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Comprendre les acides gras essentiels

Understanding Essential Fatty Acids

Indispensable and necessary, they're called essential fatty acids for many good reasons! They're called "essential" since our body needs them but can't produce them on its own. We need to acquire them from the foods we eat, especially those rich in omega-3 and omega-6.

From cold-water fish to nuts, leafy greens and vegetal oils, here's what you need to know about essential fatty acids.



There are two main types of essential fatty acids: linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, and linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. It's important to know how valuable they are, and that without them, our organism risks being like an orchestra without its conductor!

As well as providing energy, these essential fatty acids...

  • are the backbone of our cells
  • help lower bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • are essential for the development of the nervous and reproductive systems
  • are important precursors of several hormones
  • are important regulators of cell activity

That's quite something!



It's often easier to eat foods containing omega-6s than those rich in omega-3s. Statistics confirm it: Canadians eat a diet richer in omega-6s, even if their diet is varied. This imbalance means that these 2 types of fatty acids compete in our body's synthesis pathways and enzymes.

It's important to choose the foods we eat to resolve this little "biochemical squabble" over which we have no control.



A varied, balanced diet is the key to a healthy body. Omega-3s are found mainly in fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, trout, arctic char, herring, sardines and mackerel. Soy, tofu and nuts are also good options to put on the menu. And if you add oils to this list, you've got variety! When it comes to Maison Orphée products, it's easy to incorporate organic unrefined canola oil, walnut oil and organic virgin flaxseed oil into your diet.

Meat, poultry, fish and eggs are the main foods providing omega-6 fatty acids. Nuts, cereals and seeds are also ideal. Among Maison Orphée products, the organic unrefined sesame oil would be worth considering as to add a little extra omega-6 to your cooking!

And contrary to what you might think, Maison Orphée's organic unrefined sunflower oil is a product with a high omega-9 content. For a long time, there were only sunflower oils with a high omega-6 content, so it's easy to assume that they all still are. As market trends evolve, it's important to keep an eye open!

And if you want peace of mind,Maison Orphées Perfect Oil TM is a delicious blend of extra virgin olive and virgin seed oils containing several types of fatty acids!



In collaboration with Science + Fourchette

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