Omega lowdown

You’re heard that omega-3 fatty acids, especially those found in fish (eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, DHA) are good for your heart and brain. But if you don’t eat fish, you’re probably not getting enough of the right ones. Studies show that vegetarians’ intake of EPA and DHA falls far short of the 500 milligrams dieticians recommend. Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil contain another omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which the body converts – but only in small amounts – to the omega power-houses EPA and DHA.

Description: omega-3

Eat what fish eat: Fish are rich omega-3s because they dine on DHA-loaded algae and EPA-rich seaweed. Dietitian Susan Levin suggests adding powdered chlorella algae to a smoothie or eating sea vegetables like hijiki or dulse.

Choose fortified eggs: Omega-3-enriched eggs can contain up to 100 milligrams of DHA per egg. Check the label to be sure they’re not enriched with fish-based DHA if you’re vegetarian, and eat the yolks - that’s where the fats lie.

Hemp up: Hemp seeds, hemp flour, and hemp butter contain another type of omega-3 fat, stearidonic acid (SDA), which converts efficiently to EPA.

Take the green pill: Try vegetarian-friendly algae supplements from Ovega-3 or V-Pure, which contain about 450mg of EPA and DHA.

Eat well

Sweet & slow: Mindful eating enhances weight loss naturally.

Description: mindful eating

Eating out lead to excess, but a new study shows that women who practice mindful eating (an approach drawn from the principles of mindfulness meditation) can lose weight without dieting, even while continuing to dine out regularly. Women who used these techniques, which include taking time to savor the appearance, smell, texture, and taste of their food, ate roughly 300 fewer calories per day than those who didn’t and lost an average of 3.7 pounds over six weeks. “The goal is to maximize the pleasure of eating out,” says lead author Gayle Timmerman, a nursing professor at the University of Texas, Austin. “If you are paying more attention, you can be satisfied with less.” The mindful eating skills transferred to the women’s own kitchens, leading them to eat fewer calories at home.

Table talk

Bon appetit

Try these tips for fully savoring your meal.

Slow down: Before you taste your food, take a moment to appreciate how it looks, feels, and smells.

Notice: Pay attention to what happens between the first, second, and third bites. The pleasure-per-bite ratio typically drops off. The first bite or two of a dessert can give plenty of satisfaction.

Choose well: if you feel neutral about a certain food, skip it and save the calories for something you really anjoy.

Healing foods

Best in class

Description: walnuts

In a test of nine kinds of nuts, researchers found that walnuts had the highest levels of polyphenols, potent antioxidants reputed to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Try it! For a flavorful snack, toss walnuts with honey, cinnamon, and salt, and toast them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

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