• Sandra Witt

Says who? Sesa...me!


Happy Summer! Here's a quick little blog for you this week about some tasty little morsels that are incredibly good for you and your birds.

Sesame seeds are not talked about as much as other healthy seeds like flax and chia but they are called "queen of the oil seeds." Why? Well, because they are a notable source of nutrients including protein, iron, zinc, copper, vitamin E, thiamin, calcium, magnesium, and manganese, plus unique lignans (sesamin and sesamolin), phytosterols (predominantly B-sitosterol), fiber, and other potentially beneficial compounds. By weight, about half the seed is fat—mostly unsaturated. An ounce (3 tablespoons) has about 160 calories, 14 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber.

Fat is essential to overall health because it supports a number of the body's functions. Some vitamins, for instance, must have fat to dissolve so they can be used by the body, but fat IS high in calories. If you consume more calories than you need you will gain weight, and the same is true for your birds.

There are two main types of potentially harmful dietary fat:

  • Saturated fat. This is a type of fat that comes from animal sources, such as red meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products. Saturated fat raises blood cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • Trans fat. This is a type of fat that occurs naturally in some foods in small amounts, but most trans fats are made from oils through a food processing method called partial hydrogenation. These trans fats can increase unhealthy LDL cholesterol and lower healthy high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

The types of potentially helpful dietary fat are mostly unsaturated:

  • Monounsaturated fatty acids. This is a type of fat found in a variety of foods and oils. Studies show that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease the risk of heart disease.

  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids. This is a type of fat found mostly in plant-based foods and oils. Evidence shows that eating foods rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids. One type of polyunsaturated fat is made up of mainly omega-3 fatty acids and may be especially beneficial to your heart. Omega-3, found in some types of fatty fish, appears to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease. Flax is a plant source of omega-3 fatty acids (but that's another blog)

Sesame seeds are a great addition to your bird's daily chop bowl. Sprinkle a few on top along with your flax and chia seeds... your birds will love it!!

Sources:

BERKLEY WELLNESS http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/nutrition/article/sesame-little-seeds-big-health-benefits

Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fat/art-20045550


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