Technically a nut, hempseed contains about 30-40% oil and contains all required amino acids that make up a whole protein. Hempseeds are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and are an exceptionally high source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 (EFA’s). These days’ people consider fat to be bad; however our body needs a certain amount of fat to keep us healthy. Fat carries vitamins through the body that helps develop tissue, provides us with energy and protect our organs.
Unsaturated Fat Goodness:
Most people eat too much of the wrong kind of fat, saturated fat. What we need is to ingest more healthy or unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats come in two forms: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. You can find monounsaturated fats in vegetable oils such as olive, peanut, canola and in nuts like cashews, filberts, pecans, pistachios and avocados. Corn, canola, flaxseed, safflower and hempseed oils contain polyunsaturated fats. There are two types of polyunsaturated fats, Omega 3 and Omega 6. You need a ration of 3:2, Omega 6 (linoleic acid) to Omega 3 (alpha- linoleic) in your diet to maintain a nutritionally, healthy balanced body. Omega 3 rich foods are dark green leafy vegetables, flax seeds, hemp oil, and cold water fish. These boost natural anti- inflammatory hormones, reduce inflammation and help fight disease. Omega 6 rich foods are found in whole grains, seeds oils, nuts, corn, borage and evening primrose oil are healthy in moderation.
Given the types of foods Canadians eat, they usually get enough Omega- 6 fatty acids in their diets, but not enough Omega -3. Nutritionists know that these fatty acids offer health benefits such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, aid in insulin balance, mood stability and skin and joint health. Since our bodies cannot make Omega 3 and Omega 6, we must acquire them from our diet or from supplements. Overeating saturated fats such as meat fat, milk fat, butter, coconut and palm oil can lead to high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. Trans fats are in dairy products, beef and lamb and sometimes hydrogenated margarine and increase the body’s bad cholesterol.
Types of Cholesterol:
High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol: Known as the “good cholesterol” are small, dense molecules responsible for transporting cholesterol to the liver for removal from the body. This type of cholesterol is good for your body because it helps remove cholesterol from the arteries and protects against dangerous blockages in the arteries.
Low – Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol: Known as “bad cholesterol as it carries the majority of cholesterol through the bloodstream and delivers it to the cells of the body. These LDL-cholesterol molecules are larger, less dense, and less stable than HDL, and readily oxidize and deposit plaques on arterial walls.
Why Hemp Seeds:
Because hemp does not contain sugar, starch or saturated fats, it is an excellent choice for those wishing to obtain their protein in a healthy way. Hempseed oil has three times as much Omega – 6 as Omega –3, which is considered to be optimal for human health. Hemp foods are showing up on shelves in grocery and natural food stores. They come in whole seeds, hulled hemp nuts, hempseed oil and hemp flour. They are used as ingredients in salad dressings, cookies, granola, nutrition bars and even ice cream. Many who are trying to lose weight sprinkle hempseeds on their morning cereal or yogurt and feel fuller with significant energy for the day. This enables them to eat a salad for lunch and then a balanced dinner, therefore consuming fewer calories throughout the day.
So remember when you are planning your diet, your body does need healthy fat, so try adding hemp to your meals.