and A), and will fill you up,” writes Anne Fleck, MD in her German language book. The physician continues, “Fats are elementary building blocks of the cells as the smallest unit of the body and hormone and messenger substances.”
And while not every fat is recommended, good fats should be served up in proper serving sizes. If you need more inspiration, look to the Blue Zones, where healthy fats are consumed as part of the daily diet.
But what makes a fat a good fat? Unsaturated fatty acids, which include omega 3, have numerous positive effects on the body. That’s where my breakfast, which includes flaxseed oil, comes in since this oil particularly rich in omega 3.
Flaxseed: the best source of omega-3 fatty acids
Flaxseeds, which can be consumed whole or in oil form, beat out the classics like olive oil when it comes to available omega-3s. Studies have found that adding the food into your life can help with support your immune system, as well as help prevent cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, autoimmune, and neurological disorders.
Why are omega-3 fatty acids so healthy?
Above all, omega-3 fats can lower your blood pressure and ensure a healthy, strong heart, as well as strengthen the immune system as antioxidants. Flaxseeds can also reduce the rise in blood sugar after a meal. In plain language, this means that if you eat flaxseed oil, you will stay full longer. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for brain function.
Which flaxseed is the best?
Eating both the whole flaxseed and the oil will be beneficial, so it just depends which is easier to work into your daily routine. If you’re going for an oil, Fleck suggests, “it shouldn’t just be organic and cold-pressed. [Also look for] ‘pressed under light, heat, oxygen exclusion’ or ‘omegasafe.’” That’s because omega-3 oils are extremely sensitive, and exposure to light, oxygen, and heat causes these oils to oxidize, and oxidized fats promote chronic inflammation.
What’s the best way to eat flaxseed or flaxseed oil?
You can have flaxseed or flaxseed oil with pretty much any meal. The nutty, slightly bitter flavor goes especially well with salads in dressing or on top of a sweet breakfast. Actress Jennifer Garner is a fan—making Kelly LeVeque’s flaxseed-spiked smoothie in the morning for breakfast, and I put two teaspoons on my low-fat cottage cheese every morning, then garnish the whole thing with a handful of berries and a sliced apple.
The combination of the two “superfoods” (cottage cheese and flaxseed oil) has it all. The healthy fat from the flaxseed oil ensures that the digestion of the protein is slowed down, helping to regulate insulin output and the blood sugar level remains constant—the breakfast thus satiates for hours. I no longer have cravings since I started eating the healthiest breakfast in the world… at least in the morning.
This article was originally published on Vogue.com