Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘EPA’

Omega 3 – The Fat We Should Eat

Posted by terrepruitt on September 1, 2011

I have mentioned Omega 3 before, but I haven’t said a lot about it.  I thought sharing a few things about it would be nice.  Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid required by the body.  “Essential” means that our body must have it but can’t make it so we need to obtain the nutrient from our diet.  Since our cell membranes are made up of fatty acids it makes sense that our body needs fatty acids to function properly.  The key is making sure our bodies have the right kind of fat.  Omega 3 contains three fatty acids, a-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and is considered a polyunsaturated fat.  Polyunsaturated fat, unlike saturated fat, does not harden at room temperature.  Wanting a fat that makes up cell membranes that does not harden is another thing that makes sense, right?  Nutrients and waste have an easier time passing in and out of a cell membrane with a liquid consistency than one that is solid.

Research has been done in regards to Omega 3 on diseases and ailments with varied results.  Studies continue to reveal Omega 3 helps reduce heart disease risk factors such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.  Omega 3 helps reduce inflammation.  We know chronic inflammation is not good because it is linked with or even thought to be the cause of many diseases.   Omega 3 could help with autoimmune diseases of which inflammation is present such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes.   With many diseases there is often multiple issues so it makes sense that if something helps with one thing it might help with another if it is a symptom or a result of a disease.  For instance, many people with diabetes have high cholesterol so, if Omega 3 helps lower the LDL and raise the HDL, that would be of assistance to someone with diabetes.  Science is continuing to discover things about Omega 3 and how each fatty acid has different effects on the body.

Omega 3 is interesting in that one of the three ALA is actually not used by the body until it is converted to the other two.  Some foods contain ALA, some contain EPA, and others contain DHA or a combination of them.  So as always recommended it is good to eat a variety of foods.  Eating a variety of foods containing Omega 3 will help ensure you get what you need.  Some of the food Omega 3 can be found in is cold water fish, flax seed, walnuts, and what some are calling “Omega 3 eggs”.  At present there is not a Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Omega 3, but the consensus is that Americans should be eating more.

According to a the World’s Healthiest Foods website:  “the National Institutes of Health recommended that people consume at least 2% of their total daily calories as omega-3 fats.”

You might have heard the claim that Canola Oil is a good source of Omega 3, but then you might have also heard the processing the rapeseed plant goes through and the way the oil is made actually burns off the Omega 3 and becomes transfat.  This is one of those things you might want to research and decide for yourself.  It is your health.

Other foods containing Omega 3: beans, olive oil, hemp seeds, kale, collard greens, spinach, soybeans, cloves, oregano, green beans — yay, not just fish!  I am not a fan of fish although, the Omega 3 in fish is hard to beat, so I probably should start eating it.

Like so many nutrients being discovered as being necessary almost everyday it seems as if the best way to get what the body needs is to eat a variety of foods.  The less we eat of over-processes and packaged foods the better.  Finding a balance is also important.  It just really sounds as if, from all the information I have read, Americans consume less Omega 3 than we should, so — to me — it sounds good to add more to my diet.  What about you?  Are there ways you can add more healthy foods that contain Omega 3 into your diet?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Greenies Reduce Holiday Waste

Posted by terrepruitt on December 23, 2010

People that are interested in being “green”, remember this is the season of tremendous waste, so if you can reuse, recycle, and don’t waste.

In the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, American households generate 25% more waste. That’s about 1 million extra tons of trash each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.  That includes everything from food to wrapping paper, holiday decorations, packaging, and old cellphones and laptops that are unceremoniously dumped . . . .(copied directly from CNNMoney.com)

Be creative with your wrapping.

-Use newspaper
-Use the packing paper that came with the shipped gift.
Have the kids draw on it to make it special.
-Use some of the kids drawings. 
From what I understand kids come home with a least ONE drawing everyday.  Take a picture of it so you will have it forever, then pass it on to someone special.  Use it to wrap gifts, or use it to cushion a gift.

You know I am a fan of shredding used gift wrapping paper to use as pretty packing in gift bags or boxes.  Well this year I in additions to shredding that already used paper I just used it as packing paper.  I just crumpled it and put it around the gift and cushioned the item with it.  I thought of taking a picture to use in this post, but I didn’t want to take a chance the receiver (of the gift) would see.

