What’s so great about hemp seed oil?
Hemp Seed Oil is most well known due to its fatty acid composition that has many beneficial effects on health. Hemp seeds are also known for their impressive amount of protein, fibre, and array of vitamins and minerals. Hemp Seed Oil contains all 9 essential amino acids (building blocks of protein) making it the complete nutritional resource.
How do polyunsaturated fats improve health?
Hemp Seed Oil has over 80% in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and is an exceptionally rich source of the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). The omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in hempseed oil is normally between 2:1 and 3:1, which is considered to be optimal for human health (1).
Hemp Seed Oil also contains another type of PUFA called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) that makes it a superior source of fat over other plant-based oils. A good ratio of PUFAs is considered to be anti-inflammatory and can be beneficial in conditions that include coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, cancer, and other inflammatory conditions (2).
Are saturated fatty acids really the bad guy?
A reduction in saturated fatty acids (SFAs) is one of the major dietary recommendations worldwide, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) dietary guidelines recommending less than 10% of total energy intake from. The reason why is because of studies conducted in 1960’s and 1970’s had a strong association between high SFA intake and heart disease.
While these guidelines are still in place, more recent studies suggest that it may not exactly be inclusion of SFAs, but in fact increased carbohydrate intake (in particular refined sugar and carbohydrates) that may explain how the diet can impact heart disease (3).
Regardless of whether saturated fats are the bad guys or not, what we do know is that increased PUFA’s consumption found in Hemp Seeds can favourably affect cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and the nervous system and reduce other markers of heart disease (1). Hemp Seeds are not only the best source of PUFA, but are also low in sugar and high in fibre that can further support good health!