CAT | Heart Health
We know from past research that fish-derived Omega-3 fatty acids provide a multitude of health benefits for the whole body—from supporting the heart, brain and nervous system to protecting our eyes and joints. Now, three new studies spotlight the role of Omega-3 fish oil in a healthy diet and why we should consume more of these healthy fats and fewer saturated and trans fats.
Fish Oil May Protect Against Diabetes
Past evidence has shown that fatty fish consumption can help protect against diabetes by having a positive effect on glucose metabolism. In a recent study conducted by scientists in Sweden, similar results were seen in the case of latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA), which shares characteristics of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes including weight gain and insulin resistance. They found that one or more servings of fatty fish per week consumption was indeed associated with a reduced risk of LADA.
Omega-3 Fats Linked to Increased Brain Volume
Scientists no longer believe that age-related brain shrinkage and nerve cell death is irreversible. In fact, a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that older adults who consume high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids showed signs of new tissue development and an increase in gray matter—the areas of the brain involved in memory, emotions, muscle control, sensory perception and decision making.
Americans Still Eating Too Many Unhealthy Fats
Results of a new long-term study published last month in the Journal of the American Heart Association show that although consumption of saturated fats and trans fats have declined in the last three decades, Americans are still consuming far more unhealthy fats than experts recommend. The American Heart Association recommends limiting trans fats to one percent (or less) of total calories consumed and saturated fats to between five and six percent of total calories, while at the same time increasing the amount of healthy Omega-3 fats consumed from fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring.
More than 29 million people in the United States (or nearly 10% of the total population) have diabetes—a term given to a group of diseases marked by high blood sugar and abnormal production and/or function of the hormone insulin.
Because diabetics have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and even premature death, organizations like the American Diabetes Association (ADA) strive to help raise awareness about who it affects and why. American Diabetes Month®, celebrated each November, is an important part of their efforts.
The theme this year—America Gets Cooking℠ to Stop Diabetes®—focuses on inspiring people to eat (and cook) healthier foods and to stay active throughout the year. Events will take place throughout the month to help bring people together in an effort to learn more about the link between a healthy lifestyle and diabetes prevention, and on their website the ADA will spotlight ideas and activities for families and individuals.
Want to know more? View previous blogs for additional information
and tips on diabetes prevention and management:
Review: Diet Critical to Type 2 Diabetes Prevention and Control (includes 5 simple tips for improving diet quality!)
Kids & Diabetes Study, Plus 4 Tips for Parents (hint: your children are counting on YOU to set the example)
New Study Shows Nuts are Good for Your Heart, Blood Sugar (and other reasons why you should add a handful of nuts to your daily diet)
Study: Obese Preschoolers at Risk for Health Problems Earlier in Adulthood (and yes, that includes diabetes)
High Blood Sugar Not a Problem? Think Again. (this eye-opening infographic says it all!)