One of my friends on FB said that when she sold the wrapping paper for the school fundraiser she actually used the swatched to wrap little gifts.  I think that is an awesome reuse method.

My mother and I have a few cloth bags that we give back and forth.  I laughed this year when I opened the box that holds my gift bags and found a note in one that said, “Give back to mom.”  We will just keep it going back and forth until it can not long hold anything.

That can be both a fun and silly tradition as well as a “green” thing to do!

Then remember to save that wrapping paper and the bows you get this year to use for next year.  If you are just going to shred the paper or use it for packing it doesn’t take up that much room.  It can be folded.

Or use that wrapping paper to wrap some of those precious ornaments you just received.

Give a gift in a reusable shopping bag/tote.  That is THREE gifts in one.  You are giving a gift in a bag the receiver can use PLUS you are helping the environment.  I count that as at least three.

What else?  What do you do to help reduce the waste over this season?  C’mon, share your ideas . . . we can always use more ideas on how to reuse!

Posted in Helpful Hints | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Scoop on the Poop

Posted by terrepruitt on June 5, 2010

I have a friend and it seems that one out of every three conversations we have we end up talking about cat poop.  Now, for some that might seem odd, but let me point out, if you are a parent, there has been a time when you have talked about your baby’s diaper contents.  I remember one conversation where I was subjected to size, shape, guestimated weight, and yes, above all color.  So, parents talk about their baby’s waste.  Since cats have odd behavior even when they are healthy and “normal” one of the primary ways to detect and keep track of the health of a cat is by their waste.

Things change for cats when there is an adjustment to their diet or whatever and my friend is in the middle of a food transition for her cats.  It just follows that if you talk about what goes in, you end up on what comes out.

Now, I apologize if this is just too gross of a subject for you.  This might not be “appropriate for a health and wellness blog” and it might not a pleasant topic, but the more I looked for information regarding it the more I realized that people at least need to know what the possibilities might be so that they can decide for themselves, so hence, I am posting about cat poop.

I knew that pregnant women should not be in charge of changing a litter box.  The threat comes from handling the cats waste, but . . . just to be safe most women just avoid the process all together.  For most women it is roughly just a nine month vacation from having litter box duty.  But I bet, even though you have a new baby yet to be born to think about you probably are having conversations with the fill in litter-box-changer in regards to the cat habits.  Making sure everything is normal (again . . . that is how we gauge the health of the cats.)  Honestly it is not an examination, but somewhat of an unconscious review as we are scooping and cleaning.

Anyway, what I didn’t know is that you should NOT be flushing your cats poop.  Even without the litter.  So all of the stuff that says you can . . .INCLUDING the EPA information . . . you might want to think twice.  Research is proving that the eggs from the Toxoplasma gondii that causes Toxoplasmosis might survive up to a year even after having gone through water treatment.   This is the disease that can be fatal to infants and why pregnant women shouldn’t deal with the cat’s little box.

The eggs don’t die upon treatment and they get sent out to see where our sea life eats it.  And while I don’t see that this has a direct affect on us as humans the fact that our otter population has gone from 15,000 to 2,500 and a large percentage of dead otters have been found with the parasite in them, just gives you another thing to think about.  Since in the grand view of things it all affects us.

Not ALL cats even have this parasite. I was just surprised by the idea that flushing cats’ waste is not good since I had always thought that flush it was fine it was the LITTER that was the concern, but apparently not.  As with a lot of things it could have just changed since the population of humans has grown so has to populations of house cat.  Flushing is an easy way to dispose so more people might do it than have done it in the past and with all of the products that are out there that say it is fine, it is just interesting to know that it might be affecting our sea life.  Of course putting it in a plastic bag and putting it in the garbage that goes to a landfill is not necessarily the best way to deal with it either, but it is the alternative that was have at the moment.  Now at least you can have a little bit more information and make a choice.

So, since this is my blog, I like to share things I learn.  The things I learn might not always DIRECTLY relate to health and fitness, but I have said, “In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.”  I guess you could say I was inspired.

Posted in Cats | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »