Here’s a conundrum: to lose weight you have to cut down on the amount of fat you eat, but in order to have enough energy to burn the calories you need fat in the form of fatty acids.
In other words in order to get rid of some body fat, you should eat the right kind of fat without eliiminating fat all together.
The body can transform carbs and protein into saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids but it can not produce polyunsaturated fats, which are called essential fatty acids, you get from the food we eat.
Omega 3, how we call essential fatty acids, also known as fish oil and 6 fatty acids are found in fish and vegetable sources such as flax seeds, walnuts hemp seeds and oils: canola or olive. Both types of essential oils are required for the production of the hormones what are responsible for regulating healthy body functions; insulin production, digestion and fat storage.
Studies in the University of South Australia have shown that taking omega 3 fish oil combined with moderate aerobic exercise boosts weight loss. In a double blind study conducted at the university, subjects were given a daily doses of omega 3 and had a supervised moderate exercise three times a week. At the end of the 12 weeks study it was found that those who got the Omega 3 and not the placebo lost more weight.
The theory behind the increased weight loss is that the omega 3 fatty acids activate the enzymes responsible for burning fat and increasing the metabolic rate of the body.
Another study regarding obesity and wight loss, researchers wanted to find if adding omega 3 to the diet would increase the amount of calories burnt everyday. Two groups were fed exactly the same but one group was given 6 grams of fat in the form of butter, olive oil, sunflower and peanut oil. The other group was given 6 grams of Omega 3 fish oil. They got 8mg capsules a day; 2 in the morning, 3 at lunch time and 3 at dinner time. The results were amazing; the group who got the fat from animal or vegetable source lost less than one pound a week, while those who got the omega 3 fish oil lost on average 2 pounds a week.
The main reasons why the fish oil worked better was that the metabolism was increased, and the insulin levels were found to be 50% lower. Insulin is responsible for, among other things, regulating the body fat storage mechanism and converting carbs into sugar then fat for storage for future use.
Other studies suggest a correlation between the amount of fish oil in the diet of overweight people and the feeling of anxiety and depression. Research published in the Journal of Affective Disorder says that depressed subjects showed significant lower levels of omega 3 fatty acids in their blood compared with those who weren’t depressed. Hence, with the intake of fish oil, the overall well being feeling of people improves and dieting becomes easier. Researchers in the psychiatry department of the university of Sheffield, UK summed it up by saying “Omega 3 supplements with DHA alleviate anxiety and depression”.
Another area where fish oil comes in handy is the cardiovascular system. Omega 3 is said to be able to lower the diastolic blood pressure in young adults (the lower number of the two). The best affect was measured in people that are not accustomed to eating fish.
Yet another benefit of fish oil for those who are dieting is the increased feeling of satiety it provides. Subjects in a study where given 1300 mg a day of fish oil. They reported feeling fuller for a longer period of time. The study also found that when a person feels hungry there is less omega 3 in his blood.
Felling more full, less hungry and more happy is the way to a successful diet.